The new Micra is worlds apart from the car it replaces writes Geraldine Herbert
What is it? Nissan’s Micra has been a popular choice with Irish drivers for over three decades but despite its pint-sized practicality, affordability and legendary reliability the Micra has never been a car destined to improve your street cred, until now that was.
Styling? Long gone are the cute lines, the curiously high-mounted headlights and cheeky face, essentially, just the name remains. The chiselled exterior and sleek lines give the Micra some serious kerb appeal and the funky design shouts ‘look at me!’. Our test car came in a particularly eye catching black with splashes of dramatic orange inside and out.
Under the Bonnet? There is a choice of a 1.0 litre petrol, a 1.5 diesel or as in our test car a very gutsy 0.9 litre turbo petrol that manages 90hp and a decent 150Nm of pulling power.
What about inside? Inside it’s not quite the radical departure of the exterior styling but its lively and intuitive and the quality is particularly good. Everything is simple to use and the large dials only add to the ease of use. There’s plenty of space adjustment to help any sized driver get comfy. On the downside design has the edge over practicality and space in the rear is far from generous and access is best suited to yoga buffs. Head room overall is not great due to the sloping roofline and rear visibility is pretty poor.
On the Road? This peppy engine is a really nice surprise. It tootles happily around town and turns as tightly as a shopping trolley. More impressively on the motorway there is more than enough oomph, it is still reasonably quiet and seems so effortless. The handling is sharp and its firm on the road, maybe a little too much for some and steering is a little on the light side. The new Fiesta beats it in terms of sportiness but the new Micra is still a very engaging and endearing car to drive.
And Safety? All Micras come with an impressive list of standard safety equipment, which includes Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Traffic Sign Recognition and High Beam Assist.
Will it break the bank? Prices for the range start at €16,650 our range topping test car was priced at €24,400. Our tiny 898 cc engine promises a healthy average of 4.4 litres per 100 km and CO2 (g/km) of 104 means Motor Tax annual cost is €190.
What are my options? Each of the four trim levels, XE, SV, SV Premium and SVE offer increasing levels of goodies but even on the basic model there is no scrimping on the equipment as all Micras get 15-inch wheels, LED daytime running lights, electric door mirrors with integrated turn signals, electric front windows, rear spoiler, Hill Start Assist, trip computer with gear-shift indicator and outside temperature read-out, manual air conditioning, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rake/reach adjustable steering wheel, two-tone dashboard The top of the range SVE models add 17-inch alloys, Nissan Intelligent Key with engine start button, rear view camera with rear parking sensors, BOSE Personal audio system with six speakers, Safety Pack, leather steering wheel and gearshift, three rear headrests and special SVE black and grey cloth trim. There are also over 100 different style configurations so you can ensure no two Micras’ are the same.
What it says about you? I may be on a budget but I still want to look good
Verdict? With head turning looks, a funky interior and good driving dynamics the multi-talented Micra is a car for all occasions and is one of the most impressive cars driven this year.
Why you’ll buy one? Looks good and is fun to drive
Why you won’t? Space in the back is tight
Nissan Micra 5 door 0.9 90ps SVE
Engine: 898cc, 90hp @ 5,500rpm, 150Nm @2,250
Max speed: 175 kph
0-100 kph: 12.1 seconds
Emissions (Motor Tax) : 104g/km (€190 road tax)
Model price range: €16,650. (Test car €24,400)
No of Doors: 5 doors
Euro NCAP: 4 stars
Fuel type: Petrol
Fuel Economy (combined cycle): 4.4 l/100km, 64.2mpg
Boot Capacity Seats up(down): 300 litres (1004)
Car Seats: 2 Isofix fittings in the rear
28th August, 2017