MORE than seven million Nissan Micras have been sold around the world since their introduction some three decades ago and Nissan is hoping the latest changes to both the exterior and interior of the car will help it stay current and competitive.
The 2015 Nissan Micra range has been streamlined, too, and now features just the ST (manual and auto) and the Ti (auto) grades, both boasting a higher level of specification and comfort.
Nissan has heeded criticism of the previous edition and this new-look Micra has a much-improved interior.
Fit and quality is not amazing but certainly much better as is the updated instrumentation and new centre cluster.
The front seats, with their new trim, are comfortable enough, a courtesy not extended to the rear pew, which is quite flat and upright as tends to be the case in these smaller cars.
Headroom, thanks to the bubble nature of the car, is quite good for the driver and front passenger and there are fair number of storage options too.
The double glove box is still a winner for me, a nice blend of style and practicality.
On the road
The Micra retains the zippy 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission.
Handling is good, balanced decently with comfort and the Micra is able to manoeuvre easily in tight city traffic. It is neat around corners, has an excellent turning circle and is able to gather enough speed provided it is not encumbered with a full load. The manual is still our pick above the noisy CVT but even that can feel a tad unsettled on rough roads.
What do you get?
The previous model was quite light on inclusions but Nissan has moved here to ensure the even the entry-level ST is able to run with the best in class. Cruise control, power windows, Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming, USB input and auxiliary port are now standard with the Micra Ti adding a 14.7cm touch-screen, satellite navigation, reverse camera, LED rear lights, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear spoiler, fog lights and auto headlights.
Safety is only four star but features include six airbags, anti-lock brakes and brake assist as well as traction and stability control.
Official combined figures are 5.9 litres/100km for the manual and 6.5 litres/100km for the auto.
There is a capped price servicing plan for 120,000km (about $290 each) and the warranty is three years/100,000km.
An improved features list, excellent turning circle and jazzed up exterior makes this a great car for the city commute. The boot is surprisingly bigger than you think but this is definitely a car best suited for a single person or a young couple.
More than half of the exterior panels have been changed with the Micra getting a sportier stance, restyled front and rear bumpers, new bonnet, guards, front headlights, rear lamps and wheels.
If small, very small, city cars are your thing then the new Micra has all the goods to keep you happy. It may not be the biggest, trendiest, most highly specced or most fun to drive but finds the kind of combination middle ground that pleases most buyers.
Model: Nissan Micra.
Details: Five-door front-wheel drive small hatch.
Engine: 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol generating maximum power of 56kW @ 6000rpm and peak torque of 104Nm @ 4000rpm.
Transmissions: Five-speed manual and four-speed automatic
Consumption: 5.9 litres/100km (combined average, manual), 6.5L/100km (auto).
Bottom line plus on-roads: $13,490 (ST manual), $15,290 (ST auto), $16,990 (ST auto).
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