The Nissan Micra is quite possibly one of the most reliable and underrated cars ever built and here I get to drive the latest incarnation.
Launched in 1983, the Nissan Micra is probably most remembered from its second-generation, with many of these almost 30 year old cars still on our roads today.
It is also this model that is a favourite within grassroots motorsports here in Northern Ireland, I used to navigate in a very competitive left-hand-drive replica of the ex-works, wide-arched rally car and great camaraderie is had between Micra drivers on lanes rallies and autotests.
The 3rd and 4th generation Nissan Micra’s became incredibly dull, yet at the same time done everything perfectly. Retaining previous generation owners and perhaps even keeping them as lifetime drivers of the Nissan Micra, something that this latest 5th generation car will help with.
Launched four years ago, this new model received a face-lift and some updates in 2019 and, over Christmas 2020 I got to spend a week with what is now an attractive looking city car. Cars in general are increasing in size and this latest Nissan Micra is surprisingly spacious.
Priced from just £14,000 the Micra range starts a couple of grand less than rivals such as the Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa and it well equipped with front electric windows, split folding rear seats, height adjustable driver’s seat, hill start assist, high beam assist, lane departure warning and intelligent lane intervention all coming as standard.
A front passenger ISOFIX child seat anchor point is a convenient feature alongside two rear ISOFIX points with LED daytime running lights and front fog lights also coming as standard.
The entry level ‘VISIA’ trim has key features such as stop start technology, DAB radio with Bluetooth calling, intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition, USB port with iPod connectivity, and intelligent auto headlights with rain sensing wipers.
Priced from £15,970 is an ‘ACENTA’ which adds cruise control, alloy wheels, Nissan connect display audio, smartphone app integration which includes Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and manual air conditioning.
Next is an ‘N-SPORT’ which starts from £18,200 and adds LED headlamps and fog lamps, trim specific black and carbon exterior pack, 17-inch alloy wheels, Alcantara seats with synthetic leather parts, and rear view camera with parking sensors.
A top of the range ‘TEKNA’ as tested, starts from £19,050 and adds 360 around view monitor, Bose personal audio system featuring two driver headrest speakers, Nissan connect navi with TomTom traffic, leather-wrapped gear knob and handbrake, and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Currently an Acenta trim can be had from £199 per month (PCP) based over 37 months with a customer deposit of £1,658.73 and an annual mileage of 8,000. Nissan making sure that affordable motoring is key. And with just one engine available across the range, things are kept simple for buyers.
This engine is a 1-litre, 3-cylinder turbocharged petrol, producing 92PS with 160Nm of torque making it feel slightly punchy around town while capable of a long commute with ease. I wouldn’t go as far as saying it is in anyway fast, with a 0-62mph dash done in 11.8 seconds, but it is absolutely adequate and will return something in the region of 50mpg.
Should you opt for a CVT automatic transmission, top speed reduces from 111mph to 106mph and an additional 2.2 seconds get added to the traffic light Grand Prix to 62mph. It was this very transmission that was fitted to the model tested and I found it to be somewhat lazy with what I asked of it.
For balance, I didn’t do a great deal of city driving with the Nissan Micra, and perhaps the network of A and B roads I use in my semi-rural location are not what most city-driving automatic owners will experience day-to-day.
Sadly I didn’t manage to get photographs of the test car, so the images used within this article are a close representation of the model tested and are courtesy of the Nissan UK.
Thanks to Passion Red metallic paint and ‘exterior pack plus’ the model tested came to a total of £20,530 at the time of driving.
Affordable motoring is slowly fading away, but thankfully Nissan are keeping things real with this, the smallest offering from their passenger car range and the latest Mirca does exactly what it says on the tin, with a modern look.
Fact File for model tested
Make : Nissan
Model : Micra
Trim : Tekna
Engine : 1.0-litre turbocharged petrol
Gearbox : CVT automatic
Cost : £20,530.00
Words & Photos: GRAHAM BAALHAM-CURRY
images must not be used in any way without prior written consent of the photographer