New Nissan Micra revealed
The latest Micra was introduced in 2010 as a 'global' model – but British customers are said to have been left unimpressed by the interior quality, prompting this earlier-than-usual refresh.
It gets changes to its sheet metal, including heavily revised styling at the front and rear. The new parts include different wings, bumpers, bonnet and headlights, and a new shape of front foglight. The rear gets new LED tail-lights and a different design of panel on the hatchback itself. There are also new designs of 15-inch and 16-inch alloy wheels; Nissan claims the design changes give the car a more 'purposeful' stance.
The most crucial changes are in the cabin, though, where there's a new design of centre console and more extensive use of 'premium' finishes, such as 'piano black' on the fascia and a silver-effect material on the gear selector. There's a new texture of plastic on the door armrests, along with new fabrics on the seats and door pads. Top-line Tekna models get a suede-effect material on the seats.
The fascia now incorporates aux-in and USB sockets for audio equipment, and there's also a 12v socket that offers the ability to charge mobile phones and MP3 players. All but the basic Visia models get revised audio equipment that looks more 'integrated' into the dashboard.
It also gets an upgrade of Nissan's infotainment system, with a larger screen (5.8-inch instead of 5-inch), a revised sat-nav that can choose a route to optimise fuel economy, Google 'send to car' functionality that allows you to plan a journey on PC and send it to your car, and album art displayed from MP3 files.
The engine line-up remains unchanged, with a pair of three-cylinder petrol units. The basic motor has 79bp and CO2 emissions from 115/gkm, but the supercharged DIG-S motor is more powerful and cleaner, at 97bhp and emissions as low as 95g/km.
The entry-level Visia trim brings 14-inch wheels, remote central locking, radio/CD player with aux-in and USB connectivity, and electric front windows. Acenta adds 15-inch wheels, a roof spoiler, climate control, front foglights, Bluetooth and automatic headlights and wipers.
The range-topping Tekna offers the NissanConnect infotainment system as standard, along with rear parking sensors, automatic parking space measurement, 16-inch alloy wheels, improved seat fabrics, and automatic folding door mirrors.
The new Micra is due on sale in September. Nissan has not announced prices, but we'd expect only a very modest increase over the existing versions; that should give the car a starting figure of around £9000.
By John McIlroy