Nissan Micra DIG-S review

* Supercharged engine * CO2 emissions from 95g/km * Prices start at 11,150...

10 Aug 2011 11:24 | Last updated: 14 Jun 2018 00:03

What is it? A range-topping version of the Nissan Micra, with a supercharged engine designed to give strong performance, but low fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. This is the first time we've driven the car on UK roads.

Whats it like to drive? Thanks to a supercharger, the Micra DIGs 1.2-litre, three-cylinder engine has a useful 97bhp; an 18bhp improvement over the standard 1.2.

That said, peak torque (105lb ft) doesnt arrive until 4400rpm. This and slightly longer fourth and fifth gear ratios than the standard 1.2 mean that the engine doesnt feel as flexible as you might think. You need to keep the revs high to get the best from it, which seems at odds with a model designed to be as fuel-efficient as possible.

Once it gets into its stride, though, the DIG-S is usefully swift. Its nippy around town and has no problem keeping up on the motorway.

Higher speeds dont don't flatter the Micra, though, with poor refinement and a ride that is firm and fidgety as pace increases. Overall, a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo feels more grown up.

Whats it like inside? The DIG-Ss interior is like that of any other Micra, apart from a display that shows how much CO2 is being saved when the stop-start system shuts down the engine.

There are a couple of good points: the dashboard is uncluttered and the Nissan Connect media/sat-nav system thats standard with top-spec Tekna trim and an option for Acenta is excellent.

In most other respects, though, the cabin is disappointing the steering wheel has a limited range of height adjustment, the materials are drab, and rear legroom and boot space arent great.

Should I buy one? Prices start at 11,050 for Visia trim and rise to 13,650 for Tekna models. A CVT automatic gearbox is a 1000 option.

Theres a 1000 premium over standard 1.2 Micras, but average fuel economy rises from 56.5mpg to 68.9mpg (65.7mpg for Acenta and Tekna versions) and CO2 emissions drop from 115g/km to 95g/km (99g/km for Acenta and Tekna).

Long-term running costs should be pretty similar to the standard 1.2s, but we dont think the DIG-S is worth the extra initial outlay. For us, cheaper versions make more sense, because the Micra doesnt have the class or ability to match rivals at this price. If youre spending this much, a Ford Fiesta is a much better bet.

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