Nissan Micra long-term test review
Nissan has given its fifth-generation Micra a radical makeover, so can it now compete with the best small cars? Six months of everyday use should provide the answer...
- The car: Nissan Micra 0.9 IG-T 90 N-Connecta
- Run by: Hemal Mistry, digital reviews editor
- Why it’s here: Nissan claims it has created a no-compromise supermini, with a striking new look, plenty of personalisation options and some impressive technology, but can it rival the best in the market?
- Needs to: Do what all the best superminis in the class do – be practical, refined, frugal, deal with motorway jaunts and be fun to drive.
6 May 2017 – the Nissan Micra joins our fleet
Over 30 years ago Nissan launched its first version of the Micra, a boxy little car whose simplicity soon made it a popular sight on UK roads and gained it a reputation for providing practical, economical and reliable transport.
For its next three model generations, the remit remained the same, although the shape became ever more rounded and the car more stodgy to drive. The main problem for Nissan was that its key competition had moved the game on, with the Ford Fiesta, the Mini and the Volkswagen Polo all being much plusher and also much better to drive.
So why should this new Micra be any different? Well, for starters Nissan has given its small car a sharp new design inside and outside, with improved driving dynamics, plenty of personalisation options, lots of soft-touch materials inside and stacks of up-to-the-minute technology.
It has also been extremely generous on the technology front, with an amount of standard kit you wouldn’t find in most executive saloons without reaching for the options list. Every Micra comes with a raft of safety devices including automatic emergency braking (AEB), traffic sign recognition, high beam assist and intelligent ride and cornering control.
We’ve chosen the 89bhp turbocharged 0.9-litre petrol engine, kitted out in N-Connecta trim, as our new long-termer. This looks good value at just over £16,000 on the road, but, once we’d added its charming Power Blue paintwork and a whole host of other desirable options, it actually weighs in at more than £19,000, which puts it in the same price bracket as many of its extremely competent rivals’ top-trim versions, including the the Fiesta 1.0 Titanium X, the Mini Cooper S and the Polo 1.0 R-Line.
All of those rivals have their own advantages, of course: the Fiesta is the best to drive, the Mini is the most powerful and the Polo is the most comfortable. However, the Micra edges out the competition on practicality, as its boot space is larger than the others, with seats both up and down, and it’s also the most generously equipped. Another plus point for the Micra is its interior: it’s a very pleasant place to be, and, in mid-range N-Connecta trim, there are plenty of plush materials and faux-leather surfaces that are pleasing to the eye and nice to the touch.
However, it also needs to be competent and fun on the road, too, qualities the likes of the Fiesta and Mini have in abundance. Luckily, first impressions are good. The little 0.9-litre engine may not be the most powerful engine around, but it’s flexible enough to potter around town happily and then get up to a motorway cruise with minimal fuss.
So we’re looking forward to our next six months with the Micra. We’ll be keen to find out if it can ruffle the feathers of its rivals, and we’ll be reporting back regularly to let you know if long-term use can convince us that it should be at the very top of your small hatchback shopping list.
Nissan Micra N-Connecta 0.9 IG-T 90
Price as tested £19,110
Options Powder Blue paint (£575), Vision+ pack, includes 360-degree camera, blindspot monitoring and moving object detection (£550), Exterior pack, includes 17in alloys and chrome trim (£800), Interior Powder Blue personalisation pack (£350), Intelligent Key (£200) and Bose personal audio pack (£500)
Official combined MPG 61.4mpg
True MPG NA
Mileage to date 875
Insurance group 3E
Top speed 109mph
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