The range starts with a non-turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine that produces just 70bhp and 71ft lb of torque. Unsurprisingly, it’s not that fast, with the entry-level Micra taking a languorous 16.9sec to get from 0-62mph. Granted, there is just enough low-down shove to make it an adequate city companion, but it soon runs out of puff on quicker B-roads. A quick car this is not.
And if you think you’ll benefit from improved efficiency by choosing the entry-level engine, you’re likely to be disappointed. Nissan claims an official combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg, which is rather impressive, but CO2 emissions of 103g/km are higher than that of the more powerful turbocharged 0.9-litre petrol engine (which emits 99g/km).
Ultimately, we think the 0.9-litre engine is well worth the premium over the entry-level unit. It zips the Micra along quite happily, giving you the performance you need not only for town driving but also for comfortable motorway use. And thanks to a solid swell of shove provided from low to midway up the rev range, you don’t have to rev it as hard as the entry-level engine, either.
The diesel engine, like the 0.9-litre petrol, is shared with Renault and delivers its power evenly from low revs. True, it doesn’t like to be taken all the way up to its redline, but that’s a trait common to most diesel engines of this size.