Used Nissan Micra Hatchback 1993 - 2003 review

Category: Small car

The Nissan Micra has got a Mumsy image and it's very basic, but it's a bargain to buy and own

Nissan Micra Hatchback (93 - 03)
  • Nissan Micra Hatchback (93 - 03)
  • Nissan Micra Hatchback (93 - 03)
Used Nissan Micra Hatchback 1993 - 2003 review
Star rating

What's the used Nissan Micra hatchback like?

The buzzy Nissan Micra is small compared with some more modern superminis, so cabin space is good up front, but tight in the back, while boot space isn't great. The steering adjusts for height in all but the most basic models, and access to the rear can be a struggle in the three-door.

On the other hand, the car is easy and light to drive, and rides well. The 1.0 engine found in most examples feels lively in town, but is noisy and breathless on the motorway.


The Nissan Micra has got a Mumsy image and it's very basic, but it's a bargain to buy and own

  • It's cheap to buy and run, it's reliable and it has lively engines
  • Styling is a bit Noddy and safety kit is poor

A driver airbag is standard on all models, as is a front passenger 'bag on top-line cars. However, anti-lock brakes appear only if it has an auto gearbox or on a top-of-the-range model.

In fact, safety isn't that impressive overall. The Micra scored just two stars out of five for occupant safety in Euro NCAP test and two (out of four) for protecting pedestrians.

Ownership cost

What used Nissan Micra hatchback will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Nissan Micra hatchback?

Prices for this Micra are so low that depreciation is a worry left with past owners, and running costs aren't a problem, either.

Servicing is cheap and simple enough for any garage to do a proper job, which will save on main-dealer rates, and most spares are cheaper than average, too. The 1.0 engine has a chain cam that should last the life of the engine, whereas most rivals have cambelts that require (expensive) replacement after five years or so, so that's more money saved.

Fuel economy is strong - with up to 38mpg in town in the 1.0, you can expect an average of up to 47mpg. The 1.4 does almost as well with a manual gearbox, while an auto will be thirstier by about 5mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Nissan Micra hatchback should I buy?

The simple rule is to buy as new a car as you can for the lowest price. Basic models accounted for almost all those sold new, and these are also the ones to get second-hand.

That said, Nissan packed the last cars of this generation of Micra with kit, so look for a 1.0 Twister on an 02 or 52 plate. This had central locking, air-con and even parking sensors, yet cost no more new than a lowly 1.0 S sold a year earlier. Micras with auto gearboxes are also little gems, but they sell fast.

A fair number have covered very low mileages - perhaps just 4000 a year. However, endless short trips can wear out major parts prematurely, so don't pay extra for one, and watch that it has had annual servicing, no matter how little it was used.

For all the latest reviews, advice and new car deals, sign up to the What Car? newsletter here


What alternatives should I consider to a used Nissan Micra hatchback?