What's the used Nissan Micra hatchback like?
Efficient and easy to drive: that’s how you would describe the Nissan Micra in its previous incarnations. Now, however, it has been stuffed with safety tech, the interior design and quality have been improved and there’s a wider choice of engines to tempt buyers out of more established small cars rivals.
There are two petrol engines and one diesel on offer in the Micra. Base cars get a 1.0-litre petrol but you can also have a smaller (and more powerful) 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol for a bit more performance on faster roads. If you want to maximise fuel economy, then there’s a 1.5-litre diesel that's rather refined for a small car.
Visia spec is a bit mean, but Visia+ adds air con to make things a bit more pleasant. Mid-spec Acenta gets a much better list of standard equipment including alloy wheels, cruise control and a 7.0in touchscreen infotainment system. It’s worth noting though that while Acenta cars and above have Apple CarPlay smartphone connectivity, they don't have Android Auto, which can be found in some of its rivals.
Much more impressive is the list of standard safety tech that includes lane departure warning, autonomous emergency braking and hill start assist, which all adds an additional layer of safety to the Micra.
To drive, the Micra is an easy car to drive with light steering, a smooth clutch and a progressive brake pedal. The ride isn’t great at dealing with short, sharp shocks – such as potholes – when trundling around at town speeds and it can transmit a little too much of the low-frequency vibrations caused by broken road surfaces into the interior. However, when you get up to motorway speeds, the ride settles down and the car feels very stable and planted. Road noise is well contained but you can hear some wind noise being kicked up by the large door mirrors, though.
Inside is a driving position that includes a multi-adjustable steering wheel and driver's seat. The dashboard impresses, too, with large, clear dials and well-labelled switches that are logically arranged. If you want an arm rest, though, you’ll have to choose N-Sport trim.
The steeply angled windscreen pillars can obscure your view at angled junctions, but don’t cause any problems most of the time. However, rear visibility tends to frustrate. With thick rear pillars and shallow rear screen, it’s just as well you can have rear parking sensors and a reversing camera on some models. However, they’re only standard on N-Sport and range-topping Tekna models, being optional with popular mid-spec Acenta trim.
Up front, the Micra is impressively roomy. If you regularly carry more than one adult passenger, you might need to cross the Micra off your list. Compared with the Skoda Fabia, leg room is tight and head room is downright poor, even for those of average height. The Micra’s boot is a decent shape and usefully wide, so it’s capable of taking a fold-up buggy or a big weekly shop.
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