New Micra sure to gain more market presence
With striking new looks and a refreshed interior design, the new Nissan Micra not only looks completely different from the previous model but promises improved ride quality, more space and better fuel economy. Ideal for the growing inner-city demand on cars. Here is what we think of the new Micra:
With more aggressive looks and sleeker body lines, the new Micra certainly catches the eye. On first seeing the car, I remembered what the Micra use to signify during my student years (a few years ago). The previous generation had a specific target market, usually being referred to as “cute”. The new Micra can still fall under this stigma due to its size, however, it should appeal to a broader market thanks to its design.
This is exactly what Nissan wants – to gain more of the ‘Upper B hatchback’ segment which currently represents 15% of the whole passenger vehicle market.
With an overall length of 3,999mm, Micra has a shortened bonnet section and an improved ‘sculpted’ design. Most striking are the front headlamps, which now feature a narrow design stretching along the front of the car. LED daytime running lights are standard on every model. Completing the front design is Nissan’s new “V-motion” grille, adding to the more aggressive look.
The B- and C pillars have been made black to follow the new “floating” roof trend seen on many new cars. A sporty roof spoiler has also been added to improve aerodynamics.
Inside, the car also has a new refreshed design, with more headroom for taller occupants (up to 2.03 metres). Thanks to a lowered seating position.
Luggage room stands at a very competitive 300 litres, or 1,004L when the rear seats are folded down.
The model range
There are three models in the Micra line-up. The Visia will come standard with 15-inch steel wheels, daytime running lights, front power windows, manual aircon, Bluetooth, MP3, cruise control, automatic headlights, Isofix points (also on the front passenger seat), vehicle dynamic control, Anti-lock braking, electronic brake force distribution, hill start assist and six airbags. All models include a new central driver-assist display between the main dials.
This is very good, considering that the Visia costs just over R230,000.
Next in line is the Acenta which adds 16-inch alloy wheels and front fog lights to the Visia specifications.
Acenta Plus is the priciest but best-equipped Micra in the line-up. It adds 17-inch alloys, a leather steering wheel and an ‘Energy Orange’ interior to the Acenta specifications.
Both the Acenta and Acenta Plus also include a seven-inch infotainment screen, which does music, messages, maps as well as Apple CarPlay.
How is it to drive?
With a 66kW and 140Nm turbocharged petrol engine (0.9 litre), the new Micra has good power delivery in the city and on the open road. Combine this with a best-in-class drag coefficient (0.3cd) and the new Micra also sympathises with our current petrol price spike.
With wind noise being the bare minimum inside the cabin, unfortunately road noise finds its way into the cabin at high speeds. That said, Micra wasn’t built to take on the highway in excess of 120km/h and this isn’t a real issue for daily commuters.
So how much will I pay?
The new Micra will be sold with an excellent six-year / 150,000km warranty, a three-year / 90,000km service plan, and 24/7 roadside assistance.
Micra Visia retails at R233,500, while Acenta is R257,400, with Acenta Plus keeping the range well below the 300 mark at R272,400.
Considering all its new upgrades and the overall package, we have to say that the new Micra definitely stands out as a small-passenger car. Combine this with a very good service and warranty plan, as well as competitive pricing, and the new Micra is definitely not a car to pass!
Text: Franco Theron
Pictures: Galimoto Media / Nissan South Africa