The Micra is back on form: it’s finally a supermini we can recommend again
- Edgy design inside and out
- A decent drive
- Competitively low emissions
- Sense of fun, modernity
- Cramped rear headroom
- Poor over-shoulder visibility
- Quality not up there with Polo
The Nissan Micra has become a familiar name plate since launching in Europe in 1983, marking out the Japanese company’s small supermini hatchback for five generations.
Latterly, it’s lived in their shadow and the latest version, launched in March 2017, aims to close the gap for driving quality, style and interior comfort.
The good news is that Nissan’s largely succeeded. The newcomer is light years ahead of its moribund predecessor in every department, as our Nissan Micra review demonstrates.
A very modern supermini
It’s worth noting that the Micra is replacing the Note mini-MPV too, which may help explain its ‘monobox’ silhouette, which apes that of a small people carrier (and the Honda Jazz, it must be said). This is a good-looking car, with a rakish roofline and significantly larger dimensions than its predecessor.
This means that room in the front is plentiful and two tall adults will be very comfortable in the first-row seats; however, that sloping roofline cramps rear headroom somewhat. It’s fine for children, but grown-ups may struggle to be comfortable on longer journeys.
The Micra has five doors only and will not be sold as a three-door.
As well as a modern, on-trend wardrobe, the latest Nissan Micra has made giant strides in the driving department. Where its Indian-built predecessor was designed as a cheap and cheerful global car, this one’s been engineered for European tastes.
Although a development of the previous fourth-generation model’s, the oily bits underneath now deliver. It’s an accomplished small car to drive, with high comfort levels (especially on the smaller wheels), decent performance and a fun joie de vivre that means you’ll enjoy driving the Micra around town or on longer journeys.
Choose from a pair of three-cylinder petrol engines – a 0.9 turbo or 1.0-litre – and a 1.5-litre diesel four-cylinder. The latter is unlikely to be a big-seller in the UK, since diesel engines carry an inevitable cost premium that’s hard to stomach at this low supermini price point.
The Nissan Micra has come of age: it’s a small car we’d heartily recommend and should provide stylish, no-nonsense fun for those wanting a city runabout or versatile small car.