The Micra is back on form with sharp looks and lots of kit
- 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 – those sharp looks now give cars such as the SEAT Ibiza something to think about.
The good news is that Nissan’s largely succeeded. The newcomer is light years ahead of its predecessor in every department.
A very modern supermini
On first inspection, the Micra is a rakish-looking supermini with compact dimensions, however it’s worth noting that it has replaced the Note mini-MPV too. Line it up against the old Micra and you realise how significantly larger it is than its predecessor.
It needs to appeal to Honda Jazz buyers as well as more youthful buyers of superminis, which goes some way to explaining why it’s only available in practical five-door form.
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 might struggle to be comfortable on longer journeys.
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 Parkers Verdict
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.
Read the full Parkers Nissan Micra review to find out more