Nissan Micra vs Skoda Fabia

Nissan has joined the road tax-exempt supermini club with its new supercharged petrol Micra. Can it win more votes than Skoda’s turbocharged Fabia?

Nissan Micra vs Skoda Fabia
The Nissan Micra is ready to reveal its green streak. By dropping a hi-tech supercharged powerplant under the bonnet of its supermini, the Japanese firm has created a machine that promises to blend diesel-engined eco-friendliness and economy with petrol car pace and refinement.
On paper, the newcomer certainly has what it takes to succeed. The 1.2-litre three-cylinder offers an attractive mix of performance and low running costs, thanks to an output of 97bhp, claimed fuel returns of 65.7mpg and emissions of 99g/km.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Nissan Micra
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We test the Micra in range-topping Tekna trim, which will set you back £13,650.Going up against the Nissan is the Skoda Fabia. The entry-level model also packs a hi-tech punch, but in this case there’s a turbocharger under the bonnet, rather than a supercharger.
As with the Micra, Skoda’s gutsy 1.2-litre turbo petrol engine promises big performance and small fuel bills. The model in our pictures is equipped with the slick-shifting DSG semi-auto gearbox, but our test car was a £13,715 Elegance with a five-speed manual transmission.
Elsewhere, the recently facelifted Fabia scores with a spacious and practical cabin, solid build and composed driving dynamics. So, will the supercharged Micra race to a well earned victory, or will it be blown away by its turbocharged rival?

Verdict

Has the latest Micra done enough to redeem itself? Well, there’s no denying its eco-friendly appeal. Emissions of less than 100g/km from a non-diesel engine are very impressive, and its stop-start system is smooth and efficient. On top of that, the Nissan is a well equipped, spacious and nimble inner-city companion.
Sadly, the new engine can’t make up for the Micra’s fundamental flaws. Ungainly looks, a low-rent cabin and lacklustre driving dynamics consign it to second place here.
In the final reckoning, the Skoda’s margin of victory is healthy. It lacks the sparkle of some cars in this sector, but the solidly built, practical and classy interior makes it feel several cuts above the Nissan. Factor in its lively pace, superior fuel economy and composed chassis, and it’s a well deserved win for the Fabia.
1. Skoda Fabia
Look past the Skoda’s staid appearance, and you’ll find an incredibly talented supermini. Its robust cabin is one of the most practical in the business, while the 1.2-litre engine delivers decent performance. Adding to its appeal are award-winning dealers that promise to provide a hugely satisfying ownership experience.
2. Nissan Micra 
If you want to keep your motoring bills to a minimum, the Micra is worth a look. Its engine serves up incredibly low CO2 emissions and a miserly thirst for fuel. It’s also well equipped as standard. However, in every other respect, the newcomer is way off the supermini pace. 

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