Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra C+C is an excellent supermini convertible, with a neat electric glass roof plus comfortable ride

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

Unless you really need an automatic gearbox, we’d advise against the self-shifting Micra C+C. It’s sluggish, drinks fuel and costs a hefty £900 more than the regular manual version. This aside, the Micra C+C is an excellent supermini convertible, with a neat electric glass roof – which makes the cabin very airy, even though it does rob some headroom – plus a comfortable ride and decent boot space.

Like strawberries and cream or trips to the seaside, some things really are best enjoyed during the summer. Take convertibles with automatic gearboxes, for example. When you’re soaking up the sun, why expend any more energy than you have to?

With a unique-for-the-class electric folding glass roof, Nissan’s Micra C+C is one of the coolest coupé-cabriolets around. We’ve already driven the manual version, but is the automatic model another summer hit? Auto Express went for a cruise to find out.

Although Nissan offers two engine choices – 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol units – the four-speed auto is only available with the latter for an additional £900. Delivering 108bhp and 153Nm of torque, the 1.6-litre four-cylinder motor is identical to the unit found in the sporty 160SR hatch.

However, our test car couldn’t quite muster the SR’s snappy performance. The auto is slow to respond, magnifying the extra 130kg of body strength- ening which the C+C has to lug around over the Micra hatchback.

As a result, the sprint from 0-62mph takes 12.2 seconds – which is two sec­onds slower than the manual version, and the same as the 87bhp 1.4-litre model. On the move, the reluctance of the transmission to kickdown means sudden demands for acceleration, such as when overtaking, are jerky and cause the engine to rev harshly. Top speed falls 8mph to 111mph, and there are penalties to be paid at the pumps, with combined fuel economy dropping by 4mpg to 38.2mpg.

However, if you’re not in a rush, the auto transmission is fine. Gearchanges are smooth on a light throttle, and the 1.6-litre engine is quiet when not under any strain. What’s more, thanks to the extra chassis strengthening, the C+C doesn’t flex like its rivals and rides very smoothly indeed. The pay-off for this comfort is a lot of body roll in corners. Combine this with the vague steering, and it means the C+C is no driver’s car – but it’s a good cruiser.

Build quality is another strength. The folding glass roof is brilliantly designed and looks classy, while the interior finish – particularly our test car’s neat ice blue trim – and standard equipment are impressive. So is boot capacity, thanks to 116mm of extra body length over the hatchback. The car has a class-leading 255 litres with the top down or 457 litres with it in place.

You can’t say the same about passenger space. The rear seats are only useful for bags, and with the roof up, headroom can be limited for tall drivers.

Overall, the Micra C+C is a great supermini drop-top, but we’re not sure about the benefits of the auto box.

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