Nissan Micra DIG-S
Supercharged engine is a welcome addition to the Nissan Micra line-up
The economy and emissions figures are hard to ignore, but the Micra fails to deliver much else. The styling is nondescript, and the interior has regressed from the car it replaced. It’s a shame, as the DIG-S engine delivers enthusiastic performance. That it does so while being more economical than the non-supercharged unit is impressive, although it needs to find another bonnet to nestle under to really shine.
You don’t need a diesel for great economy – that’s the bold claim Nissan is making with its new Micra DIG-S Pure Drive.
It’s powered by a new 97bhp 1.2-litre supercharged three-cylinder petrol unit which employs a more efficient engine cycle at low revs, while direct injection, stop-start and low-friction surfaces also feature. The result is fuel consumption of 68.9mpg and 95g/km CO2 emissions.
Video: watch CarBuyer's video review of the Nissan Micra
The engine delivers the usual off-beat percussive note of a three-cylinder unit, and even with the supercharger it needs lots of revs to produce its best. It’s clearly tuned for economy – a 0-60mph time of 11.3 seconds underlines this.
At low revs, the supercharger disconnects to preserve as much fuel as possible – likewise the stop-start system is quick to shut the 1.2-litre unit down at will.
On the move, the five-speed gearbox whines as the speed rises, and there’s no incentive to drive it with any enthusiasm. This is transport at its most basic level. That’s further emphasised by an interior devoid of any style or flair and lacking the quality of even its cheapest rivals.
The quest for economy has helped the Micra visually though, with its lengthened roof spoiler and new grille. Engine aside, the Nissan remains an unremarkable supermini in a class where excellence is becoming the norm.