Nissan Micra

No, I haven't enrolled on a car mechanic's course, nor have I started bringing my tools into work. What you see in the picture is me with my 'Nissan Micra Survival Pack'! Maybe I'm being harsh, but since I got the keys to our long-term Micra at Christmas, I've been in and out of dealers more times than I care to remember.

  • Styling, refinement at high speeds, stereo, easy to drive, accurate reversing sensors, cabin practicality
  • Poor parts back-up, lack of reach adjustment on the steering wheel
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No, I haven't enrolled on a car mechanic's course, nor have I started bringing my tools into work. What you see in the picture is me with my 'Nissan Micra Survival Pack'! Maybe I'm being harsh, but since I got the keys to our long-term Micra at Christmas, I've been in and out of dealers more times than I care to remember.
The first problem came to light when the Nissan was used on an economy run. Our road testers reported a wobble from the steering, which rapidly got worse, with the car pulling to the left under braking and to the right when building up speed.
We took the Micra to Ancaster Nissan in Penge, Kent, but staff there were unable to find a fault. When the wobble got worse, dealer Dan Perkins in Ruislip, Greater London, had a look - and did a much better job. A technician drove the car, and said it was like a wayward shopping trolley!
A loose steering column bolt was to blame, and this was fixed immediately. But further investigation showed the Micra also had a leaking oil seal - and the replacement part needed to be ordered in. As the car was fine to drive, I carried on as normal - but by the time Dan Perkins called to say the new seal had arrived, something else had gone wrong!
I'd noticed a rattle from the engine bay, and the dealer found that a bracket had broken under the bonnet. So while the oil seal is fixed, I'm now looking at another four-week wait for a new bracket.
Fortunately, I can drown out the irritating rattle with the excellent stereo. The steering wheel controls are in exactly the right place for me to turn up the volume with a flick of my thumb. And despite the faults, there's a lot I like about the Micra. On frequent visits to see my parents on the south coast, it's proved very economical - an average of more than 40mpg around town is good enough, but 50mpg-plus is common on longer runs. For a small car, it's also very comfortable on such trips.
And size does matter - living and working in a big city means the Micra's dinky dimensions are ideal. The reverse parking sensor is superb and the steering nimble, while the big boot is another plus.
This SX also has keyless entry and ignition, which is great. But opening the doors without a key has taken some getting used to, and while Nissan provides a cubby next to the ignition in which to store the keys, they rattle about too much in there. So I'm having to remember to leave them in my pocket.

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