Nissan Micra 1.5 DCI SX LT

I am starting to feel sorry for my Nissan Micra. If you've read any of the previous long-term reports on the supermini, you'll know that it's been giving me a lot of trouble. But the latest hiccup was hardly the car's fault.

  • Cute looks, five doors handy for ferrying children, high-speed refinement
  • Reliability issues, lack of reach adjustment on
    steering wheel, boot too small for trips to DIY store
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I am starting to feel sorry for my Nissan Micra. If you've read any of the previous long-term reports on the supermini, you'll know that it's been giving me a lot of trouble. But the latest hiccup was hardly the car's fault.
New Auto Express staff member Marc Mustard was driving the Micra on his first assignment out of the office when he received a rude introduction to London traffic. Caught in stop-start congestion on Euston Road, Marc had to brake suddenly to avoid getting stuck across one of the numerous box junctions along the route. Regrettably, a motorcycle courier behind him didn't follow suit and ploughed into the back of the Micra.
While everyone else was doing 10mph, the courier had been ducking and weaving through the traffic at about 30mph - unfortunately he ducked when he should have weaved! Marc took a note of the motorcyclist's phone number, but our calls to find out his insurance details were not returned. We can only assume the courier was
not insured and so we've been lumbered with a £250 excess while our insurance company has had to pay out £312.98 for the cost of the repairs.
Mind you, that includes a new rear bumper. The insurance company booked the car into S and J Motors in Hammersmith, and it only took a couple of days for the work to be done (top picture).
So now I've got the car back I hope that's the end of its trouble. The Micra has proved a practical vehicle recently, as my sister came down with her two children to visit, and we managed to fit them on to the back seat. Having five doors made access easy, too. However, while the boot was fine to hold all their paraphernalia, I've found it's not big enough to carry around the materials needed for a recent frenzied bout of home improvements.
The tailgate has been a source of concern recently, as it has unfastened itself a couple of times while I've been driving. If it happens again, I'll have to arrange another trip to the dealer. Still, I like the economical diesel engine which means few fuel stops, and the keyless entry system is great when I've got my arms full of shopping for DIY projects.
There's no doubt that the Micra has had its fair share of problems - a surprise given the reputation Japanese cars have for reliability. Hopefully there won't be any more and I can start to enjoy driving it. Eileen Pegden
Second Opinion
Despite an eventful first encounter with the Micra, I was impressed with the supermini. The 1.5-litre dCi unit sounds noisy towards the top of its rev range, but there's enough torque to keep pace with motorway traffic. The gearchange can be ponderous and some cabin plastics feel cheap, but the Nissan is a decent package. Marc Mustard, staff writer

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