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New Nissan Micra: entry-level petrol on sale from £11,995

Japanese supermini takes radical step forwards for 2017, and now base version hits showrooms

The 2017 Nissan Micra has been on sale for a few months, and now the third engine to join the line-up is available to order. The entry-level 71bhp 1.0-litre petrol starts from £11,995 in Visia grade, joining the 89bhp turbo petrol and 1.5-litre diesel.

Nissan has increased the base price of the Micra considerably for the new model, reflecting its new status as a full-size rival to the Volkswagen Polo, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall CorsaA boosted range of five trim levels has been confirmed by Nissan, consisting of Visia, Visia+, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna models, with the range rising to £17,435.

Standard kit on base models includes LED running lights, 15-inch steel wheels, a two-speaker sound system with Bluetooth, auto lights and wipers and safety kit such as traffic sign recognition and automatic emergency braking. You'll need Visia+ for air-con and stop/start, however.

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Acenta models come with 16-inch alloys, body colour door handles and mirrors, cruise control,and a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity. Top models add climate control, sat-nav, 17-inch alloys, keyless entry and a rear-view camera, while a Bose sound system with a driver's side headrest speaker also features. 

New 2017 Nissan Micra engines

The New Micra is now available with three engines; two three-cylinder petrols and a four-cylinder diesel. The base unit is a 71bhp 1.0-litre naturally aspirated triple, producing 95Nm of torque, taking a lengthy 16.4 seconds to get to 62mph and managing 98mph.

It claims 61.4mpg combined and emits 103g/km, but most people are expected to pay an extra £970 for the 89bhp 0.9-litre turbo. With 150Nm of torque it's much punchier, hitting 0-62 in 12 seconds, while also being more economical - managing 64.2mpg claimed and emitting 99g/km of CO2.

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The final engine choice is the 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine making 89bhp and 220Nm of torque. It manages 0-62mph in 11.9 seconds while claiming 76.3mpg and emitting 97g/km of CO2, so will be a popular choice with fleets, but starts at £14,315 in base Visia form.

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• New Nissan Micra 2016 prototype drive

Designed specifically with European buyers in mind, the new, fifth-generation Micra hatchback is tasked with righting the wrongs of the previous generation. After it was revealed at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, we went for a poke around.

The new Micra is a crucial new car for Nissan, not least because it’s the first time an all-new Micra on a fresh platform has been launched since 2003. It’s been designed to tackle the Ford Fiesta head-on, and brand CEO Carlos Ghosn says the new car will “raise expectations” of what a supermini is capable of.

“The fifth-generation Micra shows our intent to compete right at the top of Europe’s B-segment market – the largest and most competitive B-segment market in the world.”

The new Micra will replace the old model as well as the Note mini-MPV, as the larger supermini will fill both roles.

New Nissan Micra: pre-production walkaround

New Nissan Micra: bold design

As expected, the new Micra’s exterior design is heavily inspired by the 2015 Geneva Motor Show Sway concept. The distinctive new body is significantly longer, wider and lower than before, with swept-back headlamps and a new iteration of the brand’s ‘V-motion’ grille design. Striking shoulder lines stretch from the bonnet down the wings and then upwards to the back doors, while the windscreen is steeply raked. 

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• Best superminis on sale right now

At the rear a ‘floating’ roof, sharp kink between the windows and boomerang-shaped tail-lamps complete the comprehensive restyle. Neat details include hidden rear door handles, while Nissan promises a range of vivid exterior colours and a host of personalisation options allowing buyers to put their stamp on the Micra.  The bodywork is also designed with aerodynamics in mind, with a very competitive 0.29 Cd figure claimed.

Underpinning the fifth-gen Micra is the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s CMF-B platform, shared with the Renault Clio. It’s even built in the same factory as its supermini rival, in Elins, France. The next Nissan Juke will share the same platform, showing the vital relationship between the Japanese and French brands.

2017 Nissan Micra interior and technology 

Nissan is promising class-competitive cabin space with the new Micra. The previous model straddled the city car and supermini segments in terms of size, but this new one will aim to be as roomy as a Vauxhall Corsa. Nissan has also worked on introducing a lower and sportier driving position, too, with the positioning of the seat, pedals and controls set to improve driver involvement.

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Although we haven’t seen it yet, a new seven-inch central touchscreen debuts allowing control of the sat-nav and media, while smartphone connectivity comes in the now familiar form of Apple CarPlay. Options include a new Bose six-speaker sound system with a speaker built into the driver’s headrest for more immersive audio. 

The advanced safety tech on offer includes segment-first lane-departure prevention, plus autonomous braking with Pedestrian Detection - a first for Nissan in Europe. The brand’s Around View Monitor, traffic sign recognition, high beam assist and blind spot warning completes the safety package.

Nissan Micra: sharper driving experiencce 

The Micra’s chassis has been set up to offer much sharper handling than the previous iteration. Active Trace Control subtly applies the brakes to aid cornering, while Active Ride Control can tweak engine torque and brake pressure to smooth out the ride. Electric power steering has been tuned for greater response, and there’s also been a focus on reducing cabin noise. 

Just two engines will be offered in the Micra at launch. The first is a Renault-sourced 0.9-litre three-cylinder turbo petrol, while there’s also a 1.5-litre four-cylinder diesel - both produce 89bhp. A naturally-aspirated 75bhp 1.0-litre will arrive later on, while we expect more powerful variants of both turbo units to arrive later in the year. No efficiency or performance figures have been released yet, but Nissan told us on our pre-production drive that the petrol turbo will deliver an average of 53.5mpg. 

Don’t rule out the possibility of a hybrid given the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s push for alternative power, and there’s also potential for Nissan to give the Micra to its Nismo department for a spicier Micra with up to 190bhp. 

Read our full prototype drive in the new Nissan Micra here…

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