Nissan Micra review - Engines, performance and drive
Latest Micra is better to drive than ever, although it’s not best in class
It was never known as a car that you'd want to drive for the hell of it, and the latest Nissan Micra still isn't the most fun supermini to drive, but it's certainly an improvement. It handles sweetly enough, and all cars get the Active Ride and Active Trace Control electronic systems from the larger Qashqai. The former applies the brakes over bumps to keep the body tied down, while the latter brakes an inside wheel in corners to help stick to your chosen line.
The ride is a little fidgety, with a firm edge even on smaller wheels, but it’s refined at speed. However, next to the precision of a VW Polo and the comfort of a Citroen C3, the Micra simply lacks sparkle.
The steering has just about enough weight to it, but doesn’t have much feel. While the five-speed manual has an imprecise nature when compared to rivals.
Nissan has addressed the Micra's relative lack of power by introducing a new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit, available with 99bhp or 115bhp.
The naturally aspirated 1.0-litre three-cylinder unit and the 1.5-litre diesel are no longer available. Instead, the Micra range now includes just the 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder motor. The base 99bhp version addresses the lack of power of the naturally aspirated Micra and finally equips the car with a decent mid-range turbocharged three-cylinder alternative - naturally what you'd expect in this class. It's a decent all-rounder too, in regards to refinement and power.
The 115bhp variant of this engine makes for the best driving Micra as it is allied to revisions that unlock a shade of extra poise from the supermini. The suspension is 10mm lower, and the steering has also been upgraded to offer some much needed dynamism. However, it's still not as smooth riding as the Volkswagen Polo and not as fun to drive as the Ford Fiesta. The sprint from 0-62mph takes 9.9 seconds, with Nissan claiming ‘warm hatch’ status. But, in reality there are much faster versions of rival superminis.
In this review
- 1VerdictNew turbocharged engines give the stylish and safety-conscious Micra a much needed boost
- 2Engines, performance and drive - currently readingLatest Micra is better to drive than ever, although it’s not best in class
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsMicra boasts respectable fuel economy and should be cheap to insure
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Micra’s up-to-date cabin matches the smart exterior look, with plenty of customisation options
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Micra features a practical boot, designed for the most common uses
- 6Reliability and SafetyImpressive standard safety kit is a big plus for the Micra