In-depth reviews

Nissan Micra review - Engines, performance and drive

Nissan has ensured the latest Micra is better to drive than ever, although it’s still not the 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 addressed the Micra's relative lack of power by introducing a new 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder unit. It was initially available with 99bhp or 115bhp, but now comes solely as a 91bhp version.

Engines, 0-60 acceleration and top speed 

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 99bhp version is no longer offered, although it's a decent all-rounder in regards to refinement and power, while the 115bhp version is also off the price list. It 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.

With 91bhp and 160Nm of torque, the current IG-T five-speed model manages 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds, with the CVT automatic version needing an extra 1.2 seconds to cover the same sprint.

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