Nissan Micra C+C car review
Friday 23 September 2005
Ten Point Test
Auto Trader Ten Point Test rating: 77%
The small hatchback derived convertible market is big news, and most of the major players have some sort of drop-top based on one of their superminis.
Critics say they’re often style over substance; eschewing driver enjoyment for posing and air-in-the-hair thrills, but they still sell in their thousands across the country.
The Nissan Micra C+C is among the best of the bunch, with four seats, a decent boot and aimed unashamedly at the female market.
1. Looks 8/10
With the roof down, the Nissan Micra C+C is one of the best looking coupe-cabriolets available. It manages to hide the bulk that comes of having to electrically stow a folding hardtop in the boot. It manages this by utilising a crease along the sides – which also appears on the Nissan Micra hatchback – to make it look more squat than it actually is. The front will be familiar to the legion of Micra hatchback owners. With the roof up, it looks slightly more awkward, with an unusually long boot.
2. Looks inside 7/10
Rather than having a folding metal roof, the Micra C+C’s centre section is glass, which makes the car feel bright and airy whether the roof is on or not. Like most other coupe-convertibles, the interior is largely carried over from the hatchback version, which means a well laid out dashboard, and solid feeling switches.
3. Practicality 10/10
The Micra C+C offers a huge amount of practicality against with its contemporaries. The boot measures a huge 457 litres with the roof up and a useful 255 litres when the roof is stowed. By comparison a Mini hatchback offers just 160 litres, and even the Mini Clubman estate can only manage 260 litres. The roof folds at the touch of a button in 22 seconds, and is free from fiddly catches to undo first. There’s about as much space in the front as there is in the standard hatchback, although the rear seats are best suited for childseats (there are ISOFIX mountings installed) because legroom is minimal. Forward visibility is good too, thanks to relatively thin windscreen pillars; the C+C has rear rollover hoops to help in a crash.
4. Ride and Handling 7/10
More a low to mid-speed cruiser than anything else, the Micra C+C’s composure depends almost entirely whether the roof is up or down. With the roof in place, the car feels taut, enjoyable to drive at a moderate pace. Stow the roof, and the feeling of rigidity is lost, with some creaks from interior trim, and some obvious flex from the chassis.
5. Performance 7/10
Two petrol engines are available; a 1.4 and 1.6, the latter with a choice of four-speed automatic or five-speed manual gearboxes. The manual-only 1.4-litre petrol engine offers 87bhp, which is good for a 12.8 second 0-62mph dash and a 108mph top speed. The 108bhp 1.6 we tested can cover the 0-62mph marker in 10.6 seconds (12.2 for the auto), before hitting 118mph (111mph for the auto). The 1.6 we tested feels plenty powerful enough to hustle the C+C, although the 1.4 is likely to feel a little underpowered, particularly if fully laden.
6. Running Costs 8/10
The Nissan Micra C+C should be fairly close to the hatchback when it comes to cost of ownership. Fuel consumption will be slightly higher due to the C+C’s extra weight. The 1.4 will return an average of 42.8mpg, while the 1.6 will cover 42.2mpg. Specify the automatic gearbox, and this figure drops to 38.2mpg. Insurance should be affordable too. Only the lack of a lower emissions unit (such as the Peugeot 207 CC HDI) lets it down. Emissions here range from 158 to 178g/km, which has road and company car tax implications.
7. Reliability 8/10
Built in Nissan’s factory in Sunderland, the Micra C+C feels well put together. Its worth highlighting that electrically folding roofs can be prone to developing faults, although the Micra appears to fare better than most.
8. Safety 7/10
The Micra C+C hasn’t been put through the EuroNCAP crash test programme, but the standard car scored four stars. ABS, electronic brakeforce distribution and brake assist, whiplash-reducing active front headrests and a passenger airbag cut-off switch are standard across the range. The Acenta, Tekna and Active Luxury models add ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) for manual cars.
9. Equipment 8/10
All models in the range come with a decent level of equipment. The entry-level Visia features keyless entry, electric door mirrors, CD/radio with MP3 and Bluetooth integration, speed limit warning, trip computer, lockable storage under the passenger seat, electric windows and 15-inch alloys. The Acenta adds air-con, rear park sensors, sporty interior trim and 16-inch alloys, while the Tekna we tested is available with heated front seats, climate control, 6CD changer and half leather seats with suede-trimmed doors. The Active Luxury model also receives leather and alcantara sports seats, metallic paint and lots of chrome and leather trimmings.
10. X-Factor 7/10
The Micra C+C injects some style and character into the worthy Micra range. It has many things to recommend it, but its just not as chic as the Peugeot 207 CC.
Model tested: Nissan Micra C+C Tekna manual
On the road price: £15,400
Price range: £13,550 – £16,645
Road tester: Stuart Milne