New Nissan Micra Hatchback

From £11,995

Gearbox

Manual

Seats

Doors

5

Boot size

The Auto Trader verdict
★★★★★
★★★★★
3.8
Although Nissan is at pains to point out the latest Micra was designed in-house, you don’t have to look too hard to spot a subtle touch of Gallic flair. As well as sharing stylistic influences, the Micra also uses many of the same mechanical components found in alliance partner Renault’s Clio models. We’re not averse to this spot of plagiarism: the Micra has swish looks, smacks of quality inside and out, is well specified, and is pleasingly light and easy to drive. If you’re in the market for one of the better all-round superminis, and masses of space isn’t a priority, the Micra is certainly worth a look.

Pros

  • Light and easy to drive
  • Impressive list of standard safety kit
  • Oodles of customising options

Cons

  • Three-cylinder petrol engine could be smoother
  • Styling limits rear head- and leg-room
  • That same styling impacts on rear visibility

Full review

By Pete Tullin   Tuesday 24 January 2017
2017 Nissan Micra

Exterior
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Compared to the Noddy Car looks of previous Micras, the latest car is an absolute showstopper. Along with a sweeping roof line, a heavily stylised delta-wing grille, and a
prominent character line running from front to rear, the Micra looks every inch the 21st century supermini. The Micra comes on 15- or 16-inch wheels as standard, and there’s also a range of bigger 17-inch optional wheels to enhance the styling, but we’d suggest a test drive first, as these are sure to have an impact on ride comfort. Nissan is also keen to push the personalisation theme with the new Micra, offering a host of colour combinations, contrasting bumper inserts and stickers, both inside and out.

Interior
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

It’s difficult not to be impressed by the Micra’s imaginatively styled dashboard, with its surprisingly convincing faux leather, colour-coded panels, pleasingly weighted controls and neatly proportioned sports steering wheel. Whether you do a lot of miles or not, your driving position is crucial, and this is something Nissan does particularly well. The top-end seats we’ve experienced in test cars are impressively supportive, and there’s plenty of two-way steering wheel adjustment, so most folk will have relatively little bother finding a comfortable driving position. The pedals are just a smidgen off-set, but overall, it’s a very comfortable layout and there’s loads of space to rest your left foot; much more than you get in a Ford Fiesta.

Practicality
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Getting your youngsters in and out of the back of the Micra is something you’ll need to supervise, as the hidden door handles – so beloved of designers but not ergonomists – are sited too high for small children to reach. Once in the back, head-room is compromised by the Micra’s sloping roofline, and rear leg-room – as with almost every supermini, with perhaps the exception of the rather boxy Skoda Fabia – is on the snug side. That said, if you only use the rear seats to fling your shopping on, or to accommodate a child seat, you’ll have few complaints. At 300 litres, the boot is not exactly enormous, but that’s still 10-litres more than you get in a Fiesta. All Micras come with a simple fixed rear seat base and a backrest that splits and folds 60/40; although, as is the case with almost every rival, dropping the backrest leaves a big step up from the boot floor.

Ride and handling
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Micra is a breeze to drive thanks to its easy steering efforts and lightly weighted clutch and gearshift. They may lack the ultimate precision of those found in a Ford Fiesta, but it’s a testament to Nissan’s engineers that they are way better than the rather rubbery components found in the Renault Clio. The suspension probably straddles the divide between a Fiesta and a Volkswagen Polo. It’s not quite as tied down as the Ford but has a degree of vertical body control that’s missing in the VW when you start pushing on a bit. The ride does feel a wee bit jittery at low speeds, but there’s a good chance this compromised position could prove to be a pretty decent compromise on our beat up UK roads. Obviously, we’ll need to drive the car here to confirm this. The same can probably be said about the Micra’s ability to blot out noise, vibration and harshness, but initial impressions are encouraging. Certainly, while engine and road noise are extremely well isolated, the suspension is impressively quiet when encountering lumps and bumps.

Performance
★★★★★
★★★★★
3/5

Like every three-cylinder petrol engine, the motor in the Micra is a Marmite affair. Chances are you’ll either love or hate the thrummy offbeat noise it generates on start-up and under acceleration. Initially, it feels very sluggish, but much of this is down to the immense amount of travel in the throttle pedal before the engine begins to pick up speed. Things aren’t that encouraging once the revs are established either, as the turbo tends to spin out, surging power almost at will. Consequently, even when you just want to motor along at a leisurely cruise, you find yourself on-and-off the gas pedal like a church organist. The 1.5-litre diesel generates an almost identical amount of power as its petrol brethren, but it produces a good deal more low end torque, so it’s generally a stronger, more flexible performer.

Running costs
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Micra has always been an easy car to own, that’s cheap to buy and run, and the latest model will no doubt follow this trend. Although the range starts with a budget 1.0-litre car, these are likely to remain the preserve of hire car companies and those on a restrictive budget. Nissan reckons the best seller will be the turbocharged three-cylinder 0.9-litre model. It offers decent – rather than sensational – economy, returning up to 61.4mpg on the official combine cycle, while emitting 104g/km CO2. Those wanting the ultimate in economy may wish to go for the 1.5-litre diesel, which promises 88.3mpg while producing only 85g/km of CO2, but it’s a good deal more expensive to buy than the petrol car, so you’ll really need to be banging in the miles to justify the additional purchase price.

Reliability
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Nissan has an impressive record when it comes to building solid, reliable vehicles, and the company currently enjoys a reasonably high standing in Warranty Direct’s league table of manufacturers. Although the Micra comes with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, this is made to look quite stingy compared to the seven-year/100,000-mile warranty offered by Kia on its Picanto and Rio models, while Toyota offers a five-year/100,000-mile warranty on its Yaris supermini.

Safety
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

Although the new Nissan Micra has yet to be crash-tested by Euro NCAP, we’d be very surprised if it didn’t achieve a full five-star safety rating, based on the amount of safety technology fitted as standard to all models. Driver, passenger, side and curtain airbags are standard, as is tyre pressure monitoring, hill start assist, and high beam assist. On top of this, lane-keeping assistance (which helps steer you back in your lane should you be distracted and drift out of it), as well as autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection (which will automatically bring the Micra to a stop if it detects a likely collision with another vehicle or a pedestrian), are all part and parcel of the Micra’s make-up.

Equipment
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The equipment in base model cars is pretty spartan and you’ll have to go for at least a Visa+ model to get air-conditioning. If it were our money though, we’d be drawn to an Acenta car, which comes with intelligent cruise control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a seven-inch colour screen in the centre of the dashboard, which displays the sat nav and offers Bluetooth connection and support for Apple CarPlay, as well as providing support for your phone’s apps. Nissan is also keen to push the personalisation theme with the new Micra, offering lots of colour combinations, and contrasting bumper inserts and stickers, both inside and out. If you fancy a bells and whistles top end Tekna model, you can even specify some natty sports seats that come complete with Bose speakers built into the front headrests.

Why buy?
★★★★★
★★★★★
4/5

The Micra’s new found desirability will no doubt ensure it sells well, and with Nissan’s excellent reputation for building solid, reliable cars, it should prove to be a safe buy and residual values should remain strong. While the interior is spacious enough, if a little tight in the rear, the cabin is modern, attractive, and most of the materials used in its construction feel high quality. The driving experience, although not as engaging as a Ford Fiesta, can best be described as ‘easy to get on with’. Although the low speed ride is a little on the firm side, all the controls are appropriately weighted, there’s plenty of grip, and the handling is reassuringly predictable.

Our recommendations

From the range of the new Nissan Micra, these are the ones we suggest you look at

Pick of the range
I-GT Acenta
Plenty of standard kit and best value for money powertrain.
Most economical
dCI 90 Visia
Excellent economy, but poorly equipped and far pricier than a petrol car.
Best avoided
dCI 90 Tekna
Loads of kit and looks fantastic, but also looks very pricey.
Choose your Nissan Micra

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