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Looks, drive, economy... all-new Nissan Micra ups its game

Fifth-generation Nissan Micra is finally a serious rival to the big guns in the supermini sector. Pictures: Nissan

Fifth-generation Nissan Micra is finally a serious rival to the big guns in the supermini sector. Pictures: Nissan

Nissan

Nissan will be hoping its new Micra takes the supermini segment by storm. Rebecca Chaplin checks out if it's got what it takes.

New Nissan Micra has a much more youthful image. Pictures: NissanNew Nissan Micra has a much more youthful image. Pictures: Nissan

What’s new?

Nissan has breathed new of life into the latest Micra, bringing it in line with the rest of its range and offering segment firsts in safety and technology.

Redesigned from the ground up, it’s far better to drive while standard safety options, improved driving aids and tech developments make it very appealing. It is also available with extras such as Apple CarPlay integration and high-quality Bose headrest speakers, which add to the attraction.

Nissan Micra dashboard has soft flowing lines and soft-tourch materials. Picture: NissanNissan Micra dashboard has soft flowing lines and soft-tourch materials. Picture: Nissan

Looks and image

This fifth-generation Micra has changed for the better – stylish, practical and much sleeker.

The target is clearly younger drivers, hence new customisation options, inside and out – all 125 of them.

Interior quality has been drastically improved – the Micra sets itself apart from rivals, with soft flowing lines across the dash, built with soft-touch materials in contrasting colours.

High-spec Nissan Micras offer speakers in the front headrests. Pictures: NissanHigh-spec Nissan Micras offer speakers in the front headrests. Pictures: Nissan

Space and practicality

A longer wheelbase means more legroom for all occupants – it’s moving away from cramped supermini to small hatchback with five doors and the 300-litre boot is one of the biggest in the supermini sector.

Space in the back is still limited, but two adults could squeeze in, and there’s more headroom than you’d expect given the sloping roofline. Doors open wide for good access.

Behind the wheel

Two turbo engines – 0.9-litre petrol and 1.5-litre diesel, both producing 90PS – are offered at launch with a 73PS 1.0-litre naturally-aspirated petrol unit coming soon. All have five-speed manual gearboxes. It’s a pretty pokey little car in both turbo petrol and diesel guises.

The centre of gravity has been lowered, which means it clings to the road better. The handling is its redeeming feature, as it corners with ease even on the tightest bends with clever kit constantly working to keep the car planted on the road.

Value for money

Entry-level Visia, estimated to start from £11,995 with the 1.0-litre engine, gets 15in steel wheels, LED daytime running lights, electric mirrors and front windows, hill-start assist, emergency braking and two-tone dashboard. Visia+ adds air conditioning and entry-level two-speaker sound system.

Mid-range Acenta, from £14,995 and predicted to be most popular with the 0.9-litre petrol engine, gains 16in wheels, cruise control, body-coloured trim and seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system. You can add the Bose PersonalSpace system for £500, which is standard on top-spec Tekna.

N-Connecta, from £15,995, adds 16in alloys, folding heated door mirrors, automatic air conditioning and satellite navigation and DAB radio. Tekna, from £17,295, also features 17in alloys, keyless ignition and rear-view camera with sensors.

Final say

The new Micra is finally a great alternative to the staples of the small hatchback market. It’s got the looks, drive and economy to become a serious rival worth considering.

SPEC AND TECH

Price: £11,995 (estimate for 1.0-litre model) to £18,645

Engine: 898cc, three-cylinder turbo petrol with five-speed manual gearbox

Performance: 0-62mph 12.1 seconds; top speed 109mph

MPG: up to 55.4 to 64.2 combined

CO2 emissions: 99 to 115g/km

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