Cars keep getting better, and small cars are becoming so good and so well equipped that they make great sense unless you need big space.
Years ago when it came to road testing a really small car I can honestly say I did not relish the thought of a week behind the wheel of a light, tinny little car with poor noise insulation, little standard spec and who’s only saving grace was it fitted in small parking spaces.
Today’s small cars are so very different. Quite the opposite in fact to my description above. They are of course compact, but usually very well equipped often in line with their larger more expensive counterparts, they drive well, have all the latest safety features and are as happy on the motorway as in town.
For years Nissan’s Micra fell into my first description of a small car, but the all new Micra is truly a revelation and a revolution!
There engines, a 0.9 litre petrol turbo, 1.0 litre petrol, and a 1.5 litre turbo diesel, with 4 trim grades, XE, SV, SV Premium, and SVE.
Prices start at €16,650 rising to €22,650
So has it got street cred?
Absolutely! Forget any pre conceived ideas of what you expect a Micra to look like. This new Nissan breaks new ground with dashing good looks, a very distinctive and attractive body style and a host of personalisation options.
So what’s it like inside?
First of all it all feels of excellent quality even in the base model. My test car was the highest grade SVE which had a two tone colour interior which along with a huge specification list, looked superb.
All models get, LED daytime lights, tyre pressure monitoring, auto lights, air conditioning, power front windows, space saver spare wheel, ESP, ABS, BA, and Hill Start Assist. The SVE model adds such goodies as, High Beam Assist, BOSE audio parking camera, Nissan Connect, Apple car play, Cruise Control, 17 inch alloys, privacy glass and much more.
The centrally mounted touch screen is intuitive and easy to use, the fit and finish is beyond reproach and it al looks very good. I particularly liked the BOSE Personal which has two speakers mounted in the drivers head restraint.
There is a decent amount of room though the rear is tight for taller adults. The 300 litre boot is great and hosts a space saver, a must for Ireland!
What’s under the bonnet?
The 1.0 litre petrol engine is mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox and produces plenty of get up and go. I like the unique sound of the 3 cylinder power plant, it performs well whether on the motorway or zipping around town. its fuel efficient burning just 5.9 litres per 100km over my road test period and costs just €190 per year to tax.
Will I enjoy driving it?
I never thought I would say this about a car that carries the Micra name, but yes you will.
The new Micra rides and handles very well indeed. There is plenty of grip whether on wet or dry roads and a host of safety features should you overcook it.
So What is the Verdict?
There is no question about it Nissan have cracked it with this new Micra. The car looks fantastic, its dynamic and stylish and bang up to date. The interior is excellent, comfortable and well appointed while also boasting some unique features in the higher grade models. There are over 65 interior and exterior personalisation options which allow buyers create their own unique look both inside and out, and if that was not enough the 1.0 litre engines are great providing economy with decent pace.