When you think of hot hatches, the Ford Fiesta, and Volkswagen Golf immediately spring to mind. The Nissan Micra doesn't.
Of course, if you turn the heater up in one you'd technically have a 'hot' hatch, but a performance Micra has never really been a thing that Nissan has offered, nor has it ever been something the world has asked for.
Now Nissan has turned up the temperature of its latest supermarket run special with the new N-Sport model. Admittedly it's less hot hatch and more 'tepid' hatch, with a new 115 bhp 1.0-litre DIG-T 117 engine.
The power unit is the flagship of the Micra range, and is an all-new engine that has been co-developed by the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance and Daimler, alongside the 1.3-litre petrol engine recently launched in the Nissan Qashqai crossover SUV.
As well as the new engine the car adds a number of cosmetic enhancements, including a carbon-style finish on the alloy wheels and door mirror caps; gloss black finish on side mouldings and front and rear bumpers; N-Sport badging; and rear privacy glass.
On the interior there's alcantara seats with leather-style parts; a rear view camera with parking sensors; iKey (remote entry with push-button engine start); white air vents; a black headliner; and sports-design floor mats.
The Nissan Micra N-Sport, which is also available with a less-powerful (99 bhp) petrol engine, will go up against the likes of Ford Fiesta ST Line, VW Polo R-Line, Peugeot 208 GT Line and SEAT Ibiza FR, other cars that talk the talk, but don't quite walk the walk when it comes to hot hatch performance.
The handsome fifth-generation Micra now has a little more street cred with the new N-Sport edition, but what we really want to see is a proper performance Micra. Something to go up against the Fiesta ST or Renault Clio RS. Better still, why not do a Juke-R and shove the GT-R powertrain in there? There won't be much room for shopping, but the car would definitely be a hoot!