2017 Nissan Micra Review

Introduction

In recent years, the Micra supermini has been a weak spot for Nissan. As models such as the Qashqai have become top-five best-sellers, the Micra has virtually disappeared from buyers’ radar. No more. This all-new Micra is as impressive as its predecessor was disappointing. It looks modern, is sophisticated inside and drives really well. What an about-turn it is.

 

Body Style: Supermini     Seats: 5                 MRP from £11,995 - £17,345 

 

Did you know? The Nissan Micra name was first introduced in 1982. It was built in Britain until 2010.

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Verdict: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8.3/10)

The latest Nissan Micra is a five-door supermini that’s turned straight from class dunce into a real front-runner. Derived from the able Renault Clio, it’s a Nissan finally up to the same high standards as siblings such as the Qashqai and Juke. Well equipped and available with some leading-edge tech, it drives well enough and looks desirable enough to worry many a class best-seller. A Nissan supermini may return to the UK best-seller charts at last.

Design & Exterior

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Interior & Comfort

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Technology & Connectivity

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Performance & Handling

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Safety Features

★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

Spec & Trim Levels

★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

Running Costs & Fuel Economy

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

Pricing

★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

We Like

Transformed styling

Transformed drive

Lots of technology

We Don't Like

Small engine range at first

Quickly becomes expensive

Can Nissan turn around the image too?

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Design & Exterior:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Forget this car’s dumpy, cheaply-finished predecessor. The new Nissan Micra is a crisply-cut, neatly-sculpted machine with some bold and brave surfaces, and body creases that help it stand out at last. The stance is terrific - all squat, wide-arched rear end and sweeping side body crease. It’s one of the most distinctive superminis on sale, and certainly one of the most stylish.

You can only get it as a five-door and, like the Renault Clio, the rear doorhandles are hidden in the C-pillar. But although it’s derived from the Renault Clio, all body and most interior parts are unique, making them appear completely separate cars. Unlike last time round, Nissan hasn’t cut corners with the design of this new Micra. Top it off with a bright metallic, such as orange or green: they really suit the brave lines well.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Interior & Comfort:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Just as the exterior of the new Micra is a success, so too is the interior. It looks modern and appealing, with big dials from the Qashqai and, on Acenta models and above, a smart combination of 5-inch TFT configurable screen between the instruments and a larger 7-inch touchscreen in the middle of the dash.

Quality is superb. The Micra feels classy and robust to the touch, combining Japanese assembly precision with a bit of German-grade quality overlay. The interior is light and airy, particularly if you choose one of the interior colour packs that sees the dash trim finished in blue, orange or red.

Comfortable seats are uncommonly pleasing to sit on and the high-set driving position has plenty of adjustment; a rake and reach-adjust steering wheel is standard on all. The gearshift is mounted high and the steering wheel is nicely shaped, while even details such as the position of the USB socket has been well considered: it sits above the centre console cubbyhole so you have somewhere to store the device you’re connecting it to. Some models get ambient lighting with a fancy illuminated base for this cubby...

Practicality

The Micra is good in the front and rear seat space isn’t bad for a supermini either. Getting in and out can be a bit tricky, as the doorhandles are a little fiddly and the door openings could be bigger, but while knees may be a touch tight and taller heads a bit squashed, plenty of footroom and a reasonably high-set seat base mean people will at least be comfortable even if they are a bit squashed behind a tall driver.

Boot space

Min: 300 litres
Max: 1004 litres 

A 300-litre boot is par for the supermini sector: it’s bigger than the outgoing Ford Fiesta, albeit smaller than the mammoth Skoda Fabia. 60/40 split-fold rear seats are standard on all models, extending the space to more than 1000 litres.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Technology & Connectivity:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Because it is a modern supermini, the Nissan Micra is well-equipped with technology and connectivity features. Even standard models, for example, get two features called Intelligent Trace Control and Intelligent Ride Control. The former uses small brake inputs to help keep the car on the line you’re steering on through a corner, while the latter uses similar tiny brake inputs to smooth out the ride; it’s a sort of ‘active ride control’.

Auto wipers and headlights are also standard on all Micras, as is a traffic sign recognition system that displays a reminder of the last road sign you passed in the cabin. A speed limiter and Bluetooth connectivity also features on every Micra.

Move up through the range and touchscreen technology is introduced; this includes Apple CarPlay connectivity. The colour display between the dials is comprehensive, as is the NissanConnect sat nav and app option. Speaking of options, Nissan offers a brilliant Bose personal audio system, that includes two speakers embedded into the driver’s headrest. Sound quality is fantastic - it’s genuine 360-degree audio. Audiophiles, it’s well worth £500.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Performance & Handling: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Nissan offers a tiny engine range with the launch Micra: just a single turbo petrol or turbodiesel. The 0.9-litre turbo petrol is a three-cylinder unit that produces 90 horsepower and a useful 103lb-ft of torque. It’s a charismatic little motor in practice, although it’s not the fastest thing in the world: 0-62 mph takes 12.1 seconds. It is, however, easy to drive, as all that pulling power from little more than 2000 rpm means you can leave it in gear and let it lug.

The alternative, for £1350 more, is a 1.5-litre turbodiesel four-cylinder, as seen in umpteen other Nissans (and Renaults). Here, it too produces 90hp, but has much more pulling power - 162lb-ft of torque is produced at just 2000rpm. It’s actually marginally faster than the petrol engine, taking 11.1 seconds for the 0-62mph dash and boasting a higher top speed. It’s refined and easy going, unless you rev it hard: then you’ll hear the diesel clatter. Both models have a slick five-speed gearbox.

To drive, the new Micra is a class front-runner. It feels like a quality, premium car, with smooth controls and well-engineered refinement. Ride quality is particularly good - it seems to handle speed bumps uncommonly well, with long-travel suspension and good isolation from the road. Handling isn’t as invigorating as a Ford Fiesta but is still stable and easy, and the Micra is a car that cruises at speed with stability and comfort.

Recommended engine: 0.9 IG-T 90

0-62 MPH

12.1 seconds

Fuel economy

64.2 mpg

Emissions

99g/km

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Safety Features:★★★★★★★★★☆ (9/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Nissan does not skimp on safety kit with the new Micra. As standard, all models get all-round airbags, a front and rear seatbelt warning system, two rear ISOFIX child seat mountings, plus two notable features that have significant real-world benefits: autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian protection, and lane departure warning. Some might find the latter annoying but it can be a life-saver, while the former is a safety boon that could save even skilled drivers from a moment’s distraction and a possible collision with a pedestrian.

Euro NCAP has yet to test the latest Micra for crash safety, but Nissan’s decision to include autonomous emergency braking (which it calls Intelligent Emergency Braking) as standard will surely help it score well: if the structure proves robust in the crash tests, we’d say a five-star rating is odds-on.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Specs and Trim Levels:★★★★★★★☆☆☆ (7/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Colours

Choose from 10 colours with the latest Micra - and refreshingly, there are some bright and zesty ones amongst the line-up. For maximum impact, pick Pulse green, Energy Orange or Passion red; Glaze white and Power blue are also distinctive. More sobre colours are Platinium silver, Echo grey and Enigma black, while Ivory and Solid white are the free choices.

Trim Levels

Nissan deploys its familiar trim grade for the Micra: V-A-T, or Visia, Acenta, Tekna. Visia, as we’ve established, has a comprehensive haul of equipment: even this trim line gets LED running lights, for example, along with front fog lights, front electric windows, electric door mirrors and remote locking. The meagre two-speaker stereo seems unnecessarily downmarket, mind.

Move up to Visia+ and you get manual air conditioning and a stop-start system: A mere two features, that somehow cost £950 more than the basic model. Pricing at the low end of the Micra range seems a bit headline-grabbing; the cars that people actually buy quickly become more expensive.  

If you’re forking out for Visia+, you may as well spend £1200 extra on Acenta. That’s certainly our advice, given how much extra you get: bigger wheels, touchscreen infotainment with CarPlay, cruise control, steering wheel audio controls, body-coloured exterior bits and satin silver interior parts. The 7-inch touchscreen with CarPlay alone is worth it: this means that if you have an iPhone, you don’t have to fork out extra for sat nav, as you can simply use the tech on your smartphone.

N-Connecta trim does add sat nav though, along with climate control, alloy wheels, rear privacy glass and LED ambient lighting. The top-spec Micra is the Tekna, which has larger 17-inch alloys, smart leather steering wheel plus synthetic leather inserts for the dash, keyless go, rear parking sensors, Nissan’s ingenious intelligent rear-view camera and that brilliant Bose stereo system.

Size and Dimensions

Nissan has clearly been looking at the supermini competitive set carefully. Superminis are generally less than 4 metres long: the Micra is 3999 mm long. It’s also less than 1750mm wide and height of 1455 mm is about right too. You can tow with it as well: choose the diesel to tow 30kg more than the petrol. 

Length

3999 mm

Width

1743 mm

Height

1455 mm

Max towing weight without brake

From 525 kg (0.9 IG-T 90) - 555 kg (1.5 dCi 90)

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Running Costs & Fuel Economy:★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Every new Nissan Micra will return at least 61 mpg. Pick a petrol engine with 15-inch or 16-inch wheels and you’ll officially see 64.2mpg: trading up to 17-inch rims drops this to 61.4mpg. Petrol engine efficiency means the normal-sized Micra wheels deliver sub-100g/km CO2 emissions, with the one on 17”s moving up to 104g/km.

Every diesel-engined Micra will return at least 76 mpg - and that’s the worst-case figure for the base Visia model without engine stop-start. Simply by moving up to the Visia+, economy improves to 88.3mpg. Such are the vagaries of the official test cycle. Pick a diesel Micra with 17-inch wheels and claimed combined economy is 80.7mpg; CO2 emissions range between 85g/km to 92g/km, so easily sub-100g/km.

Reliability and servicing

Service intervals are simple for the Micra: every 12,500 miles. Things range between a minor and major service, but well-proven and high-volume components should help keep costs down. There’s no difference in service intervals between petrol and diesel models.

Minor

12 months or 12,500 miles

Major

24 months or 25,000 miles

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Pricing: ★★★★★★★★☆☆ (8/10)

2017 Nissan Micra

Micra prices are interesting. At first, they look tempting; you can get a 0.9T Visia from £11,995, But this is an undesirable car without air con, so the effective entry level is the 0.9T Visia+, and that costs £13,790. And you may prefer instead the extra equipment of the Acenta - to get a touchscreen in a Micra thus costs from £14,995.

This is par for the supermini sector though, and we shouldn’t forget Nissan is offering two high-spec engines in launch Micras, both of which have 90hp muscle and turbochargers to aid flexibility. Even so, we think a 0.9T N-Connecta is perhaps a step too far, and choosing diesel also looks expensive: a 1.5 dCi Acenta, for example, costs a serious-looking £16,345.

 

Verdict | Design | Interior | Technology | Performance | Safety | Specs | Running Costs | Pricing

Recommendations

Cost Conscious

0.9T Acenta - seems expensive until you realise how much kit you get as standard

First Time Driver

0.9T Visia+ - simple, straightforward motoring with a wealth of active safety tech to keep new drivers safe

Luxury Seeker

1.5 dCi Tekna - expensive but it has a huge amount of standard kit that makes it feel like a mini Qashqai

Rivals

Ford Fiesta

It’s being replaced soon: let’s hope the new one is as good to drive as this deserved best-seller is

Renault Clio

Underneath, it shares a lot with the Nissan Micra. Renault’s latest Clio is a deserved sales success

Peugeot 208

Classy-looking Peugeot is OK to drive and has a smart interior, while PureTech engines suit it well

Mazda 2

An oft-overlooked supermini that’s terrific good fun to drive, robust, reliable and built to last

Volkswagen Polo

The classiest supermini - or at least it was until the new Micra arrived. Even so, a deserved small car stalwart

What others say

Auto Express

“The new Nissan Micra casts away the dreary image of its predecessors to become a top supermini.”

What Car?

“The Nissan Micra deserves credit for its abundance of standard safety aids, but the rest of the car is a little underwhelming.”

 

Read full reviewView less