Nissan Micra 2010-2017 review

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Its ambition is to be a world player, so will it show world-class ability?

The headlamps still lack the impact of those fitted to the bug-eyed model sold between 2003 and 2010

The addition of a lip at the base of the bootlid creates a surprisingly elegant look

Alloy wheels are fitted as standard to most models

The Micra’s interior plastics are almost exclusively of the brittle variety

No complaints about space in the front, but the steering lacks reach adjustment

Rear passengers benefit from more shoulder room than before

To read the fuel gauge you must acknowledge any warning lights given

Seat cushion lifts out, but you can’t store anything underneath

Glossy plastics have been added to create an upmarket aura. They succeed to a point

Metal door handles are a nice touch but emphasise the low-rent plastics of the door cards

You don’t make bad progress in the lower reaches of the rev range

You’ll find a level of performance that’s on the sedate side of moderate

You can’t tell it’s powered by a three-cylinder engine

The Micra is utterly safe and predictable

Ride is more supple than that of most rivals at low speeds, but handling is dull

Micra’s global ambition doesn’t deliver sufficient local appeal

Close by Matt Burt 30 September 2013 Follow @@Matt_Burt_ Share

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The Nissan Micra has been with us since 1982, and is one of the UK’s most recognisable nameplates. We’ve always thought of the Nissan as a soft, bubbly, chintzy supermini. Not any more. At least it’s no longer some of those things.

The fourth-gen Nissan Micra is now a global car, sold in more than 55 countries and built in four, of which the UK (now home to the higher-tech Nissan Leaf) is not one. It is built in Thailand, Mexico, China and – from where UK-destined Micras sail – India.

The fourth-generation Micra is sold around the globeMatt BurtExecutive Editor, Autocar

Marketing a global car is simple enough if you are at the extremes of luxury, performance or utility; a Mercedes-AMG SLS is equally as desirable and a Toyota Hilux equally as useful in central Europe, the US mid-west or the Far East.

Conventional family cars have, traditionally, had a harder time convincing their respective customers that, say, standards for Asia are compatible with those of western Europe. Nissan, though, says that its ‘V’ (for Versatile) platform has allowed its engineers to adapt the Micra to suit the myriad regions where it will be sold.

Nevertheless, just three years after the launch of the fourth-generation K13 Nissan Micra, the car was heavily facelifted in response to poor sales. The fundamental problem was that after the funky third-generation Micra, it lacked any sort of pizzazz – dynamic, design or otherwise.

The facelift saw an entirely new front end from the windscreen forward, cosmetic tinkering at the rear of the car and revisions to improve perceived quality and appearance.

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With the Nissan Pixo previously marking the entry point to the Nissan range in the UK, the Micra moved upscale in pricing and is only available a naturally aspirated 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and four trim levels: Visia Limited Edition, Vibe, Acenta and n-tec. Buyers have the option of a five-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox mated to either engine.

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With the standard engine emitting just 99g/km of CO2, Nissan’s engineers didn’t think a diesel engine would be worthwhile – and they’re probably right.

However, as you may find from visiting Nissan’s website, this fourth generation Micra is being phased out for an all-new version. The fifth generation Nissan Micra has a very different remit by aiming for the established front runners – the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, and to do so it will share numerous components and the production line with the Renault Clio.


Its ambition is to be a world player, so will it show world-class ability?

Model tested: Rating: 5

Nissan Micra 2010-2017

GoodWell equippedEasy to driveAdequately spaciousBadMediocre dynamicsUnremarkable qualityFeels cheap

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