Nissan’s addition to the small-car segment is cute, spunky and has loads of attitude contained within its compact package – will it cause some ripples in the supermini pond?

Nissan’s addition to the small-car segment is cute, spunky and has loads of attitude contained within its compact package – will it cause some ripples in the supermini pond?

Built on the new Renault-Nissan small car platform that's set to underpin the forthcoming Renault Modus as well as the next-generation Clio, the little Nissan is being given an important role by South African marketers, who expect it to take a significant share of the growing luxury supermini sector in this country.

With the Micra, Nissan plans to concentrate on the upper R120 000 to R150 000 level of the small-car segment. The first two versions on offer are the 1,4 Comfort and 1,4 Elegance, priced at R123 500 and R132 747, respectively.

Both are powered by Nissan's 1 386 cm3 four-cylinder engine, which has peak outputs of 65 kW at 5 200 r/min and 128 N.m at 3 200 r/min. Nissan claims it will accelerate to 100 km/h in 11,9 seconds, reach a top speed of 172 km/h and return an overall average economy figure of 6,3 litres/100 km.

Drive is supplied to the front wheels through five-speed manual gearboxes, and suspension is by MacPherson struts in front, and a torsion beam axle (with coils) at the rear.

Both versions are imported with steel wheels (14-inchers with 165/70 tyres on the Comfort, and 15-inchers carrying 175/60s on the Elegance), but locally-made alloy wheels are offered as an extra-cost option.

Braking is by discs in front and drums at the back, and ABS, EBD and brake assist are standard on both versions. Among the other modern safety features are front seatbelt pretensioners/load limiters, and airbags for driver and front passenger on all models. Elegance versions also offer side/thorax bags for front seat occupants. Both models have childproof rear door locks and ISOFIX child seat anchorages.

One of the Micra's key selling points will undoubtedly be its distinctive "arch" styling and Beetle-esque retro-modern body shape that really stands out. Adding to the "look" are a dominant Nissan "flying wing" grille, high-mounted ovoid headlamps, and jewel-like rear light clusters.


Article written by

CAR magazine


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