At the age of 18 after passing my driving test and spending ages to save up enough money for a car I bought a second hand 2000 registered Nissan Micra S, it is a small 3 door car with a small engine which allows for fairly low insurance and tax, this is great for a newly qualified driver as the insurance premiums are so high to begin with that lowering them at any cost is great!
The Nissan is a good driver, in the 7 years that I have owned it I have only ever needed to replace the exhaust and the throttle once and have not needed and more serious work done (considering it is a now 12 year old car that is good going!) and although it is a compact car it does have sufficient room for 4 people, I currently manage to fit 2 adults, 2 kids in carseats and a double buggy into mine! It has a very large boot for the size of car and the seats are comfortable and well upholstered.
Overall it is a very trustworthy car and certainly a great starter car for any new driver!
Before getting into this review it's important to remember what this car is designed for. It has a small engine and is a small car with a relatively low top speed. It's far from being a supercar but it was never meant to be, it was only ever really meant to be used as a runaround car, and for its purpose I think it's amazing.
Reliability: My Micra is 12 going on 13 years old, with 80000 miles on the clock and it's still in great condition. I've had virtually no problems with it over the years, except the odd minor issue. The gearbox is getting a bit stiff recently but most other things are, dare I say it, good as new!
Driveability: I'm only young so I'll admit I haven't driven that many cars, but I can still say this is a lovely car to drive. It's comfortable and doesn't feel like a cheap car to drive.
Power: The one thing about this car I find embarrassing is when I'm cruising along with a full car and come up to a hill where suddenly I lose all my speed and end up tootling up the hill struggling to hit 30mph with traffic suddenly building up behind me. But that's what you get with a 1.0 litre engine, so I shouldn't really complain!
Sadly Nissan Micra's have a bit of a bad reputation, but I really don't understand why. Several times friends of mine have said how bad a car the Micra is, without having ever driven one, and they do this despite having countless problems with their own cars when mine is still in amazing condition! Also, I'm sure I'm not imagining it when I see other drivers pull out in front of me when they see my car because they assume I'm going to be slow, then they're the ones holding me up for the next half hour!
The Micra does seem to have a negative stereotype attached to it, but wrongly so. It is a reliable, good looking, comfortable, friendly car to drive and I absolutely love it!
This is a review of the Nissan Micra 3 door hatchback 2004 registered. I purchased the car second-hand in 2007 after deliberating long and hard as to whether I would be able to fit into a compact sized car. I am a large lady (in excess of a size 26) and my husband is in excess of 15 stone, and I did not want us to feel squashed. Much to my surprise and delight, there is as much room in the front of the Micra as there was in my previous car which was a people carrier. We call our Micra "The Tardis". It can fit 4 generously sized adults with ease. Apart from being roomy, the Micra is stylish to look at, extremely reliable having never broken down once, cheap to upkeep, and extremely easy on fuel consumption. I travel around 20 miles a day and a full tank of fuel last me for 3 weeks. In the 3 years since I bought the car the only repairs I have required to do have been the replacement of tyres, and replacement of both sets of brakes. It is the most reliable car I have ever owned, and I would buy another one in a heartbeat.
so at 18 i wanted a car (not because i needed it but because i was full of hormones and yeah wanted to drive!) i looked ages and researched what car to buy but couldnt find anything good. i then asked a family friend who is a mechanic on what car i should buy, he suggested a micra for me. bearing in mind that the most important factor when i was buying this was INSURANCE at 18 its a killer.
i looked around and ended up in a local auction, after a few visits it was the first car i saw, i didnt even listen to the overall spec and was dearing, sure enough i won the auction and the micra was mine. A one litre micra simple as. probabily the only extra was powersteering. its as basic as you can get but i loved it. it came with brand new tyres, all i had to do was renew the tax disc.
The car was great and i didnt have any problem even though its extremely risky buying from auctions. i guess i was lucky. the 3 door car had all the essentials.
it was very reliable, consumed little petrol, servicing was cheap (full service £90 in 2009 it was a excellent price)
However it is a one litre and was sluggish on motorway, and with more than one passenger you can really feel the strain. yes i did try to overtake a few times thinking i was in a super car and it took quite a while to gain some power. (OVERTAKING IS A NIGHTMARE)
Overall its a great car, cheap running costs and kept its value when i sold it. its great for a first car or second car but lacks power.
My little 1996 Micra (henceforth referred to as 'Bug' in this review) very closely resembles the cute little chap in the photograph. See. There. In that first sentence I already started cutesying up the Micra because they're just so adorable.
I have had Bug since February when I passed my driving test; he was my first car and cost me £600 from a car/mechanics enthusiast who works with my boyfriend. Bug had 112,970 miles on the clock when I bought him and so far I have travelled nearly 2,000 miles in him myself. (I live 2 hours from home and go back a lot. Have also been to visit family up north in Cumbria, a 600 mile round trip). So although I am a relatively new driver, I have been driving nearly three years as I liked to take my time between driving lessons!
Bug had had a new (to him) second hand gearbox fitted which had done around 70,000 miles I'm told.
To be completely honest, as long as Bug got me from one place to another in one piece I was going to get him, and he did, so I did.
I was kind to Bug, and he ran fine for a couple of weeks apart from a slightly whiney sound from the engine which gave him his name, which I have yet to source. Bug was treated like a prince, with new wiper blades, hubcaps, his name in chrome letters on the back and a full in-car clean out, including behind the dashboard which we unscrewed to find some wonderfully 90s cassette tapes had fallen behind there: the Best of Wet, Wet, Wet was my personal favourite.
However, Bug soon began to buckle under the pressure of new ownership. It began lightly, with me having to jimmy the key in the boot for about 10 minutes before it clicks to open. Then the upholstery in the footwell of the passenger seat began to rot and peel away for no apparent reason other than it had given up. The most serious now is that Bug seems to dislike 1st gear with a passion. I think I need to get the gear linkage checked when I can afford it. Now he just point blank refuses to go into 1st gear at lights or roundabouts first time. I either have to pre-empt the lights by neutral-declutch-first, which rarely works anymore, or I have to pump from 2nd to 1st before he sits into 1st properly. Half the time I give up and pull away incredibly slowly in 2nd. Bug has a strong engine, he puts up with this but I know it wont be for long.
One time I was at the front of a queue for the roundabout at the top of a steep hill. Bug wouldn't go into first and I was panicking because the queue was steadily growing longer behind me. So I tried Bug in 2nd gear, and stalled twice trying this. I had to give up, put my four way flashers on and had a little cry as the angry road users reversed and drove past me glaring at me. For a split-second there I hated Bug and never wanted to drive him again. But after pulling myself together Bug went into first (possibly out of embarrassment or fear) and we went on our way.
Poor Bug, he's getting on a bit now and can't handle like he used to. Now on the motorway he's sprung out of 5th gear several times, sending me into a panic as the revs go way up and I look like some mental girl-racer. But I love my Bug, after only 3 months we've been through a lot together. Sure, he only plays CDs out of one speaker and the radio out of the other; sure his seats were all moth-eaten so I had to treat him to fancy flaming-red seat covers; sure when you hit 60mph the steering wheel judders a ridiculous amount so after a 2 hour journey I can't feel my hands for a day; and sure he's nearly killed me once or twice, but he's my Bug, he just about gets me from A to B and I love him.
Sorry that this review isn't exactly technical, but I'm a woman and it's my prerogative to use my double standards and pretend I know nothing about cars. This is a review of the Nissan Micra from someone who anthropomorphises all inanimate objects!
The Nissan Micra is a Japanese Super Mini first introduced in 1982. Since 1992 the car has also been produced in the UK. Known within Asia as the Nissan March, this is one of the manufacturer's most popular models. I will be focusing on the 1 litre model produced between 1993 -2002, I do not own this vehicle but have had significant experience driving one owned by my Grandmother as well as using one for a large portion of learning to drive.
if you can find a model which has been well serviced then Micra will undoubtedly prove to be a very reliable car. A low mileage car with little or no service history is something to avoid as short trips will require more frequent oil changes which many people may skip as they feel it is unnecessary. Due to the abundance of these knocking about there should be no problem in finding parts from a breakers yard or similar but new parts will be more expensive. Luckily these cars are pretty reliable as long as they are serviced correctly every 9000 miles, which for drivers doing a lot of miles, could become expensive in itself. There is no cam belt which is yet another plus as the car instead features a timing chain which vastly reduces the chances of random unexpected engine destruction. One important thing to note is that many of these cars will have been used as driving school cars and as such are likely to be getting towards the end of their life and in need of new gearboxes, clutches etc which could become very expensive.
The Micra received a two star EURO NCAP rating which is by no means brilliant and is very much representative of its age. Later models do contain airbags but I would still not fancy seeing this car in a crash involving much speed. I have seen the aftermath of a few crashes around the 30-40mph mark and the Micras never seem to come off too well. I would like to include the summary from the NCAP test here:
"The Micra was first tested by Euro NCAP in 1997 and there have not been any major changes to its safety design since then. It did not perform very well in the frontal impact test, picking up most of its score in the side impact test. Neither child restraint performed very well. Its pedestrian performance is poor but similar to most cars in this class."
I would strongly advise you to check out this safety review if you are considering buying this car as it is my personal opinion that the Micra is wrongly perceived as a nice safe bubble of a car when this is by no means true. The full safety review is available at: "http://www.euroncap.com/tests/nissan_micra_2000/68.aspx"
Performance and handling
Many people will tell you that the Micra is really nippy, personally I have to disagree, the cars 0-60 when new was 15.9 seconds and this is not what I consider nippy. The as new car had a 16 cylinder 54BHP engine but you should be expecting some of this power to have drained away over the years. The car develops 79 Nm o0f torque which considering the low power engine and light body is ample for the car if not somewhat disappointing. The gear box is smooth and to be honest this is the only nice thing I have to say about driving a Micra. The suspension is wobbly which means when travelling at high speeds (well not that high but 50mph plus) the car begins to get a bit of a sway on, the tiny wheels combined with the light body and lack of torque mean that cornering is terrible. The power steering is really responsive but completely unnecessary and is only really useful for parking the car as any attempts to take a corner at speed will result in crashing. The car is dull to drive and is pretty useless for anything other than pottering to the shops, it lacks the performance and passenger comfort for longer journeys and I dread to think what would happen if one of these crashed on a motorway. The tall roof of this car means that it is a nice target for crosswinds which can have a big impact on this small car due to its lack of weight and torque. This is by no means a driver's car and perhaps this is my main issue with this car, which I will come back to later.
The roof is domed and this does allow for a nice amount of legroom but if you are tall then this will mean putting the seat back and all but removing the rear leg room. I would not recommend this for long journeys as it is by no means luxurious or spacious. The boot is meagre and this could also mean having to put luggage into the cabin so do bear that in mind if planning a trip. Interior options are pretty basic and although the seats are adequate I wouldn't want to be sat in them for long periods of time.
Styling & Interior
The interior is typical for a Nissan and is primarily comprised of plastic. I've not noticed any damage to the plastic in my Nans car, but then again I couldn't imagine her damaging the interior of a car built of polystyrene. The lack of mod cons is once again evident as is the lack of style, the seat patterns are rather nasty looking jagged blocks of dull colours which would be more suited to a pub carpet.
This car claims to give 47 mpg, I would expect this to actually be slightly less and would note that this isn't as economical as it first seems. This tired old engine will need much more fuel to give the same power as a more modern vehicle. If you are buying a car for efficiency then I'm sure it's worth considering but it is by no means as good as it is made out to be, especially not with an oil change cost added on every 9000 miles.
A quick search shows these cars can be found for anywhere between £100 and £4000. There are loads about so this means you are generally in a good position to barter and I would expect a nice model to be gained for less than £1000. This is fine I suppose but considering what other cars you can get for that kind of money I personally wouldn't buy one.
The Micra is an insurance group 3 car and a quick quote from confused said I can get insurance equivalent to my current car for £450 with an £800 excess. I wouldn't say this is bad, I paid £850 3rd party on a Ford Mondeo 1.8 but the insurance I compared it to was a 2.5 diesel Mercedes 190 which I pay £280 fully comprehensive. This shows that the insurance is ok but by no means amazing as some people will have you believe.
I would by no means recommend this car, it isn't the cheapest, most reliable, easiest to drive, most comfortable or most reliable out there. Sure it's ok but there are plenty of better Ok cars out there. This is a car for those with no interest in driving and this is my main reason for hating it. I keep away from people who drive these, I see so many of them driving around really badly, unable to keep a constant speed, unable to drive near the limit. People who break heavily for no reason and slow down two turnings before their own with their indicators serving only to confuse me. People who fail to keep in lane on a roundabout and have no concept of checking their mirrors. People who believe that a long smooth sweeping been on a 40mph road needs to be attempted at 20 for safety or some other unknown reason. All of these people love the Micra, it is perfectly suited to someone with no knowledge of cars and no interest in driving. People who get in and rev up like a race car driver only to crawl away like a snail. Most of the people I have mentioned are simply annoying but it can be dangerous as well.
I recently saw an old lady in a Micra drive into a car parked in front of her, the traffic on a roundabout had come to a standstill and she was waiting to enter. After around ten seconds nothing had changed but for reasons unknown to me she ploughed her Micra straight into the side of a stationary Golf.
This car appeals massively to two groups of people in particular, the young and the old. Without getting into a big debate, I see this as a reason to be cautious. My Nan crashed 2 Micras and continued to drive one when the doctor had told her she was no longer fit to do so (until my dad found out and took the keys away). I don't want to debate whether old people should retake their tests etc, but I really do think it's important to get my point across, I FEAR NISSAN MICRAS. I have to deduct one star for this as the car wouldn't attract this type of person if it did a better job of being a good car.
Overall 2 stars from me and I am in a generous mood.
I am 20 years old and have been driving for 3 years now. My first and only car I have had in my driving career is a Nissan Micra. I love my little car. My car has served me well and is reliable about 90 % of the time. The most obivous reasons for have a small little 1 lt car is the insurance for young people, the economic value for the price concious - I get aroungd 400 miles out of a tank of petrol - a tank costing me £32 (current petrol price of £107.9). The only times I have felt that my car is unreliable is if I move my car after it has been sitting dormant for a day to a different part of the drive and switch it of. It then has trouble starting but other than that it has been a dream to drive and a pleasure to learn. Perfect cars for first time drivers, for price concious people (like me!) and for people who just want a little reliable car to get them from A - B.
This is a review based on 10 months ownership of my 1.0 Micra S.
Paid £2,500 in Feb 09 after driving my 1995 Fiesta SI 30 miles to go and collect it whilst praying it would make it, as the noises that were spewing out from it were making it quite touch and go all the way there!
What attracted me to this car after months of reading various reviews were, cheapish insurance and lower tax than fiesta, nice interior pretty plush for the basic model and of course japanese reliability.
Other people may scoff at my micra, but I'm scoffing at the fact I can travel 200 motor way miles on little over half a tank of petrol (stoke to leeds and back), had nothing in the way of repairs yet, and paying great insurance rates, and the car had only done 20000 when I bought it.
It runs VERY well. City nip around WHAAAT? It does very well on the motor way with barely a grunt.
So pleased with my purchase.
Nobody loves their car like a micra driver. My first ever car, after several driving tests and as a 'revvin kevvin', was a 1997 nissan micra shape, I called her Daisy, rest assured if she could she would have called me much worse.
I laughed the day my old man unveiled my birthday present, I thought it was a joke, and I thought at six foot silly I'd never fit in. Wrong on both counts, I dreaded being seen in her at first, but after a few weeks I knew I loved her. So Much so, Daisy is still my car, hardly used admittedly, but she isn't going anywhere.
Sentimentality aside, the fact is that the Nissan Micra does so much it shouldn't, it out performs Corsa's, it drinks far less fuel than a nature-friendly, morning dew Prius, and I can honestly say the seats are more comfortable than those in cars five or six times the value. Japanese mundanity in cars, brilliance.
When reading reviews on cars I often find that they give too much technical detail for me and not enough basic information for people who don't know much about cars! I have now owned two Nissan Micras each individual in their own way.
My first was a 1998 which drove smoothly with very few problems for the period for the period of time that I owned it before I had a small accident (as the older Nissan Micras are usually quite cheap they often become an instant write off by insurance companies).
My second Micra is a 2002 car, so it is one of the newest of the old style Micras. The car has served me well with only one problem appearing more regularly than the rest and that is the suspension that I have had done three times in the last three years. The Micras also tend to need oil changes more regularly than other cars.
The driving style in a micra is reasonably good, it does tend to lean a bit on sharp corners and it isn't very aerodynamic (driving down the A303 on a windy day can be interesting!). The only other thing worth mentioning is that the car can struggle at high speeds (above 60 mph) if you only a a one litre engine. It is hard to get up much speed and can feel a little bit like the car is taking off when you do get some speed up.
While I have enjoyed my Micras I'm not sure that I will buy a Micra again next time.
A nissan Micra was my first ever car at 17 years old! its was a rich purply colour, with a simple grey interior! as a girl this was the perfect colour for my first car!
As a first car i would highly recommend a small engine of a nissan micra. It was a low tax group and my insurance was very low for a new driver.
I has my mocra for a year and i loved driving it. It obviously wasnt the sports car that we all wish for but it was better than the old fiestas that all of my friends were driving. I thing the micra won an award for best car of some soryt in 1998, so can of been to bad.
The 3 door micra was perfect for me and cheap to run. I never has an engine or running problems in the year i has it, and things like tyres etc were realitively cheap!
The car was comfortable to be in, with a suprising amount of room and leg room in the car!! i very often filled my car with the full 5 people and although slightly tight, everyone was comfortable enough, considering it was a teeny tiny car!
There was not luxurys in my micra such as air con and electric windows, but as i said for a first car, i wouldnt of asked for any more!! i loved it and was pretty sad so say good bye when i sold it!!
Reliable and a perfect first car!!
This is my first review on Dooyoo, so to get into the swing of things I thought I would unburden myself about my Nissan Micra. I currently commute 50 miles per day, mainly on a dual carriageway and the M25. My mode of transport for this daily delight is a Micra 1 litre Persuasion “special edition”, although I have never worked out how it differs from a normal Equation model except for the badge on the boot, or what is supposed to be special about it. My wife and I bought the car for her 5 years ago when she was commuting 6 miles a day through town traffic and for that purpose it was fine. We got a good deal on it from the garage and it seemed like a sensible idea at the time. Since then, however, our circumstances have changed out of all recognition and I find myself lumbered with it on a daily basis, while my wife has the V6-engined people carrier (plus, to be fair, care of our three children). So what is so wrong with it? Well nothing, really, which is the principle reason why we haven’t changed it. Other than annual servicing, which at main dealers at least is surprisingly expensive, it has needed no attention at all and not a thing has gone wrong. It is economical (40ish mpg however you drive it) and easy to drive, at least until you come to park it. I never thought such a small car would need power steering but I was wrong and always feel I have had a good workout after manoeuvring it into a tight parking space. Many people would be perfectly happy with the Nissan, but for me things start to go wrong when you first look at it. My car was the last version with the old body before the Micra was completely redesigned and is not an attractive car from any angle, being completely free of any style or charisma. The front is where things really go wrong though, particularly the headlight design that gives the car a permanently surprised look. At least it is less ugly than the latest Micra though, on which
the headlights look not so much surprised as amazed. The biggest problem in my view is the “driving experience”, as the motoring press call it. I have always enjoyed driving and have been fortunate enough to use some good cars in the past, but the Nissan saps any enthusiasm within seconds of getting inside. The seats are not particularly comfortable and the whole interior, while sturdy, is basic, uninviting and dominated by a dashboard which looks as if it were designed for a 4 year old – lots of large knobs and dials and acres of grey plastic. As for performance, first gear is quite promising, second not quite so good, then after that forget it. Over 40mph it sort of gathers momentum rather than accelerates and to call it sluggish, especially when full of petrol, would be quite offensive to your average-performing slug. Overtaking requires about a week of planning and a fair dose of optimism, especially if the person you are passing is driving a more powerful car (as most people are) and demonstrates their objection to being crawled past by putting their foot down. It happens a lot and all I can do in those circumstances is move back to the outside lane as quickly as possible and try to forget the whole sorry experience. The handling is at best uninspiring and always leaves me glad when I can drive in a straight line again. What else? Well, the brakes are good and the gearchange is probably the best thing about the whole car. It is practical and does everything that could reasonably be expected of it (except park) perfectly well. It just lacks any kind of fun factor. This doesn’t have to be the case in a small, low powered car as until recently my sister had a 1.1 litre Peugeot 205 which was old and tired but still fun to drive. Even a 1.1 Citroen AX I had for a while could put the Nissan to shame and that fell over every time it went round a corner. I realise the Micra is hardly suppo
sed to be a sports car, but I expected more having driven these other, much older, small cars without noticing any lack of performance. Having said all that, I will stick with the Micra for now. Yes it’s boring to drive, but it is very reliable and generally cheap to run, despite the high servicing costs. If money were not a consideration I would change the car tomorrow, but unfortunately it is so if you happen to find a red Nissan Micra trying to overtake you on the M25, please let me get past. You’ll probably make my day.
Whilst only being 24 I have had numerous cars to date, including an Astra, a Peugeot 405 Estate, a Peugeot 106 and finally a Nissan Micra. The initial reason for looking at a Micra was more about the insurance, than the actual car itself - I had my previous car stolen, and being young insurance companies tend to hold these things against you (despite me nothing wrong!). I figured if I looked at the smaller cars with smaller engines the insurance companies would give me better quotes, but we'll come to that later. I took a trawl out to Grimsby and had a look around a few garages, and noticed three Micra's at Dixons that looked suitable cars. I had considered looking at some Corsa's but have heard a couple of bad things about them from friends, and I was intending to do rather high mileage in the car. I test drove a standard Micra, the 1.0l 8v basic model I think, and was a little bit unimpressed with the performance, but I figured I could live with this. I went away for an hour or so to make up my mind and returned to purchase the car. To my amazement the dealer had sold it whilst I was gone, however, he informed me he put a 16v 1.0l Micra to one site for me to look at. Now I was a tad annoyed, but figured it was worth looking at, and boy was it! The car has a much better specification than a typical 1litre Micra, and comes with drivers airbag, a rear spoiler and colour matched bumpers. The other features included an immobiliser, radio/casette and all the other things typically included with a modern car. It didn't have electric windows or central locking, but believe me when I tell you this is not such a bad thing. If central locking goes wrong (which it did in the Peugeot) then it can be a whole world of pain (and expense) - and really, it doesn't take much to open the door for your passenger. On taking the car for a test drive I was amazed at the amount of power it had for such a sm
all car, and it was difficult to believe that this was 1 litre model. I have driven Corsa's (owned by family) with 1.4litre engines and this would give any a run for their money on acceleration and top-end. I used the car a lot for work (I was self-employed) and did about 25,000 miles in eighteen months, and the car never needed a thing, bar an oil change at 12,000 miles which I did as a precaution as much as anything. We also used the car for our holidays and over the eighteen months it went from Grimsby to Edinburgh, Wales and Torquay, as well as many trips backwards and forwards to Manchester Airport. The car easily achieved a steady 80 miles per hour on motorways, meaning it was more than capable of keeping with traffic, and it handled well at speed, something which is not always the case with smaller cars. The only problem I had was tyres, which might be more down to my driving style, than a fault with the car. I got through two full sets in the eighteen months (plus the set that came with it), but then I only bought cheap tyres, and was doing a lot of miles, so I cannot complain. The economy of the car was fantastic, and it easily achieved 50mpg on long trips, in fact, it could do Torquay (340 miles) for about £22 (which was a full tank!). I paid about £3500 for a 1997 model (in 2001), which was a little over the odds, but only by a couple of hundred quid. I recently sold the car for £1800, as I decided I wanted to move up to a Nissan Primera. Delighted with the car, and would recommend it to anyone. Watch the insurance though if you are at the younger end of the market! My first years premium was over £850 from Directline, who gave me the best quotes by far. In the second year it dropped to around £500, but still, thats a lot for a 1litre car!
I bought a second hand used Micra 1.0 two door/hatch saloon at the beginning of 2003. Colour Red , on a ‘P’ plate, with 34,000 miles on the clock; well looked after by its previous owners (2), and regularly serviced by a main Nissan dealership. The bodywork was in super condition for its age with no visible signs of deterioration, such as rust marks. My Micra has a one litre (998cc) engine with CVT (automatic transmission) rather than the more popular traditional manual gear box, which makes it stand out from the crowd. I’m not too technically minded but having owed several cars over the years and driven countless thousands of miles – the length and breadth of the UK – reckon my opinion is as good as any average motorist. Secondly, owning a car is not simply a luxury for me as I rely on it for independent transport since using public transport is difficult. Reliability is more important perhaps than comfort since this has an impact on running costs. As someone with a mild physical disability, I passed my test in the 1980’s driving a British Leyland Mini Metro 1300 Automatic, so my full licence is restricted to driving cars with automatic transmission only. This is a positive point really because having owned five different makes of cars over the years, and driven rentals too, at least one could say I’m more qualified than most to give a balanced opinion on automatics. The Micra’s automatic transmission is the CVT type (belt driven) opposed to the standard automatic 3 : 4 gear-box When they first brought out the CVT it gained a terrible reputation, however, Nissan seem to have conquered most of the niggles. The ride is very smooth and comfortable. For a small 998cc engine realistically you cannot fault the pick up from standing start, although a comparable manual box would drive away faster moving up the gears. I have driven two litre automatics and although ride and p
erformance was better, the Micra CVT handles extremely well, less expensive to run, and much, much better than British Leyland’s now defunct 3 speed automatic 1.3 litre Mini-Metro. I ran one for over two years in the 1980’s and there’s no comparison in terms of ride and performance, the Micra is far better. Compared to a traditional automatic (sic), the difference most drivers would notice, with CVT (belt) transmission, is there’s not ‘creep’ when in neutral, so it handles like a normal manual box ‘standing still’. This model has power assisted steering which makes parking a doodle; negotiating tight bends and manoeuvring in reverse is easy and completed effortlessly. The one litre engine gives a top speed over 80 mph and although suited to normal roads brilliantly, for a small car copes, with motorways surprisingly well. OK you can’t compete with the larger cars on motorways but then you don’t expect too. The power-to-weight ratio is just about right, and for a small car is all you’d realistically expect ….. and more.. So far fuel economy is very reasonable at approaching 40 mpg, and not too far short of the manual geared version. Interior comfort is good and my passengers don’t complain. Room in the back is restricted, however, with two doors, opposed to four, most adults have no trouble sitting in the back. Boot space is a little cramped for luggage but it is well proportioned and presents no problem handling normal suitcases. To date I haven’t had any mechanical problems with the engine or other fitments. Servicing is after 12,000 miles (I think) or 12 months intervals which ever occurs first. Residual second-hand resale value is above average apparently for the Nissan Micra 1.0 CVT model. As the garage who sold it to me remarked these ‘autos’ …… “are very much in demand”. N
ow a garage salesman would say that wouldn’t he, but having owned the Micra for over 9 months now I’ve checked this out on the Internet and this is a fair point. Road Fund Tax is at £110 for 12 months as the model qualifies for the small engine discount. Insurance is very respectable too. This depends on your driving record but with over five years no claims discount, typically expect to pay around the £170 - £250 mark for fully comprehensive cover : depending on geographical location, drivers record and other factors. As with all insurance, it’s worth shopping around, obtaining more than one quote. Tesco do a good deal and Lloyds TSB have given me an excellent quote for next renewal. For anyone contemplating buying second-hand Micra with CVT transmission, especially on a tight budget, I would recommend having the car mechanically inspected by a friend in the trade or paying for an AA inspection. If you do have problems with the CVT it can be expensive to fix but that’s similar to most cars with automatic (rather than manual) transmission. Finally, most motorists can drive manual geared cars, and if they want to, automatics. True, a manual model would be cheaper to buy and maintain probably . However, I’d certainly recommend the Nissan Micra to anyone like me who must drive a model with automatic transmission, albeit CVT. You’ll be pleasantly surprised with the performance compared to similar models. Power steering is a plus point even on a small car. Oh, nearly forgot, for added safety, this model came fitted with an air-bag on the drivers side. Happy and safe motoring, cheers!
I feel sorry for my little car sometimes, I really do. I don't give her any love, care or attention. She sits, alone in the garage used, abused, battered and bruised and yet she still keeps on trying her best in the hope that one day I'll return that love. I haven't cleaned the inside since January; the dashboard is grey and doesn't show up the muck. I haven't cleaned the outside since November, the paintwork's still good and she hardly looks dirty. Just when the windscreen gets to the point where it's to grubby to see out of, we get rain and I think "oh, it'll last a few more weeks" I've had her almost two years and I haven't had her serviced, changed the oil, pumped the tyres up, changed the air filters. I've done nothing for her, nothing. Yet still day after day she starts first time and does it's job. I hit her once. I didn't mean to, I felt bad about it afterwards. It was a black pole, in a black tarmac car park, on a black night, with no lighting. I made it better, had her wing replaced and her bumper re-sprayed. I spent a hundred quid on making it right and she forgave me. One day my car will start to hate me for not treating her right, one day she'll give up I'm sure. We met in September 2000, I'd finally decided after two years of having a driving licence it might be nice to actually drive a car. The salesman introduced us, I didn't fancy her much, she's a bit of an uger, bright red, round and podgy like a metro that's eaten all the pies, but she had big moony eyes that begged for someone to love her. I later learn that these eyes are designed to make her look like a baby and therefore appeal to women, which shows me she can be manipulative when she wants to be. A super stylish, sleek looker is great in the short term, but in the long run what we really want is cheap and low maintenance and it doesn't matter what s
he looks like. Ok, you might be embarrassed to introduce her to your mates for a while, but you soon get over it. She was 18 months old with 13500 on the clock, she was a young enough model to me worthy of my attention (it didn't want an old banger) I wanted something that could give me hard graft for a few years. I also got what was left of the 3yr, 60000 mile warranty that comes with all Micra's I put up £4500 and took her to see her new home. She's enthusiastic and eager to please, with a nippy little engine she'll get off quick from the traffic lights and can corner pretty quickly. She may only be a one litre but the 16 valve engine certainly counts for something. She can only do 0-60 in 15.5 seconds and if I try to go any quicker than 80 she gets scared and starts shuddering and shaking, but she'll ride quite comfortably and 70 on fast roads and prefers to do around 40 on slower ones. She doesn't really like 3rd gear and whines at me until I put her into 4th although her favourite is fifth. She knows how annoyed I get if she doesn't do as she's told so if I forget to take her out of second when we pull off, she rarely stalls. She moves best with just me in the car but she gets a bit shy when I have more than one passenger and I will struggle to get her to move with any amount of gumption. She's pretty quiet too but you can still hear enough to know how she's feeling as you drive her. Sometimes she gets argumentative when I change gear and wont change smoothly, I force it and she screams a little but it doesn't seem to have done her any harm. It could be because I'm clumsy with her or it may be the design of the gears themselves, I don't know. I fill her up about once a month, I can get about £30 into the tank and she'll give me about 40 miles to the gallon. This is pretty good considering my other half reckons I drive like a rally driver (which isn'
;t true) but it is true that I'm a bit heavy handed and heavy footed with her. She has nice comfy seats in grey fabric, which don't show up the muck. She's quite roomy for such a small car; my 6ft 4" boyfriend can sit quite comfortably in her as she has quite a high roof and plenty of legroom in the front passenger seat. He has the seat set back as far as it will go but most people don't need to do that. The boot is very small but you can put the back seat down to create more room, it doesn't lie flat but she'll take a pretty impressive amount of stuff. As a younger driver with only 2 years no claims bonus I get pretty reasonably priced comprehensive insurance cover. She was one of the cheapest I looked into. She does have a few nice features: She has a switch so that you can choose to circulate air from outside the car for freshness or from inside the car so you don't have to breath in fumes when stuck in traffic. She has a pretty good cassette radio, nothing flashy, nothing anyone would want to nick. For months she would switch of my tape and tune into radio WM for the traffic and it was months before I realised it was a local traffic announcement function. Driver's airbag comes as standard as does power steering so she's pretty easy to handle. She has rear fog lights and heated rear windows which are very useful in the winter. The dash has a speedometer, fuel gauge, engine temperature gauge and an electronic odometer. There is no rev-counter; I've never missed it. The breaks are stunningly good, I tend to break later than I should do and she has never given me any cause to worry about this. The steering wheel adjusts to the height your most comfortable with, which is good because my arms would get very tired before I lowered it. Some things though, do annoying me about her. She's manually locking; most people nowadays expect cars to be centrall
y locking so they never lock her when they get out. The number of times she's sat there with the passenger door unlocked is scary. I always double check now. Her windows are manual wind too, a bit of a pain in the bum when you're driving. The wheel trims all fell off, one the day after I bought her and the rest slowly over the coming year. She's really let herself go in this respect, I'm not buying her anymore it's a waste of money. There's no cigarette lighter, I don't smoke but it would have been useful to charge my phone on. She's now about 3 and a half, getting middle aged and I'm getting bored with her now. The newer models have features like reverse parking sensors, air conditioning, bottle holders, tinted door glass, a 12V socket and are generally more powerful, they start at only £6995 which is pretty damn good. I think she's afraid I'm going to dump her for a younger model but she's still worth around £3000 and has yet to let me down so she needn't worry for the time being. I don't know a lot about cars, all I care about is that they start first time, all the time and that they don't cost me very much money and even though she's not very good looking, flash or fancy she does what I want and them some. I promise ill take more care of her from now on.