My sister and I both learnt to drive in my great aunts then nine year old now 14 year old Nissan micra, and it's still going strong! It's a spritely little car, the engine is big compared to it's weight and so it'll go along very nicely. The micra is just one of those cars that will just keep tootling on, where all the modern cars come packed with electronics which then promptly pack it in and cost a fortune to fix, the micra will get you reliably from point A to point B. One thing I would like to add is that it is FANTASTIC in snow, I live in a rural area where it can sometimes take a few days for the snow plot to come around. There is nothing more satisfying than overtaking an expensive four by four which is stuck on a snowy incline in my little micra. The steering is sharp and crisp, manoeuvrability is great and the micra is a very good size for getting into those little parking spaces no one else dare try. Though not the most attractive or fashionable car, I would not trade my little micra in for all the world, and I will continue to drive her until the day (if it ever comes) that she finally passes onto a well deserved rest.
I have had my light blue bug micra for around 6 years now, it is a 2006 model and although its a bit dirty it still works like new!
If you are looking for a reliable car that is very easy to drive I can recommend this. It has powered steering and a good turning circle. I am the worlds worst parker but I can reverse park and parallel this one perfectly.
The interior is pretty basic, it has all the usual dials and they are quite large though not so big as a new mini, you can read them easily. The seats are comfortable but after a while you will need to stretch your legs as it is a very upright car and sitting in this position for more than an hour makes you ache.
Its got ok acceleration, when going on the motorway you feel like the car is working very hard and at 70mph it does get a little bit tired and whiny in sound. Its best off at around 40mph in urban areas although this one has been a countryside car for a while and whilst the car got very dirty, the engine still works fine.
It is a 1.2 so you arent going to be able to go very far very fast. It has good headlights and I have yet to replace a bulb! The headlamps are rounded and shaped like bugs eyes so the car has a lot of character.
It goes quite far on a tank of petrol but it is not that energy efficient compared to some newer hybrid cars, the road tax reflects this and is still quite expensive.
The finish of the car is quite matt and my car has a few scratches but for the length of time I have had it the finish has lasted and stayed new looking.
Having totalled our Skoda Octavia I have been reduced to driving hire cars, and after a week's stint with a surprisingly enjoyable white van, I had the misfortune of hiring a Nissan Micra (our insurance didn't cover a replacement car unfortunately).
Even taking into account the fact that this is a small car and the only reason I hired it is because it was cheap, so I am inherently biased here as compared to somebody who actually WANTS a small car, I still have to say that I disliked it more than other cheap small cars I drove.
To give its due, though, it wasn't all bad. The Micra is a nippy wee thing and works quite well as a town puddle jumper. The all-round visibility was excellent - probably the best feature of the car - and although the inside mirror could have been bigger, the wing mirrors, and the large, close to vertical windows gave very good view. It also looks quite fun from outside and I believe it comes in a choice of what's usually referred to as ''funky'' colours.
But these were about the only things that I liked about this miserable tin can! Because that is just how the Micra felt: cheap, tinny and rather silly.
I used it in town as well as for short (10 miles round trip) daily runs on A-roads; we also took it for a one-day 500 mile round-trip in hilly countryside, and to be fair, if you don't leave a built-up area on a daily basis, it might work better for you. For me, it didn't, for several reasons.
The seats are uncomfortable. The driver's seat is quite high (or maybe I am too tall?), even at the lowest position - uncomfortable for the pedals, wrong angle for the inside mirror and not ideal for the wheel. The backrest is almost flat, not moulded and altogether uncomfortable. To add insult to injury, it's adjusted by a lever rather than a turning knob which means that it's very easy to move it too far out or too far in. The whole interior, and particularly the driver's area feels cheap and dated (and I am very used to and tolerant of plenty of grey and black plastic dominating the dash).
The engine is feeble, in fact worse than I expected, and was struggling up a little incline at 60. It got a bit better when I almost completely stopped using the 5th gear, but still, anything above 60 felt very uncomfortable, with the whole car shaking around, especially on less-than perfect road surfaces. Certainly no risk of breaking any speed limits in this vehicle! As a trade-off for that I would expect fantastic economy, but - even allowing for the fact it runs on petrol - it wasn't that great.
The steering is light, which is good for manoeuvring, but the turning circle is not that impressive for what is supposed to be a little city car. Handling in general was barely so-so, and on bends it felt unstable at speeds above 40mph, with the light steering getting scary at higher speeds.
The space in the boot is small - I know it's a small car, but still. The space in the back wasn't too bad and certainly enough to fit two kids easily or two adults and a booster-less child just about. Talking of boots, an annoying niggle was the lack of an internal handle or loop to pull it down (apart from a slit in the actual bodywork of the tailgate) which meant that you had to hold the actual thing, however dusty, muddy or otherwise dirty it got, in order to properly shut the boot. Again, if you are one of the people who wash their vehicle at the first sign of dirt, it won't matter, for me it did.
I didn't like the feel of the controls, which is obviously a very subjective thing. The gears felt rickety (and it was this year's car - 2012 plate - with hardly a 1,000 miles on the clock), the accelerator pedal was way too sensitive for my liking and the breaks didn't feel particularly sharp or effective.
Altogether, I am happy to be rid of it and I would never contemplate buying one. It felt like a silly car for short, silly old woman to their M&S shopping in, despite the fact that it doesn't actually look that bad in a strangely compelling, blobby kind of way. I can't comment on reliability as I only had one for a couple of weeks, and Nissan seem to be considered reliable, but frankly most modern cars tend to be and there is no need to be stuck with one of these things if you could get a Ford Fiesta or Skoda Fabia instead and don't get worried every time you might need to leave a built-up area.
My review is on the N reg Nissan Micra SLX.
I bought this car about 18 months ago as a starter car when I was learning to drive. It has a 1.3L engine and is a 5 door hatchback so it is a little bigger and more powerful than most Micras.
It comes in a lovely emerald green colour so it's quite different to the boring mix of silver and black that you seem to find so much nowadays. For a car that is 13 years old it is in really good condition - it scrubs up really well and if you didn't know the model you could mistake it for a much younger car.
It is getting on a bit now but still drives quite well. I had lessons in both this car and a brand new Corsa - the Corsa was smoother to handle but not that different.
I had a bit of a problem with the gear stick - the different gears are not very far apart so I sometimes put it in the wrong gear. This is probably because I'm a new driver but I never did this with my instructors car.
The engine is not as smooth as it could be but it is still quite a good drive when you consider how old the car is and that it has done over 100,000 miles!
Everything on the car works really well and it hasn't needed too much work over the years. We had to do a bit of welding under the car at the last MOT but the mechanic said that it was in really good condition otherwise and that Micras seem to last a lot better than other cars.
SLX Micras are the top of the range Micras and have a lot of features that other Micras of the time didn't like central locking, electric windows and air bags.
I bought this car for £350 which was a bargain because I got a year's tax and 6 months MOT aswell. The price will be different for each car but I think that they are quite cheap compared to some other types of car and they are a better quality aswell.
I would recommend Nissan Micras especially the SLX range as it is a good car that is cheap and seems to last well over the years.
The model I own is a 1.0l Micra S 3 door 02 plate. It was purchased in Derby, about 30 miles from my home, in February 2009 at a price of £2500, and a mileage of about 18 or 19 thousand miles, I had a hundred quid knocked off for my Ford Fiesta SI 1.6 which I paid £250 for and did me just over 2 years of motoring.
About me as a driver=
I am mid twenties with no children yet, just me and my OH to think about, mostly city driving with the occasional long motorway jaunt.
Why I changed cars=
I had lost faith in the reliabilty of my Fiesta SI, I had to have the AA out at least 4 or 5 times, funny noises, lots of work each MOT, a month before flogging it I had to have a new fuel tank and alternator put on which cost as much as the car did originally which in hindsight I wish I had not bothered but hey ho. It made me a really nervous driver. Also I was sick of the high tax and insurance for this car.
What I wanted out of my next vehicle=
1. Low insurance and tax band, as low as possible.
2. A reliable Japanese model with a reputation for well, reliabilty!
3. Low mileage to get plenty of years motoring from.
The cars I considered=
Suzuki Alto and Swift, Nissan Micra, Ford Ka. The reason I went for the Micra is because I preferred the shape, the cost for equivalent low mileage vehicle initial purchase price was cheaper, the interior was better than the Alto/Swift.
People told me, loads of people in fact, that the old shape Micras will run forever and ever and never let you down. Having only owned for 10 months, well I will get back to you on that one!!
I will try to cover all of my experience here but if I miss anything please let me know.
Inside and outside=
Shape is now iconic and very well recognised, I have the 'bubble' shape which is very rounded and not a point or corner in sight barely, a real change from my gorgeous boxy old Fiesta.
The upholstery is pretty attractive, the seats are a lovely and jazzy design in my particularly model. Upon sitting in the car it is well carpeted throughout and including the footwell area, not plush at all but more than adequate.
The centre console is well laid out and attractive for a basic car, fans are very capable of a good heat output, easily clearing a misted window and very pleasant on a cold evening. They take about 4 minutes to become completely warm roughly. The second to last option on the dial provides lovely toasty warm pedal feet which is bliss, my heaters didn't work in my old car!! A lot of people say it looks to plasticky, and it does, considering it is plastic, hmm, but the grey theme throughtout is pleasant if a little dull but this is a basic car we are talking about.
The spare tyre and tools are very easy to access.
The boot is an extremely reasonable size, also carpeted out adequately, holding a pretty large supermarket shop. As standard it has no parcel shelf. I bought a cheap one from eBay about a tenner as I want my boot contents hidden. There is unfortunately no little light when the boot opens.
I recently drove me and 3 mates to a works party the other week. Passengers are not at a bad disadvantage at all, rear passengers can easily get into the back, as the seats readily and easily fold forward with a easily lifted and accesible side seat lever. However my front passenger friend squealed with disgust upon pulling down her sun visor only to greeted with a blank piece of interior with no mirror in sight whatsoever, oh well!!
The car provides an exceptionlly good view of the road ahead, at first it felt too high but now I am used to it I like it a lot, I don't know if the highness is due to car adjustments or if it is naturally built that way so best to experiment.
The seats are very easily adjustable for maximum comfort. I havefound the seats supportive but comfortable and have not had any problems on short to medium journeys. However driving 100 miles or so sometimes I do get back ache but this may just be me, I think it affects each individual differently.
The windows are operated manually, this can be difficult when opening the passenger window for any reason you need to lean across.
The sides of the doors are fantastic, with inbuilt cup holders in the moulded plastic which I have found fit any type of drink, love this feature, it is a small feature butmakes a lot of difference. Also very roomy for books, mags, general debris etc.
To the side on the floor on the drivers side is a lever for popping open the boot and for your fuel cap door open (which is on left hand side!), upon my car purchase trying to fill up was a nightmare, ended up driving off cos I didn't know how to open the fuel door!!
The visor has a hidden mirror which opens out, and also the visors move to the side windows should you need it, and I have found this very useful.
The dashboard does not have a rev counter which shouldn'ttake too much getting used to, I settled in without one ok, I would ideally like one but it does not really affect my driving.
My driving experiences=
I will try to explain personally for me how the car feels to drive.
Now being a one litre engine this was never going to be rocket fire. But it certainly holds its own in the city and on the motorway.
The view of the road is excellent. The car does seem to be affected by crosswinds, but it is only my second owned vehicle so I cannot fully comment on this. Driving on the M62 in winds was never going to be the best experience in any vehicle! Speedwise it takes a few moments once leaving the slip road to get upto speed but when it does it will happily sit in 70 with no complaints. It has travelled up to 90mph whilst overtaking, and comfortable at 80 again whilst overtaking and on the journey although not sure if I should be saying that when it is a 70mph speed limit. But there you go. It happily sails past slow lane traffic without a care in the world, no stretching or straining.
Easy to park is this one!! Very good in car park spaces, due to its supermini size. Easy to reverse parallel park. Again this 1 litre car is absolutely fine around town. Never an issue apart from going uphill steeply can be annoying, as people behind you can't seem to grasp what car you are in and expect you to be able to fly up it. It does drag up steep hills and is slightly sluggish on slight ascents, even with full gas. Best to build your speed up a bit before hitting ascents. On the flats, it is somewhat nippy, of course the performance isn't amazing but is very reasonable.
The gear changes have no problems except when trying to put in reverse I have to try and put it in, lift the clutch up a little then try again and it goes in, that has really done my head in before now!!
I find people drive up my arse no matter what speed I'm doing in the Micra, do people have some sort of stigma about it? To me a car is a lump of metal that gets you from A to B not some posing machine, so if you can ignore the ***** or **** then even better, or tap your foot a little on the brake, that should sort them out. I honestly feel like since I've driven this car but do not let it really bother me anymore.
In rain the windscreen clears very easily with 3 speed settings. I have never once skidded or felt unsafe whilst driving. It feels glued to the road almost. Even when corneringor on roundabouts it feels solid and safe. As yet I have not driven in snow or ice no doubt I will be able to update my review with this information soon!!
As yet no visible signs of rust.
Owned for 10 months. Never let me down, not needed to top up oil yet either despite several checks. Never struggled to start.
I feel like I am laughing all the way to the bank with this one, a full tank is obtained on less than £30 from nil to really full up which can last me a couple of weeks so personally I have found this to be excellent!!
I hope this review helps people choose their next car and provides some useful information. Thank you for reading!
I have travelled many thousands of miles in this car and I have never experienced a moments trouble. It has never failed to start no matter how cold and wet it has gotten (and it has been frozen on many occasions). The driving experience is cheery - even now it makes me smile to get behind the wheel. In someways it is more like driving a go kart than a car - the turning circle is like a black cab. Of course a car of this size is better suited to city driving as its so agile, but I've mainly used it for motorways. Acceleration is nothing special but then you don't buy a 1.2 litre Micra for thrills. It is comfortable on long journeys. Seat gives good support and the ride is smooth enough for the time to pass pleasantly.
I was pleasantly surprised with the amount of room inside (a LOT more than the old style Micra). Everything is so well designed that it really squeezes the maximum amount of room from the design. I particularly like the amount of headroom in the front. Leg room is sufficient to get 5 adults in without too much fuss. Adjustable headrests in the back add comfort for passengers. Another good feature is the slideable back seat - allowing the boot to be made smaller bigger to accomodate more leg room in the back.
The main attraction for me was the cost to run, insurance and fuel economy are pretty much the best you can get. Personally I find the design very attractive, but its not to everyones taste. I'd recommend to anyone who wants a car that does what you want it to do, not one that makes a statement to other people.
I?m not sure where to start this review so I?ll start at the beginning. It?s July 2000 and I need a car, the loan is sorted (with the Co-operative Bank) and I?ve spent the last two afternoons walking round car lots in Ipswich and I?m getting nowhere fast. Lex Autosales (no longer selling cars) are next on the list of places to visit. On the forecourt is a plethora of shiny things in a rainbow assortment of colours but nothing in my price range, as I get ready to leave a salesman chasing his commission no doubt asked if he could help. I told him I was interested in the Micra but it was too much (£4,500) and did he have anything cheaper in pink? He went to check (bless him), he returned from his computer to inform me that I had a choice of red, white or purple but nothing in pink. I opted for the red one as it had the lowest mileage (19,580 miles) and they had it delivered to them the next day. After half an hour of rummaging about under the bonnet and the wheel arches and kicking the tyres I decided to ask for a test drive. An hour and a half later I?d bought a Nissan Micra. The car in question is sat out on the drive as I type. The documentation claims it?s a Micra Muzic but it would have to be metallic sky blue not red, it did have the Muzic door stickers but I guess it was someone having a laugh at the Sunderland factory when it was built. Yes it?s a British (Japanese) car. In the three and a half years I?ve owned this car it has never missed a beat, never broken down (tempting fate now), never not started first time or failed me in anyway. The 998cc engine is virtually bombproof and the 5-speed gearbox it?s coupled too is beautifully smooth in operation. This combination returns excellent fuel consumption on long runs of around 55mpg and with care and a light touch (and some freewheeling) you can get up to 65mpg but who drives that carefully. I?ve never worked out the figures for around town. I do about 5000 miles a ye
ar mostly on runs to family in Yorkshire or Somerset so town driving isn?t much of an issue and in Colchester it?s easier to take the bus into town. That said it is a very good town/city car. It?s light controls, excellent all round visibility and small size make it more than a match for our busy and congested streets. The one draw back with the 1 litre engine is you have to work the gears to keep her moving when you?re loaded and on hilly terrain but as long as you keep stirring the gears up you can keep on motoring along at a fair pace. The motorway miles are easy going for what is a small car and once you stretch her legs cruising at 70 mph is a doddle. If you need to take her over that speed (not that I would advice that sort of behaviour as it?s illegal) you can, although the handling over 90 mph is ?lively? for want of a better phrase. Of course at those speeds your petrol consumption is severely hammered. The Micra offers plenty of light and room inside whether it?s for your legs, head or luggage. I?m 5? 10?-ish and have no problems with headroom in the front or the back and with the rear seats folded down I can get all of Mrs Levelt?s bags in plus Christmas presents and even a bag for myself. The rear seat folds flat(-ish) giving a large luggage capacity although some longer items can prove to be awkward. Not the best vehicle to take skiing perhaps! The level of equipment isn?t one of its best selling points the highlight being the remotely (lever inside) adjustable side mirrors. An ashtray without a lighter is slightly puzzling but as I don?t smoke its not really problem except when camping, as I have to blow the mattress up manually. My main complaint is that this car lacks a rear wash wipe something that really shouldn?t have been over looked. As for the rest of the interior it?s all fairly standard stuff, basic and functional. One nice touch is the adjustable steering wheel. It only moves up and down but for long runs
it makes all the difference even if it does obscure the top of the speedometer. A pair of door speakers provides the noise for the Philips anti-theft coded radio cassette, again nothing stunning but it serves the purpose for which it was intended and I can live without a 300watt sub woofer. It does have a traffic announcement override plus one or two other buttons for tuning to alternative frequencies as the incoming signal weakens. When I bought the vehicle it only had one key so I trotted off to the dealers to order a new one. Imagine my surprise and horror to be told it would cost £38.50. For one key I thought that it was a little pricey, until the nice young man told me it was because of the NATS. It has flies? No he explained it?s the Nissan Anti Theft System, you have to code the key to the car. I still wasn?t happy about the price and was able to sort a deal out with Lex Autosales and got it for trade (£20). NATS if you were wondering (as I?m sure you are) is an engine immobiliser no coded key no ignition. Not that the Micra is well known for its appeal to joyriding twockers. (TWOC ? taken without owners consent) That said I also use a large steering wheel lock better safe than sorry, I?m a belt and braces kind of guy I guess. The running costs are very reasonable in my opinion. A service costs between £180 and £220 depending on the level at the local dealership and this includes the MOT. Fully comprehensive insurance (Norwich Union Direct) is £292.76 (3yrs no claims), which also included legal cover. I suppose it also helps being a little older, finely a plus point to getting old. A years ?road tax? cost £105 this year so in total it could be far worse and much more expensive. One cost that we all tend to forget about is tyres and with good reason largely due to the cost. This is another of the Micra?s advantages they are very light on their boots and providing you keep them inflated to the correct pressures and don?t use them
as a distance to kerb measuring tool when parking you?ll get many many thousands of miles out of them. I replaced all five last year because they?d been on since I?d bought the car and were starting to degrade in a way that left me feeling a little uncomfortable inside, I think its called paranoia. Anyway it cost a little over £170.00 inclusive for 5 Pirelli P3000?s I know it sounds a lot but if I don?t replace them for 3 years its not to painful. You can of course fit different or cheaper brands or find a deal somewhere this is just to give you an idea of price. The Micra is not a sexy love god of a car or even chic but it is cute. However, if you want something to go out on the pull in don?t buy a Micra. It?s driving style is best described as predictable and safe but if you want to have some fun on the twisty turny stuff it won?t let you down as you can really throw this little car about and it will be forgiving up to a point, its not a sports car after all. Treat it with a little love and attention and you will be rewarded ten fold. Cost of buying an R registered model now, (this hurts as I only paid the loan off last year) varies. With an average of 60,000 miles a dealer will charge about £1600.00 whereas a good privately sold model will be around £1400.00. And if your interested a poor example could cost as little as £750. (Prices from Parkers Guide) So if you?re looking for a second car or want a cheap and reliable runabout after passing your test do give the Micra some serious thought, they?re an exceptional little car.
When my Suzuki is serviced, I find the best place to take it is my local independant garage as they supply me with a loan car. Ok, its not going to break any land speed records but neither is my Vitara. So what im presented with is a nice new Nissan Micra 1.3. Only 700 miles on the clock and ready for some abuse. On looking at the Micra, it looks like a joke car. Its more of a bubble than a car with rounded edges wherever you look. The paintwork is a shiny Red with no obvious flaws. The colour coded bumpers make it a little bit too Red for my liking. You have a read window wiper on this mini hatchback. Handy as monst little cars leave this off. Its nice to be able to see out of the back window in bad weather. Something my plastic windowed Vitara prevents. Mentioning the hatchback, the boot is reflective of the car's size. Small. Unless you intend to do a very small food shop or intending on dieting soon, this car is not for you. OK for mum on a school run if the kids are young but lousy for anything else. Inside is like stepping into a very basic, but functional, small cheap brand car. The doors feel very light when closing although the claim to have side impact bars. I cant feel any weight to them. The cloth used to cover the ill shaped seat leaves a lot to be desired when considering the comfort zone. Head room is at a premium unless you are a Ump Loompa or small child. Both of which should not be driving on our roads. Leg room is similarly restrictive. Travelling long distance can cause some discomfort as posture is not really considered when designing. More used for town driving where its good turning circle and small body help when parking in tight places. With 5 gears, you dont end screaming the 1.3 engine to death. OK, it wont do much more than 90 and will only reach that speed down hill with the wind behind you. Then again, its not built for motorway driving. Its quite nippy away from the lights
but lacks any mid range torque. You might get a jump on someone but they will soon close and catch you. Overall, It is a handy little car to have when mine is being serviced. Saying this, having it for one day is quite long enough at any one time.
I have an M reg Micra. It is very reliable and for a small car seems to have plenty of room. Last summer I drove from Manchester to the south of france with my wife and 3 children and had no problems what so ever although it did get a bit sticky because of the lack of air conditioning. Th petrol consumption is very good. The overall feel of the car is good and it is a pleasure to drive. My only fault is with the demister fan - it only works on full setting. I have now clocked up 114000 miles
~ ~ This little car comes in for quite a bit of stick from various sources for being both staid and dated, but Nissan can afford to laugh all the way to the bank, as it has been a best seller for them in all its various guises and models for more years than I care to remember. One of the main reasons I believe this to be the case is that Nissan as a manufacturer are never content to sit on their laurels, and constantly strive (in common with all the Japanese car manufacturers) to improve their cars. ~ ~ The most recent version of this very popular little hatchback sees it getting a fairly drastic facelift in the styling stakes, that allows it to still hold its head up high in the face of very strong opposition in the supermini sector. It doesn’t actually look all that different from its predecessor, (that dates back to 1992) but there have been a fair number of changes that make life that little bit more pleasant for the motorist. Visual improvements include restyled bumpers, side sills, and mouldings and a set of brand new front and rear lights. The front grille has been given a new look as well, in keeping with the new model Almera and Primera, and is a far “sportier” design than before. ~ ~ The interior has also come in for some changes. It has a new four-spoke steering wheel, and great emphasis has been placed on making the cabin “user friendly”, with loads of features like bottle holders, map pockets, and various hooks to hold anything from your jacket to your takeaway curry. The dash has been redesigned, and the controls and switches are now much more accessible than in the previous model. There are now cabin air filters, which work not only on exterior air, but on re-circulated air, thus allowing them to deal with tobacco smoke. (very “green”!!) Other nice little touches include a huge rear view mirror, allowing you to deal very effectively with those blind s
pots that can easily cause a nasty accident, a buzzer to warn you when you’re getting low on fuel, and night illumination for all the switches and controls, that makes them easier to find in the dark. A bad fault with older Micras was the simply awful bench-like seats, with their very uncomfortable flat cushions. These could play havoc with the old posterior, and were dreadful on a long journey. These have now been replaced with a set of curvaceous chairs, that will mould themselves to the shape of even the biggest rear end. The car runs quieter than before as well, thanks to heavier insulation being put into the dashboard and floor areas. Safety isn’t forgotten, and a driver’s airbag now comes as standard on the whole model range (even the cheapest model) with the option to fit a passenger airbag, and also side airbags if required. (a first in this particular sector) Boot space is small, as you would expect in this size of car, but you have the option to fold down one or both of the rear seats if you require extra carrying capacity. ~ ~ On the road, it is not terribly different from before. It still has Nissan’s entry-level 1-litre engine, which produces 54Bhp, which will take the car to a top speed of 93mph. It doesn’t do it too quickly either, taking 15.5 seconds to get you to 60mph, but let’s face it, if it’s performance you’re looking for, then you don’t buy a Micra!! If you go for the bigger engined 1.4-litre, this will give you a top speed of 106mph, and improve your 0 to 60mph time to around the 12 seconds mark. The car seems nippier to drive though, especially around town, which is probably a bit of an illusion due to its small size. Power steering is standard throughout the range, and this, combined with the size, makes it very easy to drive, and parking is an absolute doddle. An engine immobiliser means that you can rest a little bit easi
er if its parked in the driveway at night, as it makes it a wee bit more difficult to nick. One big improvement that Nissan claim is in the effectiveness of the braking system. They’ve added what they call “Nissan Brake Assist”, and “Electronic Brakeforce Distribution”. Seemingly, what this gobbledegook actually means is that you now get maximum effectiveness from your brakes without having to press the brake pedal so hard. The car can be bought in both manual and automatic versions, and there’s talk of a 1.5-litre diesel version coming on the market. It’s already available on the Continent, but it hasn’t made its appearance here in Ireland just yet. ~ ~ The BIG advantage of this size of engine is, off course, the fact that it is very cheap to insure, thus making the Micra an almost ideal first car for young drivers, until they can build up a bit of no claims bonus. Also, there is its frugal use of the old go-juice (petrol), with an average of about 40 mpg around town, rising to an impressive 55 mpg on a long run. Servicing intervals are standard at about 10,000 mile intervals, and it has a full three year parts and labour warranty. ~ ~ The cheapest version here in Ireland is the 1-litre, 3 door hatch at £10,295, rising to £11,395 for the i.4-litre, 5 door automatic. (prices in Irish Punts) In the UK, the equivalent prices are £7,250 and £10,495 respectively. There’s still a bit of “mileage” left in the little Micra yet!!!!
Living in the big smoke as I do, there is a wealth of cars around, from the classic to the latest model. But as space is such a premium in the congested, polluted modern Scottish city there are an abundance of tiny little cars known as "city cars". Like lice in the hair of a six year old, these little pests are all over the place. As a rule I would never buy one, but I have driven a few. One such car is the Nissan Micra. Of course it would be very stupid of me to review this car purely from the point of view of an enthusiastic driver because if you’re actually referring to this review to make a decision on what car to buy, you’re not interested in my point of view. So I will strain to put myself into the shoes of the pensioner or the young female student. This is not an easy task for me, so be warned. My knowledge of the Nissan Micra comes from the fact that both my mother and one of my older sisters both own them. There are two in the driveway of the family home and when they sit there idle, all they do is reduce the value of our property. But having had plenty of driving time in a Nissan Micra 1.0 S five-door, I think I have enough acquired knowledge to give you an informed opinion of this car. Anywho, on with the business of reviewing this little midget… The Micra Mk II has been around for nigh on 8 years now, which by modern standards is a ridiculously long time for a platform to be around. The Micra has won European Car of the Year but that was in 1993 according to my sister’s car sticker and the Micra has been usurped many times since. Styling-wise it is charming to some, dopey to others (i.e. me). Those big headlamps give the car a bemused look, as if it’s startled to still be in existence. It looks like a big mould of play dough and it certainly has aged considerably in the styling stakes. Edgy is the new round in terms of car fashion and the Micra is considerably out of
fashion. Inside things don’t get much better. The dash may have improved for the extremely basic and sparse original version, but it still houses minimal standard kit and it’s still got that cheap looking grey plastic that looks like it’s been remoulded from the inside of an old Ford Transit. The car has such luxuries as a radio (oooh!) and a driver’s airbag and deadlocks. But that’s it. For air-con or electric windows you need to pay extra on this most basic of basic models. With only a single airbag and no mod-cons like ABS, this car probably isn't as safe as its competitors. I don't have any Euro NCAP figures to hand but I don't think that the Micra would be altogether too bad in terms of safety, but would not compete with the likes of the Renault Clio (a car the next Micra will share its underpinnings with) or the Skoda Fabia. Space is constantly improving in this class of car, but sadly not in the Micra. It remains all too true to its name with barely room for two in the back seat and heaven forbid that a tall person ever had to sit in any of the seats. They’d need to put their head out of the optional sunroof. The seats are too hard and you sit far too upright for my liking. This does give you better visibility and I suppose you might get used to it but it doesn’t feel right to me. The Toyota Yaris has plenty of well thought out cbby holes but the Micra offers few of these. The car hasn’t really developed in these criteria since the Mk II came on the market. On the road it doesn’t fair much better. Lawnmowers probably have bigger engines than the tiny 1.0 litre unit, pumping out a whopping 59 bhp at 6000 revs. This car will take almost 16 seconds to reach the 60 mph mark and the little torque there is (59 lb ft) feels like it comes in far too far up the rev range. While I admit that most Micra owners don’t care about this sort of thing, this sort of
speed is intolerable for anyone and unsafe if you ever need to accelerate away from danger. If you don’t weigh too much it will pass 90 mph if you happen to take it onto an Autobahn, but this car is about as far from a performance model as it’s possible to be. It’s well mannered on the road though. The steering is quite precise and very light, which is of course part of the appeal to the elderly driver. City parking is cinch in one of these little rats. The ride is a little too rough, especially if you push that little 998cc engine. At even 60 mph the car starts to vibrate and rattle and you can feel chassis just cannot cope on the open road at all. Obviously in the city you’ll be lucky to reach 30 mph and there is no doubt that this is the Nissan’s natural environment, but just about every other mainstream model in this class out performs it. You may now be wondering what exactly the advantages of buying a Micra are after all this negativity. Does it have a big boot, for example? Well let’s put it this way, if you were asked if the Tories were electable you would answer the same way as I would for boot space. What the Micra can offer its owner is low running costs. The group one insurance and almost 50 miles to the gallon offer both the student and the pensioner a massive financial incentive. This group of buyers tend not to be very high up in the engineering stakes when it comes to cars breaking down too, but the chances are that the Micra never will. All this comes at just over £7000 new, but the resale value is not good. In the shoes of the old age pensioner or the female student, I would have to say that I cannot recommend the Nissan Micra. The Toyota Yaris is now old enough to be bought second hand and is a car of countless advances in quality, plus that famed Japanese reliability (which the Micra also enjoys a slice of). The Skoda Fabia blends looks with all the qualities of the Yaris
and even the ageing Peugeot 106 / Citroen Saxo are superior to the Micra. As my normal self I detest this car, but this has not shrouded my judgement in this review. The simple fact is that the Nissan Micra can no longer cut it. Nissan need to release their replacement pretty soon and judging by the top two cars in the class, it needs to create something very special.
I am the lucky owner of a new style 1.4 S automatic Xreg Micra, this replaces my 1.3 SLX Mreg auto which was also bought new and for which I was offered an excellent trade in value. My main interests in a car are legroom and economy for stress free town driving and longer distance pleasure trips. This car exceeds all expectations and is highly recommended. It is worth pointing out the improvements and changes. Impressive additional power with the small increase in engine size makes the car surprisingly nippy. One downside is that this automatic car creeps in neutral like a traditional automatic whereas the older car with the same NCVTransmission completely disengaged when stationary, which was much safer. This car will involve wear on the handbrake at traffic lights which needs to pulled up to the maximum, and I need to get back in the habit of keeping the foot hovering over the footbrake. There is now a footrest for the left foot, small thing but without one there is abnormal stress put on the foot of automatic car drivers on long journeys. New model provides a "sport" button on the auto gear stick that provides gentle but very effective engine braking. The older model only provided an L gear setting that was far to raucous to ever use as an engine brake, meaning you had to apply continuous footbrake pressure whenever going downhill. High-level rear brake light set in ridge of roof and rear windscreen. Very bright headlights with adjustable beam which, when set to low level, allows you to drive on full beam giving you impressive extended night visibility without any glare to oncoming cars. Rear windscreen wiper now rests at bottom of screen rather than previously perched at an irritating angle. Impressive sound from tuner and tape, new model has only two front speakers but the quality is superb, very relaxing. The RDS for traffic reports is received at set volume, whereas
before I never used it as it was factory set to blast you at full volume. Car has power steering as standard, never thought it necessary before in a small car, but this makes cornering and parking a pleasure and there is a much tighter turning circle. Car insurance is as cheap as you can find it; the tax disc next year will be at the cheaper rate; with steady long distance driving I have touched 50 miles to the gallon, 32 sitting in traffic jams trying to get to work. New car came with free one year insurance, not a huge perk as it is so cheap to insure anyway, plus the usual free RAC and one year tax disc. Regular annual servicing on my old car averaged £150 per year at local Nissan dealer with free MOT usually thrown in. The only additional costs incurred on my old car was replacement of suspension mountings (which I suspect was a manufacturing fault), an occasional rattle finally identified as rear seat mountings working loose, one set of brake linings and two new tyres. As an ex Honda owner I am now a committed Nissan fan, we also have a trouble free Kreg Nissan Primera estate in the family, also bought from new. The new Micra is highly recommended
It’s Friday night and there’s just one set of keys left in the jug where we store such things. Hopes rise for a 200SX, a QX three-litre, perhaps. Get real. Instead, nestled right in the furthest, darkest corner of the garage is a little red three-door Micra 1.0 S. While the once-cute styling might have dated a bit much for our liking, it’s still an excellent town car, with a light gearbox and clutch. Sitting in traffic isn’t the pain it is in a lot of other cars, for you can creep forward gently without having to pump your left leg like crazy. Power steering would be nice, but isn’t available on this model (although it is standard on the top-of-the-range 1.3 SLX). Even so, the Micra will nip and tuck through traffic along with the best of them. And the engine is quick enough for pulling out of side streets onto busy main roads in safety. On A-roads, however, the Micra’s pint-sized horsepower becomes more noticeable, especially in the overtaking lane. It struggles to keep pace with faster traffic, especially uphill. Handling is fun on slower roads, but on dual carriageways the Micra lacks that assured, composed and stable feeling of more modern rivals like VW’s Polo and Ford’s Fiesta. The Polo and the Fiesta are better cars but the Nissan has its strong points, too. In town, it delivers everything asked of it, but out of town it struggles. If it was our money, we’d find a little more and buy the more powerful 74bhp 1.3-litre version.
We are thinking of buying a new car, but can't afford a big one not that we could afford to run it anyway with the price of petrol. We have a '98 'E' reg Micra 1.0L which is just about on its' last legs bless it! Because the current one has lasted so long we hope to buy another Micra, perhaps an 'L' or 'M' reg. The only thing is, as we now have an 18 month old and all of her junk to cart around whenever we go anywhere, I was wondering if the boot would be big enough? Is it the same size as the old model or smaller? Do the rear seats split? Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.
The Nissan Micra was one of the string of mini cars that were rolled out on to the forecourts in the mid eighties. Then, it was seen as the car that was used to learn to drive in or was driven by the more mature person (usually at 25mph down a dual carageway). In the mid nineties, it was given a makeover. With the corsa came a new contender and a new shape. Nissan followed suit, with a look not dissimilar to Vauxhalls new baby. People liked the new look, the curves or bumps added a younger appeal. The model I drive is a two door automatic with power steering. The automatic box makes it easy for around town and stop-start driving. Nissan have a system where, even when the car is in drive mode, unless the accelerator pedal is pressed, the car does not slowly move forward as is the case with some automatic boxes. The power steering is a luxury that is really not required on a car of this size. Although it is quite nice to be able to steer with little effort, I don't think I would need to exert myself a great deal more if it was not there. Space is not too cramped and the boot is spacious. Engine is simple to carry out the basic maintenance and the look is still not that dated. I like the Micra, and it is still able to overtake when you need to on the motor way.