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Nissan SE+

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      28.10.2001 00:46
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      Goodbyeeeee, goodbyeeeeee, wipe the tear, silver tear, from your eyeeeeee! Nissan announce the launch of the all-singing, all-dancing New Micra! Expect it to hit the shelves some time next summer or autumn. For the enthusiasts amongst you, if you haven’t seen a picture, it’s a cross between a Ford KA and the new VW Beetle. But we don’t want to give you that (in the words of Chris Tarrant) we want to tell you all bout the Micra 1.0, a car that has been in production since 1992. Built across the water from my hometown of Newcastle, Nissan UK, based just outside of Sunderland is the UK’s largest car producing plant. Here are some facts about Nissan, just t give you an insight into the company. Nissan Europe started back in 1980 with the equity acquisition of the Spanish Motor producers Iberica SA This followed with the announcement that they were the major shareholders in 1982. They then began production of the Patrol there in 1983 and opened up a parts division in Amsterdam to concrete their foundations as a major player in the European market. Nissan Motor Co UK was formed in 1984, production started in 1985. In 1991 they started exporting cars, namely the Primera to the Far East. In 1992 the Micra was produced at the Sunderland plant and the Serena launched at the Spanish plant. 1993/4 saw the launch of various motors, including the Terrano 11, 200SX, QX and the Mistral, the Japanese version of the Terrano. The next few years saw the launch of the Almera and new Primera range. Nissan sunny won the British Rally Championship. 1999 saw the 1,000,000th Micra roll off the production line at Sunderland. And finally this year saw the launch of the x-trail. MICRA 1.0 Right, we have established her birthplace and the fact that she is nearly ten years old, a rarity in herself in this day and a
      ge. Just to let you know that there are a fair few 1.0 models, each with their own specifications and quality’s, Here is the list. 3dr Micra Vibe or E Micra Active Micra S Micra SE Micra Sport 5dr Micra S Micra SE Micra Sport Prices range from £6495 upwards. Available in both manual and automatic versions. The Micra has a fairly comfortable feel inside with enough room for a 6 footer like myself to manoeuvre within. Legroom is slightly knees to the steering wheel, but no so much so, that it restricts your steering in any way. Headroom is fine with the sunroof addition hardly making that much difference to the height of the car. Fits two adults, two small children on a short journey with comparable ease to similar vehicles, but 4 adults is a no-no. On long journeys this car may get slightly claustrophobic, and unless your children are extremely well behaved, it would take more than the air conditioning to keep your cool. Drives like a super-mini should, with nippy acceleration and jerky shudders if you floor it too much. Handles well, and feels safe at low speeds. Corners a bit tight, but follows your commands well, which leaves me to believe that if you drive it like a Micra, it performs well. Drive it like a sports car, and it will leave the road. That doesn’t knock its effectiveness in anyway, but more a warning not to thrash it around town like a boy racer. She accelerates really well, and breezes in and out of tight space, like they were football fields. Suspension is slightly rugged and you tend to feel bumps in the seat of your pants, rather harshly at times, but a low speed, handles ramps and sleeping policeman, very well. All-round vision is a plus factor of this car, with an almost square back making reversing a simple task for even the most novice of drivers. MPG is extreme
      ly reasonable. 38 Urban 54 Extra-Urban Combined total of 47 MPG Not bad eh! So who should drive this elegant little motor then? City dweller! Ideal for student, beginner, small family, or the solo traveller. Country commuter! Someone who lives quite a few miles away from work and is concerned about the environment. Also anyone on a tight budget, as the savings on petrol, tax and insurance (group 3) Will benefit them greatly. To sum up this car in general, a very reliable motor, with a 3-year/60,000 mile warranty as standard, it makes for a bargain that will last you for years and years. If image is not your first concern, this could well be the beast for you. You can pick up some used bargains as well if you tour the auctions, but look for low mileage and full history. Angus Reid 23/10/01


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