Now in its fifth generation, the Nissan Micra has had a serious update from its predecessors. Now described by the brand as the “Tech-Connected City Car”, it shows a commitment to keeping it in line with its competitors such as the Ford Fiesta or the Renault Clio. It’s still a staple in the small car market and still at the forefront of buyer’s minds when looking for reliable supermini cars.
In recent years the Nissan Micra has fallen behind its competitors in terms of style and design but the new version brings it right back up to speed, despite now only providing one option instead of a range of engines.
This review will look at the features available across the new Nissan Micra range, its features and benefits, some key changes from previous generations, and how it compares to other cars in the supermini class.
Nissan moved away from the rounded, bubble-shaped design that had come to be the iconic style of the Micra and has instead moved into a much sharper and sleeker design. It makes it almost unrecognisable from its predecessor and much more in line with the styling of the Toyota Aygo or the Ford Fiesta.
There are several choices that Nissan have made that make the car look much more attractive and comparable to its competitors, including hidden door handles on the back doors and body colour handles for the front, a rear spoiler keeps it sporty, and 8 choices of exterior colours keeps it fashionable too.
The interior has also had an update, with an entirely new design and range of features.
The main focus of the console is the 7-inch touchscreen equipped with NissanConnect. This gives the user the option to use a Bluetooth connection with their smartphone, or Apple Carplay/Android Auto when connecting a compatible phone with a USB cable. The Tekna model gives you the integrated Nissan Connect Navi with TomTom Traffic if an integrated sat nav is a priority.
The Micra cabin has a soft-touch upper dash and is complimented by satin silver decoration on the gear knob, steering wheel and air vents, adding a bit of style to the interior.
The current design is much sleeker than the previous generation with hidden rear door handles and a floating roofline, giving an overall more sporty feel to the car.
The options for customisation at the higher trim levels highlight the sporty style of the Nissan Micra and allow you to make the car completely yours, whether it's choosing the Energy Orange interior trim for the Tekna or the shark fin antenna for the roof, you can make it as stylish as you like.
The 7 inch touchscreen system keeps it in line with competitors and allows you to stay safely connected whilst you drive with the use of Apple Carplay or Android Auto screen mirroring, something that many drivers expect a car to provide as a standard feature now.
The new Micra offers a comfortable amount of space for the driver and front passenger, whit sport style seats, and whilst it says that it has 5 seats it is likely a struggle to have five adults in the car at one time. The rear seats provide a lot less headroom and legroom than the front seats, with some suggestions that there is room for passengers to stretch their legs underneath the front seat. Maybe not the option you want to suggest to your passengers before any long journeys.
It does however have a cloth upholstery that can also be upgraded to Alcantara seats with synthetic leather so that whilst you're in them the seats feel that little bit more comfortable. This can be paired with the adjustable steering column and driver's seat for the most enjoyable drive possible.
It’s obvious that the Micra is a great car for town and city driving. The D-shaped steering wheel and small engine mean that it can manoeuvre in a minimum turning circle of 10m when needed. Add in automatic headlights and rain-sensing wipers and it becomes an excellent car in and out of the city.
For the driver's comfort there is height adjustment for their seat and steering wheel, and also steering wheel-mounted controls for ease of use. The power to control the media without having to look at the screen minimises distraction from the road too.
However, it isn’t necessarily well designed for those who regularly transport several passengers or growing families. The five-door option certainly allows much easier access to the rear seats but the fifth centre seat would be a struggle for anyone if there were two child seats in the back seats.
The boot has a 300L capacity which then triples to 956L with the back seats folded down. They fold in a 60/40 split which gives you flexibility if you need more space but also still has a passenger that needs to use the back seats. This is pretty typical for a hatchback of this size although some may offer additional storage pockets or multiple floor positions in the boot space.
Nissan has trimmed the engine options down to just one in the latest Micra, the IG-T 92 petrol which is available as a manual or a CVT automatic. Previous models saw a turbo and non turbo option but now the turbocharged engine is standard, which gives a little more power to every driver, rather than just those that choose to pay the extra.
They are standing by their promise to phase out diesel cars, with this being the first iteration of the Nissan Micra to not offer diesel engines at all but leaves the electric options to its sibling, the Nissan LEAF.
The IG-T 92 is a three-cylinder engine, giving the driver 92PS and 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds. However, in the CVT automatic gearbox the time falls a little to 13 seconds due to the slightly slower speed that it changes gear. Perhaps the thing that buyers may miss is the six speed manual gearbox for those that do more driving on motorways and out of the city. It does keep the Nissan Micra in an insurance group below 10, making it an ideal car for first time drivers thanks to the lower costs that these groups provide.
Nissan is claiming a combined mpg of 53.3 for the new Micra, which places it on slightly behind other superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai i10 at 56.5mpg. There are similar sized cars with slightly performance but these are either more costly, such as the Peugeot 208, or hybrid models such as the Renault Clio or Toyota Yaris. The fuel economy is what you would expect of a small car, which continues to keep it as a favourite for city driving and learner drivers.
Anyone already familiar with the Nissan range will recognise the different trim levels available in the range. However, the new Micra family has left the Visia behind and introduced the Kiiro, just like the Juke Kiiro, as an intermediate between price and spec.
The entry level Acenta gives you 16” alloy wheels, cloth modern interior, automatic headlights, 7” touchscreen infotainment system, and 5” Drive Assist dashboard screen. Not a huge array of tech but still enough for it to be fun and a little more stylish than it may have previously been seen.
The N-Sport offers LED headlamps and fog lamps, 17” black alloy wheels, rear view camera with rear parking sensors, and Alcantara seats with synthetic leather. Unique to the N-Sport is the black exterior pack which is not available on any other model in the range.
Stepping up again, the Tekna provides the Around View Monitor 360º, 17” diamond cut alloy wheels, the new NissanConnect Navi with TomTom Traffic, and a Bose personal audio system which also features two driver’s headrest speakers.
Nissan also offers the Kiiro, a special edition with a strong mix of features that are additional packs to add on at a cost with the other models in the range. The Vision Pack includes NissanConnect Navi with TomTom Traffic, rear parking sensors, automatic air con, and rear electric windows that usually adds an extra £770 onto the price of the car. Additionally, it comes in the Echo Grey metallic paint and adds Spicy Yellow flashes to the front, side, and rear of the car along the bottom of the trim which makes it a stand out from the other models. The final touch is the rear privacy glass which gives the Kiiro a sleeker look than the others in the Nissan Micra range.
Euro NCAP last tested the Micra since 2017, when it was given a four-star rating as a standard model but received a five-star rating for its safety pack. The new Micra has many more safety features integrated into the car as standard rather than offering it as a separate pack to be purchased. These include hill start assist, high beam assist, intelligent lane intervention, and lane departure warning. As a standard, there are driver, passenger, side, and curtain airbags and ABS with EBD and brake assist to help avoid collisions.
The two rear seats and front passenger seat have Isofix anchorage points for child seats and also a front and rear seatbelt warning light, meaning all passengers in the car can be in safely and securely. These are supported by a huge range of electronic safety systems that are now built into most models of cars and more at the entry-level than some small cars currently offer.
It also became the first car in the supermini class in Europe to offer automatic emergency braking, a potentially life-saving feature that detects an impending impact and deploys the anchors autonomously.
Nissan also offer an extended warranty and a service plan to be added to your car at point of purchase to make sure that once it leaves the dealer it can still be maintained and relied on to perform as expected.
The entry-level Acenta comes in at a sensible £16,675 but there is only a small jump to the top of the range Tekna at £19,755 before any additional options. The N-Sport sits comfortably between the two at £18,905, giving buyers a solid choice of both specifications and price without a huge jump between them. There are options for paint, wheels, upholstery and additional packs across the range which then increases each from the base price. Opting for the CVT automatic option sees the base price increase before any additional options are chosen. The special edition Micra Kiiro falls in between the Acenta and the N-Sport at £18,375 giving an excellent mix of style and technology at more affordable
Overall, the fifth generation Micra is still a great car for a good price. It provides the same stability and reliability that it's known for whilst keeping it fun and modern with a new design and a more solid range of standard equipment. Nissan have continued to make a small and reliable hatchback without breaking the bank and knows that it isn't going to have the most power in the supermini class but are beginning to future proof and stand by their commitment to produce more economic cars for the environment.
The new Nissan Micra certainly isn't as cheap as some other superminis, it holds its own when compared to other hatchbacks of the same size with its wide array of safety features and fun new customisable options.
It has definitely shed the dowdy image that the previous four generations have held and Nissan have clearly taken previous reviews of aesthetics into consideration when redesigning the car itself. Add in its array of standard safety features and the fifth generation Micra is certainly ready to be a serious competitor again.