The original Renault Clio was launched in 1990 and it's been a staple of the supermini club and a hot hatchback ever since. It has a long history of success, including being only one of two cars to have been voted European Car of the Year twice. The fifth generation model was launched in 2019 and unveiled at the Geneva Motor Show the same year.
The Nissan Micra first came to Europe in 1983 and is currently on its fifth generation which was launched in Europe in 2017. Like the Renault Clio, it's come a long way and continuously adapted to remain a popular option in the supermini class across several generations of drivers.
Our guide will compare the Nissan Micra vs Renault Clio to help you figure out which model is the right one for you and your needs.
If looks are important to you then choosing either the Renault Clio or the Nissan Micra will give you a stylish car. Both have had their newest models launch in recent years and have a similar style thanks to the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance shared platforms.
The latest Renault Clio has kept the sleeker lines of its predecessor but introduced a larger front grille, and C-shaped daytime running lights that sees it matching with others in the Renault family.
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 Clio or even the Skoda Fabia.
All models for both cars are now five door but you would be forgiven for initially thinking they may come as a three door thanks to well disguised rear door handles that are actually built into the C pillars of the cars.
The Clio, arguably, has the more eye catching cabin with it's touchscreen slightly raised out of the dash and no thick frame surrounding it which is then enhanced when it's upgraded to the 9.3 inch portrait screen in the RS Line trim. It gives a smooth experience for listening to your favourite album or letting the sat nav direct you to your destination.
The two vehicles also compare with aesthetic finishes. The Nissan Micra adds satin silver decoration to various points in the cabin, with synthetic leather being added at the highest trim levels. The Clio adds sportier touches at the same grade such as contrast stitching, a leather steering wheel, aluminium pedal set, and carbon inserts around the cabin.
As cars in the supermini class, neither is the largest car on the market but chances are you're not buying them to house a full car of passengers every time you drive. The Renault Clio is 55mm wider so has more space for a full row of passengers in the rear seats but the Nissan Micra is 15mm taller which will make a huge difference for those that are taller.
The Clio has 391 litres of boot space (reduced to 301 litres if you opt for the hybrid) compared to 300 for the Nissan Micra. With the rear seats folded the Clio continues to be the better option, offering 1069 litres compared to the Micra's 956 litres. This is also, in part, due to the Clio's length of 4050 compared to 3999 for the Nissan Micra.
As you would expect, the Renault Clio and the Nissan Micra have several pieces of standard equipment in common such as automatic headlights, LED daytime running lights, cruise control, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, and a touch screen housing the infotainment system, but there are some key difference too.
The Renault Clio offers rear parking sensors, diamond cut alloy wheels, a wireless phone charger, and a 7 inch digital driver's display as standard across the range. In the Nissan Micra you need to upgrade to the N-Sport, at a cost of £2230, for alloys and parking sensors but has no option on any trims for the wireless phone charger and the digital display is a maximum of 5 inches.
Both the Renault Clio and the Nissan Micra offer a 1.0 litre petrol engine option, offering 90PS and 92PS respectively. These perform relatively similarly when looking at fuel consumption and emissions and have only 1mph of difference in their top speed too. Either of these will give you
The Renault Clio, however offers the E-Tech Hybrid 145. This works with a 1.6 litre petrol engine combined with two electric motors, a multi mode gearbox, and a 1.2 kWh battery to produce a total of 145PS. As you would expect from hybrid engines, this offers the best fuel consumption with a combined mpg of up to 64.2 and only 100 g/km of CO2.
The Clio also outperforms the Nissan Micra in safety ratings. Euro NCAP rates the Clio as 5 stars and the Nissan Micra as 4 stars, primarily due to it's low rating of 49% in the safety assist category. This is vastly improved when there is an added safety pack, which adds additional safety features, and brings the overall rating up to 5 stars. This is, however, different to the rating with standard equipment.
Both Renault and Nissan offer good manufacturing warranties with their new cars, but again Renault edge ahead. Nissan offers a 3 year or 60,000 mile warranty on all new cars. Your Renault car is covered by a warranty package for up to 3 years from date of first registration with unlimited mileage during the first 24 months, then limited to a total of 60,000 miles (100,00 miles for 100% electric vehicles) or 3 years whichever comes first.
When you first compare Nissan Micra and Renault Clio models they can seem very similar at first glance. Once you begin to research you can actually see that they have many differences and are quite different cars.
The Clio is better equipped, more efficient, and full of additional equipment that you would expect on more expensive models. The Nissan Micra isn't a lost cause however. It's reliable, stylised, and incredibly user friendly which is why it's kept it's popularity for so long.