Used Nissan Micra (2010-2017)

It's spacious and cheap but the Nissan Micra has a few rough edges

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Spacious back seats
Low running costs
Cheap used buy

Weaknesses 

Unexciting to drive
Poor interior quality
Cheaper models lack equipment

This version of the Nissan Micra has been replaced by a completely new model and not a moment too soon. You might remember the name fondly because you learned to drive in a Micra, or had one as a first car, but it was looking extremely outdated as a new car.

However, now that it can only be bought as a used car, this car - sold up to the beginning of 2017 - is (a little bit) more interesting. When new it lost value alarmingly quickly - it was only worth two-thirds of its new price after a couple of thousand of miles. This made it more expensive to own than some versions of the Fiat 500, but also a great secondhand bargain.

It's not that the Micra is a dreadful car: despite the petite appearance, it's roomy and practical, with five doors and enough space in the rear seats to squeeze three children or two adults for short journeys.

Other cars just offer more. The Micra's 265-litre boot is large enough for a small buggy and a weekly shop, but you could have a Dacia Sandero with a 320-litre boot that's even cheaper. The Ford Fiesta of the same generation has a bigger boot too, and is far more comfortable and enjoyable to drive, with more grip in corners and accurate steering that allows you to direct the car accurately through corners and narrow gaps.

In contrast, the Micra leans and sways in corners and crashes over potholes. It's best in town, where good visibility from the driving seat and its short dimensions (it's just over 3.8m or 12ft 6in long) make it easy to manoeuvre. At high speeds, it's noisy with wind whistling over the car.

VW Polo of a similar age feel much more sophisticated, with a smoother and quieter ride, as do others like the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio, which also have more style. Nissan may have a reputation for reliability, but the Micra came with a shorter warranty than the Hyundai i20 (five years) and Kia Rio (seven years). And where the Vauxhall Corsa is able to steer itself into a parking space, the Micra only has a system that will tell you whether it will fit into a space.

At the end of its life, all Micras came with Bluetooth to connect your phone wirelessly, USB and Aux sockets, as well as front electric windows. But the cheapest version doesn't have a split-folding seat, so you have to fold down the entire back row to boost luggage capacity, and neither is there a height-adjustable driver's seat or air conditioning.

The Micra received a four-star safety rating when it was independently crash-tested by Euro NCAP in 2010. Since then, the crash tests have been made significantly tougher, so the car isn't comparable with more up-to-date rivals like the Mazda 2 and Vauxhall Viva, which scored four stars more recently.

 

Last Updated 

Monday, April 24, 2017 - 16:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Three years/60,000 miles
Boot size: 
265 litres
Width: 
1,665mm
Length: 
3,825mm
Height: 
1,510mm
Tax (min to max): 
£0 to £30 per year

Best Nissan Micra for... 

Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S Acenta
A supercharged engine boosts the performance and economy of the Micra. With a manual gearbox, it's got an official fuel economy figure of over 65mpg and will cost you nothing to tax.
Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S N-Tec
It's expensive, but the Micra N-Tec does have useful equipment, including sat nav, parking sensors and a parking space measuring function that’ll let you know if the space you’re trying to get into is big enough for the car.
Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S Tekna
No Nissan Micra is that quick but the range-topping Tekna at least looks a bit sporty, with alloy wheels. Performance is best if you choose the manual gearbox rather than the automatic.
Nissan Micra 1.2 Visia CVT
The basic 1.2-litre engine is slow enough already, without hampering it further with the automatic gearbox. The cheapest Visia trim level is sorely lacking in equipment, doing without air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and a split-folding rear seat.

Nissan Micra History 

  • November 2010 Goes on sale in UK
  • February 2011 More powerful and efficient DIG-S engine added to range
  • December 2011 Kuro and Shiro special editions introduced, which are based on Micra Acenta cars, but have extra equipment incluing parking sensors and heated seats, as well as the option to upgrade to sat-nav cheaply.
  • April 2012 Recall of 4,690 2011 Micras & Jukes for potential fuel leak
  • August 2012 The Elle special edition is introduced. Based on the Micra Acenta, it adds a panoramic glass roof, 15in alloy wheels and different seat upholstery.
  • May 2013 Recall of 8,288 Jun ’12 - Mar ’13 Micras for braking problem
  • June 2013 An update brings revised styling, improved quality and a new dashboard design with a USB port and 12v socket across the range.
  • January 2014 Limited Edition joins the range. The roof is painted in a contrasting colour to the rest of the car.
  • February 2015 Recall of 1,919 May ’10 - Jul ’12 Micras for airbag issue
  • April 2015 Recall of 3,806 Oct ’10 - Feb ’15 Micras for acceleration problem
  • August 2015 Introduction of N-Tec trim level with sat-nav and parking sensors.
  • January 2017 The car is replaced with an all-new Nissan Micra

Understanding Nissan Micra car names 

  • Micra
  • Engine
    1.2 DiG-S
  • Trim
    Tekna
  • Gearbox
    CVT
  • Engine
    All Nissan Micra engines are petrol-powered and 1.2-litres in size. The DIG-S badge is used on the more advanced, supercharged engine, providing more power and better fuel economy.
  • Trim
    The Micra's trim level indicates how much equipment is fitted as standard. In 2016, the cheapest was the Visia Limited Edition, followed by the Vibe, Acenta, N-Tec and then the top-of-the-range Tekna
  • Gearbox
    Automatic Micras are labelled CVT, which stands for Continuously Variable Transmission: a type of automatic gearbox that can keep an engine running at its most efficient speed for longer.

Nissan Micra Engines 

1.2, 1.2 DIG-S (petrol)

There are just two 1.2-litre petrol engines offered in the Nissan Micra. The basic 1.2-litre is not very powerful, with just 80 horsepower (hp). It’s cheap, but makes for slow and lethargic progress. It's not very efficient either: a diesel-powered Land Rover Discovery Sport has a better mpg figure.

You can also specify an automatic gearbox with this engine (except in Tekna trim), but it's best avoided unless you really need an automatic Nissan Micra. That's because the automatic is a Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT), which delivers worse fuel economy, makes performance even slower and results in the engine making an unpleasant droning noise. 

The best engine for the Micra is the 1.2 DIG-S motor, which is supercharged, boosting performance and improving fuel economy at the same time. It’s offered only in Acenta, N-Tec and Tekna trim. This engine is also available with the CVT gearbox, but only in the most expensive Tekna trim level, and again, fuel economy and performance suffer compared to the manual.

No Micra is particularly fast or satisfying to drive, but it’s a competent performer around town. The 1.2 DIG-S engine in particular doesn't feel too strained on the motorway

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration

Top speed

1.2 (manual)

Petrol

52.3 - 56.5mpg

80hp

0 - 62mph: 13.7sec

106mph

1.2 DIG-S (manual)

Petrol

56.5 - 65.7mpg

98hp

0 - 62mph: 11.3sec

112mph

Nissan Micra Trims 

Visia Limited Edition, Vibe, Acenta, N-Tec, Tekna

The trim levels on the Nissan Micra let you know how much equipment comes as standard. These did change during the car's life, so it's worth checking the specification to ensure that the car you're looking at has the equipment that you expect.

Visia Limited Edition is the most basic level, coming with central locking, six airbags, a four-speaker stereo with MP3 player and USB ports, Bluetooth phone connectivity, 14in wheels with plastic covers, front electric windows and a one-piece folding rear seat, which means that nobody can sit in the back if you decide to boost luggage capacity by folding the seats.

Micra Vibe models were a full £1,000 more expensive when new, even though they only offer two additional pieces of equipment. You are likely to want them though: air conditioning and 15in alloy wheels. Both of these cheapest trim levels are only available with the least powerful engine.

Nissan charged £1,500 more for an Acenta model, which makes the Micra start to look expensive when new. You would pay another £1,000 on top of that for the more powerful engine. However, the price difference of used cars is considerably smaller, so it maks sense to look for these cars. Acenta Micras have a more practical split-folding rear seat, so you can increase luggage space and have room for at least one passenger in the back. There's also a height adjustable driver's seat, powered side mirrors, front foglights, cruise control and climate control, which allows you to set the interior temperature.

Jumping to N-Tec level is worth doing if your budget allows. These cars have rear parking sensors, which can measure the size of a parallel parking bay and let you know whether the car will fit, as well as the Nissan Connect 5.8in touchscreen in the dashboard, which controls functions such as the radio and includes sat-nav. Buyers of this model also get tinted privacy glass, 16in alloy wheels and blue stitching on the steering wheel and seats.

Tekna is the range-topping edition of the Micra, but it’s expensive. For the money, you get everything on the lower-spec cars, plus a push-button start, suede-effect trim inside, a leather gearknob and the option of a large panoramic glass roof.

Nissan Micra Reliability and warranty 

As a brand, Nissan doesn't have a good reputation for reliability, being placed 28th for reliability out of 32 manufacturers in the 2016 Auto Express Driver Power customer satisfaction survey.

However, this is partly due to the poor performance of the Nissan Qashqai, pushing the company's score down. The Micra is a simple and straightforward little car that’s been around for a good few years now, using well-tested parts. When it last appeared in the Driver Power survey, the Micra was ranked 24 out of 200 cars. Warranty cover is the industry standard three years or 60,000 miles.

Used Nissan Micra 

The Micra loses a lot of its value in the first few thousand miles on the road, which is excellent news for second-hand buyers, who can pick up a nearly new Nissan Micra for two-thirds of its new price.

The value will keep falling, though, and it may only be worth half of its new price after a year. The big price falls mean that relatively well-equipped Acenta cars are affordable for secondhand buyers, as are N-Tec cars with sat-nav. With this trim level, you should aim for a model built after the Micra was updated in 2013. These cars have a 5.8in dashboard screen with modern software, rather than the smaller and outdated 5in version fitted previously.

Cars built after the 2013 update also have a better-designed and more solid dashboard. You can recognise them by the chrome u-shape on the grille.

Prices below show typical BuyaCar discounts for our pick of used models.

1 year old

2 years old

3 years old

Best for performance

Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S Tekna

Price

£9,996*

£7,999*

£7,500*

Best for families

Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S N-Tec

Price

£10,995

n/a

n/a

Best for economy

Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S Acenta

Price

£9,000*

£6,495*

£5,995*

*Price based on similar model. Figures correct at time of publication

Other Editions