Nissan Micra Review
The Nissan Micra is a modern, comfortable and high-tech supermini that's now worth buying
Strengths & weaknesses
- Eye-catching styling
- Economical engines
- Easy to drive
- Unsettled ride
- Slow basic petrol engine
- Big price jumps between trims
Nissan Micra prices from £5,200 Finance from £145.39 per month
The Nissan Micra looks modern, is fun(ish) to drive, and has a generous amount of technology as standard.
The Micra has a sporty design, which disguises the handles for the two back doors. There are three engines to choose from: two 1.0-litre petrols, including a 'warm' hatch version with 117bhp, and a 1.5 diesel that can do up to 88.3mpg.
Forget those dull Micras of old – this new model is actually quite fun: agile, grippy and composed in corners. Admittedly, it’s not as engaging as a Ford Fiesta or as a comfortable as a VW Polo. Instead, it’s an impressive all-rounder, which is what most buyers will be looking for.
The interior looks fresh and modern, and most of the dashboard and door materials feel soft to touch and high quality. You can specify contrasting colour schemes, too, which give the interior even more of a lift. Naturally, There’s a seven-inch touchscreen. On lower models it’s a simple radio system but higher-spec cars get a sat nav, DAB digital radio and smartphone-style apps. Apple CarPlay works with both.
While the low roofline gives it a sleeker profile, it does cut into headroom. There’s no shortage of storage space with even the glovebox capable of taking a two-litre drinks bottle, and each doorbin a 1.5-litre one.
With a capacity of 300 litres the boot is among the biggest in the class. More than that, though, it’s been designed to accommodate bulky items such as suitcases more easily. With the 60:40-split rear seats folded, load space grows to 1,004 litres – more than the Polo but less than the Skoda Fabia, which weighs in with 1,150 litres.
There’s the usual mix of mandatory safety kit as standard (airbags, anti-lock brakes and stability control). There’s also the option of an enhanced safety pack on all models. It brings lane keeping assist, pedestrian recognition, road sign recognition and high beam assist. It also has automatic emergency braking, although we’d like to have seen this valuable safety feature fitted as standard.
|Warranty||3 years/60,000 miles|
|Boot size||300 litres/1,004 litres|
|Tax||£140 from second year|
Best Nissan Micra for...
Best for Economy – Nissan Micra Visia+ dCi 90
The dCi 90 diesel can do up to 88.3mpg. So it’s without question the economy champ. However, trim levels have an effect on economy with the basic Visia diesel, which lacks the engine stop-start system in the Visia+, managing only 76.3mpg.
Best for Families – Nissan Micra N-Connecta IG-T 90
Regardless of trim level, the Micra only comes with five doors, which for families is a good start. We’ve chosen N-Connecta here for its useful convenience features including a sat nav and automatic air conditioning.
Best for Performance – Nissan Micra Tekna DIG-T 117
The 117bhp Micra is the sportiest of the range, dispatching 0-62mph in a respectable 9.9 seconds.
- January 2017 New Micra launched in five grades ranging from Visia to Tekna, and powered by a choice of engines: 0.9-litre IG-T petrol and 1.9 dCi 90 diesel.
- May 2017 Third, least expensive, engine joins the range – the 1.0-litre 71 petrol.
- September 2017 Micra BOSE Personal Edition launched, based on Tekna (which has a BOSE sound system as standard anyway).
- January 2019 1.0-litre 71 petrol taken off sale. IG-T becomes IG-T 100. New DIG-T 117 becomes most powerful.
Understanding Nissan Micra names
Trim level Visia +
There are six trim levels ranging from basic Visia to top-spec Tekna and beyond that, limited edition Micra BOSE Personal Edition.
Engine DIG-T 117
There are three engines: two petrols and a diesel. The number in their name relates to their power output and is broadly equivalent to horsepower.
Nissan Micra Engines
IG-T 100, DIG-T 117, dCi 90
The Micra’s three engines (two petrols and a diesel) range in economy from 56.5 to 88.3mpg. Meanwhile, 0-62mph acceleration times range from a slow 10.9 seconds to a respectable 9.9. These are wide ranges and mean you need to be careful which engine you buy.
The most powerful petrol engine is the DIG-T 117. It’s a warm hatch, like a hot hatch, only not as fast. A 0-62mph time of 9.9 seconds means progress is swift, but not rapid. Oddly for a warm hatch, it's available with an automatic gearbox.
The other petrol engine, the IG-T 100, is a one-litre, just like the DIG-T 117. It’s less powerful, but is more economical (62.8mpg compared with the DIG-T 117’s 56.5mpg). This engine is fine if you’re in no rush, and do journeys mostly in towns and cities.
The dCi 90 diesel engine is sensitive to trim levels. For example, in Visia trim it returns 76.3mpg or 12mpg less than in Visia+ trim. This is because Visia lacks the engine stop-start fuel-saving system on Visia+. Wheel sizes also have an impact on fuel consumption with higher-spec versions of the dCi 90 riding on the larger, 17in wheels returning 80.7mpg, even with engine stop-start fitted. Engine-stop start also affects CO2 emissions and hence benefit-in kind tax rates for business drivers.
76.3 – 88.3mpg
Nissan Micra Trims
Visia, Visia+, Acenta, N-Connecta, Tekna, BOSE Personal Edition, N-Sport
There are six core trims and one special called the BOSE Personal Edition. This last one is the most expensive Micra and not really worth bothering with since its key attraction, its BOSE sound system, is also in the cheaper Tekna model. Tekna, is very well equipped but if you don't mind doing without its 17in alloy wheels, which harm fuel consumption, synthetic leather inserts and BOSE sound system, you’re better off with the cheaper N-Connecta trim with its very useful sat nav and smart alloy wheels.
Acenta, the one below it, is cheaper by a significant £2000. It’s a pity it has steel wheels and no sat nav but otherwise it’s reasonably well equipped with a 7.0-inch touchscreen, good connectivity and air-conditioning.
The next trim down is Visia+, an enhanced version of basic Visia, with air conditioning. It’s OK but you should try to stretch to Acenta if you can.
It’s unfair to describe Visia as ‘basic’ since it has vital safety kit including lane departure warning and brake assist with pedestrian detection, both unheard of in cars of this type until recently. However, it is otherwise pretty ordinary.
N-Sport is a new grade for 2019. As you can probably tell by the name, it’s designed to make the Micra look sporty. On the outside you get halogen fog lights, carbon-fibre lookalike finish on the alloy wheels and door mirror caps, and rear privacy glass. Inside, there are Alcantara seats, a rear view parking camera, and remote entry.
Nissan Micra Reliability and warranty
In Auto Express’ 2018 Driver Power survey, the Micra secured a 15th out of 75. Although this is a good result, 19.6% of drivers polled did report a fault within the first 12 months of ownership.
It shares some of its engines with the Renault Clio and Renault Captur, so they’re already quite well proven. The Micra has a lot of advanced technology but much of it has been in use on the Nissan Qashqai for longer and without trouble, so is well tested and developed. The Micra has a three-year warranty.
It’s in the area of safety that the Micra really shines. Thanks to its modern design, but especially its advanced safety assist systems, it scored the full five stars in the increasingly tough Euro NCAP crash tests.
Used Nissan Micra
The 1.0 IG-71 0.9-litre engine model went off sale in 2018. We'd recommend giving this one a miss at it's massively slow and makes using the Micra a pain.
The IG-90 is also no long available new, but they are plentiful on the used market. These are nowhere near as slow, and are a savvy buy if you don’t cover miles on the motorway regularly.