He works at Nissan is six feet eight inches tall and can fit comfortably into the all-new Nissan Micra
Tom Scanlan gets comfortable behind the wheel of the Nissan Micra supermini
Similarly, a four feet eleven inch Nissan employee can also find a comfortable driving position in the new model.
I am five feet nine inches and so also can fit perfectly comfortably behind the wheel, as I found on an interesting test route on the south coast and over the South Downs. There is indeed, for this sector, generous space front and rear and in the boot, plus a well-thought-out variety of slots and cubbies for drinks bottles large and small and for all the usual odds and ends.
The fifth generation of Nissan’s Micra (the first Japanese car, by the way, to sell a million units) is totally different from the outgoing version. Whether Nissan’s use of the word “revolutionary” really sums up the car is perhaps a matter of opinion.
But it does have an impressive list of features, some of which they claim as firsts in the super-mini class. These include Intelligent Lane Intervention that warns you when you have drifted across a white line and a Bose sound system that includes two of its six speakers within the driver’s head rest.
The new Micra is longer, lower and wider than the previous model and bears absolutely no resemblance to it. It is a much more striking-looking and is available with a raft of new colours, colour combinations and attractive interiors that can also be personalised to complement the exterior body shades.
Soft-touch materials and their varying surface designs add to a genuine impression that a great deal of thought has gone into these Micras.
There are five trim levels. At the top is ‘Tekna’. Tekna Micras have 17-inch alloy wheels that lift the emissions up to 104 g/km, as opposed to the 99 g/km on all the ‘lesser’ petrol-engined versions with their 15- and 16-inch wheels. Engines are downsized to a 0.9-litre, 3-cylinder 90 PS petrol that claims a 0-62 mph in 11.2 seconds and a same power 1.5-litre diesel that has more torque, of course.
Driving the 0.9-litre showed up a lack of oomph up hills unless you put your foot down hard, at which point, as long as you’ve dropped down at least to third gear, you do get a good response. It will cruise perfectly happily at 70 mph, with 3000 revs up, and reasonably quietly, too, thanks to carefully-worked noise insulation.
The claimed 64.2 mpg in the combined cycle compares to the 41 mpg on the fairly rigorous test drive, as indicated on the information display.
The diesel’s official figure is 88.3 mpg down to 80.7, depending on wheel sizes.
There is also a low-powered 1.0-litre 4-cylinder petrol engine available, but performance stats have not yet been released. This will presumably be offered for the entry-level Visia model that starts the range off at £11,995.
All the new Micras, even the Visia, feature Intelligent Lane Intervention, Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Recognition, Traffic Sign Recognition (that displays the speed limit on the instrument panel) and High Beam Assist (better visibility at night and automatic dimming where appropriate).
Also standard are six airbags. As you go up the range, then, of course, more and more goodies get added on so that it is possible to head up towards a £20,000 outlay.
I was supposed to find the drive “exciting”, according to the marketing material. Well, not really. It was not at all boring, though, and I would rather say it was fun or enjoyable to drive. This was down to a combination of precise steering, decent handling, progressively responsive brakes, excellent gear change and a supple ride. Comfortable seats, too.
So here is another strong challenger in this part of the car market, with attractive packages and colour schemes and competitively priced.
Car reviewed: Nissan Micra N-Connecta IG-T 90 – Base Price On the road £16,115 0-60mph 12.1 secs Top speed109mph Fuel Economy combined 64.2mpg CO2 emissions 99g/km Engine 898cc 3-cylinder EU6 unleaded Max Power [email protected] Torque [email protected] Transmission 5-speed manual
Impressive specifications and features
Attractive choice of colours and interiors
Good choice of efficient engines
Lack of oomph in the smaller engine variants