The Indian small car market has been abuzz, what with the launch of the Figo, Beat, and Polo. The next small car coming up is the Nissan Micra, something for which many of us have been waiting. This week, Nissan unveiled the car officially and it has now hit the showrooms for pre-booking.
The hatchback segment in India has always been a happening one. Earlier, it was the era of Maruti 800 and Zen. Later on, competition started with the launch of the Indica of Tata Motors, and Hyundai’s Santro, Getz, and I-series. Fiat also always had good launches like Uno and Palio but never made a big mark, until the introduction of the Grande Punto, not too long back.
Ford had the Fusion and now its latest big hit with the Figo, and Skoda with its Fabia. Honda bravely launched the Jazz with pricing much above its competitors and not to forget Spark, UV-A, and Beat from General Motors. Volkswagen took tips out of response for Jazz and came up with Polo with a competitive price in 5 to 6 lacs range. Now the latest Entry is the Micra from Nissan.
Earlier, Nissan only had premium luxury cars like the Teana and the X-Trail SUV which was far out of reach for most of the people looking for a quality car from Nissan. Now that Nissan has seen the potential market in India, it has come up with the Micra.
With great enthusiasm I went to have a look at the hatchback from Nissan, and made a visit to the only Nissan dealer in Bangalore. I had seen the dealer many times with virtually no customers. This time it was different. The showroom was well filled with very active and curious customers who were looking to have as much details as they could to take a decision about the car. Truly, the Micra gives a superb impression of a luxury hatchback .
Nissan’s new small car has been built on its new global platform that has been developed especially for the emerging markets. The car carries curvy exteriors and comes in bright colours which definitely eye-catching.
The first thing which grabs the attention is the prominent logo of Nissan and the uniquely designed bonnet. It looks quite sporty and the big clear lens Headlight also won’t go unrecognised. The front portion is bit short compared to other hatchbacks like i20 and Polo. The side panels, body colour painted door handles, and curvy quarter panel are pretty decent. The R14 sized tyres add to the beauty of car.
Though the rear doors are designed well, the door handle and the rear windshield wiper placement do reduce the feel good effect created by the shape of the hatch back door.
The car has a smooth and curved design, also aiding in the car’s drag. It has one of the most impressive coefficient drags of 0.32 which helps in delivering better mileage.
The car’s bloated style may not appeal to few but the overall shape of the car is really charming and cute. We’ll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.
If Ford Figo managed to grab attention of Indian car buyers with features like Bluetooth and competitive pricing, Nissan Micra is a further step ahead. The car comes with new features such as Intelligent Key Entry System and Push button Start-Stop button.
The interiors follow the suit of curvy exteriors. Nissan has stayed away from sharp lines and ‘edgy’ designing while doing the interiors. That’s definitely a pleasant change from previously launched new cars – Ford Figo, Chevrolet Beat and Volkswagen Polo.
The Micra’s dashboard and the mounted components like speedometer, central console and the steering wheel designs are round or oval in shape. Buttons controls are an array of big and small round shapes that complement the overall interior designing.
The glove box is small but then it is not something to complain about. It is quite sufficient looking at the other pockets and holding space given between the seats and the doors. The interiors have been designed with a pretty practical approach.
The doors as we can see from the photos open wide and welcome all to enter easily. Driver seat position is accurate and provides good view of the road. Leg room and head room are very good and a person with height of 6 feet can also be seated comfortably.
The Micra’s music system is positioned accurately and is easy to access without stretching the left hand too much. Fit and finish of dashboard, interiors plastics give a good impression.
The Rear seat is spacious enough for three persons, though the design is such that two persons can be seated comfortably with head rest, while the third person will not have a head rest.
Other features in the Nissan Micra are Dual Front Airbags, ABS (Antilock Brake System) with EBD (Electronic Brake-Force Distribution), engine immobilizer, front fog lamps, security alarm and many more advanced safety features depending upon different variants.
Nissan Micra features a 1.2L three-cylinder petrol engine that delivers maximum power of 76 bhp @ 6000 rpm and 104Nm torque @ 4000 rpm. The car is available in 4 four variants viz., Nissan Micra XE, Nissan Micra XE Plus, Nissan Micra XL and Nissan Micra XV, all featuring manual transmission.
The Nissan Micra’s turning circle radius comes at 4.65m, and Tyres with rating 165/70R14. The car comes in a number of bright colours, namely Sunlight Orange, Blade Silver, Storm White, Pacific Blue, Onyx Black, and Brick Red. The Nissan Micra competes in its space with the Polo, i20 and Fabia.The strength of the Micra is the brand value, price, and the superior quality one can get in hatchbacks.
|Ground Clearance (mm)||154|
|Kerb Weight (kgs)||930|
|Power (PS@ RPM)||76 @ 6000|
|Torque (NM@ RPM)||104 @ 4000|
|Min turning Radius||4.65|
|Tyres||165 / 70 R 14|
|Interior Colour Scheme - Black||Yes||Yes||No|
|Electric Power Steering||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Steering Tilt Adjustment||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Full Wheel Covers||No||Yes||Yes|
|Rear Wipe & Wash||No||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated Audio system||No||Yes||Yes|
|All 4 Power Windows||No||Yes||Yes|
|Central Door Lock||No||Yes||Yes|
|Remote Keyless Entry||No||Yes||Yes|
|Electric Park and Fold Mirror||No||No||Yes|
|Door Mirror Electric Adjustment||No||No||Yes|
|Interior Colour Scheme - Greige||No||No||Yes|
|Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition||No||No||Yes|
|Front Passenger Airbags||No||No||Yes|
|ABS + EBD + BA||No||No||Yes|
|Front Fog Lamps||No||No||Yes|
|Onroad Price (Bangalore)||4.84 Lac||5.85 Lac||6.45 Lac|
Competition All Specs
|Ground Clearance (mm)||154||170||-||168||168|
|Kerb Weight (kgs)||930||1030||-||1090||1055|
|Power (PS@ RPM)||76 @ 6000||85 @ 6000||80 @ 5200||71 @ 6250||75 @ 5400|
|Torque (NM@ RPM)||104 @ 4000||113 @ 4500||112 @ 4000||102 @ 4000||110 @ 3750|
|Min turning Radius||4.65||4.7||-||4.9||4.9|
|Tyres||165 / 70 R 14||185 / 70 R 14||185 / 65 R 15||175 / 65 R 14||185 / 60 R 14|
|Climate Control AC||Yes||Yes||Yes||No||Yes|
|Power Windows||Yes||Yes||Yes||Front Only||Yes|
|CD Player / Bluetooth||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Engine Start Stop Button||Yes||No||No||No||No|
|Electric Mirrors with Auto-fold||Yes||No||Yes||No||No|
|On-Road Price (Bangalore)||6.45 Lac||6.10 Lac||7.50 Lac||5.50 Lac||6.90 Lac|
Nissan has taken a bold step in entering the hatchback segment, and it has come out of restricting itself only to luxury cars. Nissan has studied the Indian hatchback segment market well and done hard work in coming up with variants suiting wide range of buyers.
The Micra give a good impression on grounds of Body shape, fit and finish, and it has all ingredients one looks for when buying a premium hatchback. However, one cannot resist to ask the question - “Where is the service network ?”. The answer from the Nissan Executive is: “The car has come and soon the service network will follow.”
It can of course be expected that the larger volumes that the Micra will generate will enable Nissan to explain its network further.
In sum, the new Micra definitely will appeal to small car buyers that are looking for a pleasant change from cars with bold looks. Nissan has a adopted top-down approach in India by launching models like X-trail and Teana which has made it stay away from the mass market. Now the cheerful, cute looking Nissan Micra may come as a sweet drizzle when it is raining cars in India.
Moreover, priced at between 5 and 6.5 lacs, the new Micra is attractively priced and offers a good opportunity to own a Nissan car.
Lastly, Nissan is well known in foreign countries for high reliability cars. The same success in India greatly depends upon how impressively it advertises the car and builds up its service network.