Nissan Micra Review: Mid-life Revival
The hatchback segment in India has been dynamic. A herd of launches happening across all segments has changed the scene off late, causing manufacturers to wow consumers with various different selling points.
When Micra was introduced, it was appreciated for its performance but then the exterior looks got mixed reactions which were too feminine for some.
This hatch brought a fresh trend in the hatch market with features which were normally seen in premium cars especially the keyless entry and Start/Stop ignition button. Initially, the Micra got very popular cause of its retro styling but then with fierce competition the numbers started diminishing.
Nissan has given the Micra a 2013 facelift with bolder looks, retouched edges and premium piano finish interiors. Apart from exterior looks, the new Micra also gets an X-Tronic automatic transmission. With a formal launch later this month, the Micra looks all geared up to begin its fresh innings. We explore more on it in our review.
To begin with the new Nissan Micra does away with the feminine looks however it still does not look angry in your face type. The new car retains certain characteristic lines and sheds off cuteness. Surprisingly, the earlier Micra had a strong female following too cause of its petite nature but then will that remain same with the new version is debatable.
The smiling pokemon face has gone and instead the nose has become bold. The new grille design gives it a bold face. The ellipse has become broader. It sports the V styled strong muscular chrome frame which surrounds the Nissan logo. The frame has contrasting dark honeycomb background. The front bumper looks very radical with the new air intake design and restyled fog lamp holders.
Headlamps now look fierce. The tear drop headlamps of the earlier version are passé as the new headlamps have sharp styling and remind you of the one on Nissan’s 370Z. The headlamp stretches its way along the bonnet. Even the reflecting surface inside the headlight assembly has been increased which contributes to better illumination.
There is a generous garnish of chrome seen on the face of this new version. With this new face, the Micra gets a fresh character. When seen from silhouette, it looks identical to the earlier except for a slight change in length which is very evident cause of the restyled bumpers. On the rear section, the tail gate gets an additional lip which has a pout along the rear bumper. The new Micra also gets a first in class LED tail lights. The rear bumper now sees additional contours which go with the bold front theme.
Nissan has taken all possible feedback to make the car feel as plush as it can. Without changing the basic interior architecture, the seats fabrics and trims have been improved. With the new trims, the cabin feels roomier than before.
The main attraction in the interior is the piano finish central console with 2 DIN display audio system. This comes only in the premium variants as the base gets a matte finished console. The glossy finish of the central panel grows on you and not an instant favorite. Even the colors of the dashboard have been revised as darker shades have a premium feel in India.
The fabrics on seats look decent while the door trims too sport enhanced texture on trims depending on the variant. Seats are comfortable and the legroom for front row passengers is very good. Even the interior door handles have a silver finish. The headroom and legroom remain unchanged. The under thigh support is very comfortable for rear passengers. The headroom for the rear passengers takes a beating cause of the roofline design.
The retro styling in the earlier version is evident in this one too. Example the circular styles airco vents which now have a silver finish. The speedometer tachometer which gets silver rings. So the soft edged theme can be seen all around inside the car. The design has been deliberated kept like that for passenger comfort.
The USB which was sorely missed in the previous version has been very smartly placed between the recesses of twin storage banks on the front dashboard. The upper storage space can store miscellaneous articles while the lower storage has a greater capacity. There are twin cup holders on the central panel. The door pockets can hold a litre class container at ease. Overall, the improved interiors give a positive vibe.
The Micra retains both its engine trims with the petrol displacing 1198 cc and producing a power output of 76PS at 6000 rpm and a torque rating of 104Nm at 4000 rpm.
The diesel engine has a displacement of 1461cc. It produces a peak power output of 64PS at 4000 rpm and a meaty torque of 160Nm at a mere 2000 rpm. The new Micra gets an additional CVT X-tronic transmission along with its manual counterparts.
The CVT box promises to be a radical unit as it concentrates on three primary purposes which include smooth acceleration, good fuel economy and a linear engine response. Rhe new auto transmission promises a fuel efficiency of 19.34 Kmpl which is more than the manual version. Some of the benefits of this box is it has smaller pulleys which makes it more compact and makes it fuel efficient. The engineers have reduced the length of travel by integrating the clutch and sub planetary gears.
The diesel steals the crown of being the most joy to drive version. It amazed us with its strong torque output. Shift it across gears and the power delivery holds on very strong. Even in low revs the engine refuses to run out. Overtaking is not a task at all. The steering feedback is on the heavier side. The CVT box is similar to the one on Sunny and also Renault Scala.
The automatic transmission is a solution to bumper to bumper traffic which needs frequent gear change. With this new box, Nissan claims that the traditional myth of an auto box being more expensive than the manual is no longer true. It has a linear power output. The steering feels very light in the automatic. Maneuvering through tight corners is very easy. This was very effective when we were driving in Madurai in the traffic congested lanes. The suspension setup too is effective. The ride quality remains unchanged.
Features inside the cabin are the same too. The AC is effective in cooling the cabin quickly. The music system performs decently and can be controlled with steering mounted controls. With the improved central panel, the touch and feel of the buttons have been drastically improved. The use of chrome buttons and gloss backgrounds manages to bring a plush feeling.
|Turning radius in M||4.65|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||41|
|Steering tilt adjust||Yes||Yes|
|Power windows front & rear||Yes||Yes|
|Driver side windows with autodown and anti pinch function||Yes||Yes|
|Central door lock||Yes||Yes|
|Intelligent key with push button ignition||Yes||Yes|
|Front fog lamp||No||Yes|
|Rear wiper and washer||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated audio system with 4 Speakers||Yes||Yes|
|Manual AC with filter||Yes||No|
|Auto AC with filter||No||Yes|
|Interior color scheme Greige||Yes||Yes|
|Leather wrap steering wheel and Gear Knob||No||Yes|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||607384||653213|
Competition All Specs
|Variant||XV Premium||ZDIi||1.4 Duratorq Diesel|
|Turning radius in M||4.65||4.7||4.9|
|Tyres||165/70 R14||185/70 R15||175/65 R14|
|Dimensions in mm|
|Fuel Tank Capacity||41||43||45|
|Mileage in KMPL||23||23||20|
|Steering tilt adjust||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Power windows front & rear||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Driver side windows with autodown and anti pinch function||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Central door lock||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Intelligent key with push button ignition||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Front fog lamp||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Rear wiper and washer||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Integrated audio system with 4 Speakers||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Manual AC with filter||No||No||No|
|Auto AC with filter||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Leather wrap steering wheel and Gear Knob||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Ex showroom Price Mumbai||653213||669063||599999|
Nissan Micra gets a timely refresh indeed with minor tweaks but then is it sufficient to keep the hatch floating among competition is what will be determined after its official prices are out. One thing is for sure that the new Micra is not going to be priced lower than the existing version.
The Micra has got mixed reactions in terms of looks but then the engine has always garnered positive reaction. The drivability of Micra has always been positive and with the new Micra the same is continued. Interiors of the car did not seem premium earlier which Nissan claims to have sorted with this one. With tweaked looks, refurnished interiors and a new automatic option, Micra gets ready to take on its competition.