Road test – the Nissan Micra

Small but perfectly formed – this supermini has a big personality

Perky little cars know no age barriers – they have massive appeal to everyone. Younger drivers enjoy the combination of under-bonnet zest and ultra-low car insurance, with the older end going for the long-life, economical engines, which also promise reliability.

That explains why Nissan’s cute and cuddly Micra is a real hit with buyers of all ages. The Sunderland-built hatchback has been on sale since 2003. In that time it’s won over thousands of buyers with a fine mix of eye-catching looks, easy-going nature and thrifty performance.
Great Design & Gadget-tastic!

The design is something everyone can admire. It’s curvy and distinctive with a friendly face, and as well as helping it to stand out from the crowd, the long curving roof helps maximise interior space, which is good news for passengers front and rear.

It’s the same story on the inside. Slide behind the wheel and you’re greeted by a cabin that’s attractive and easy to understand. The chunky steering wheel is nice to hold and has buttons mounted on it for controlling the stereo system, which is a useful safety feature. The rest of the controls are neatly laid out in the centre of the dashboard and it only takes a moment to get comfortable in the driving seat.

There are also plenty of toys available for gadget fans. As well as electric windows and an impressive stereo system, the Micra can also be specified with luxury items like leather upholstery, climate control and even keyless entry and start, which is something usually reserved for much more expensive cars.

Fun to Run, Cheap to Insure

Another ace in the Micra’s hand is the engine range. There’s a choice of one diesel and three petrol options, and all offer a good blend of performance and economy. For those looking to save a few pennies, the smallest 1.2-litre petrol is a good choice. With group two car insurance, over 40mpg and a price tag a little over £7,000, it’s an attractive way into economy motoring.

The diesel version is even more appealing. With a gutsy 1.5-litre unit under the curvy bonnet, it has a useful turn of speed, yet can clock up remarkable economy – over 60mpg is possible. What’s more, this sprightly model’s still only in car insurance group three, which means low premiums.
Even the top models are only in car insurance group seven, so premiums will be relatively low whatever the model.

Smooth and Reliable

The driving experience is effortless too. The driving position is comfortable and gives you a great view out, while the controls are smooth and undemanding, which partly explains why the Micra has been a hit with driving instructors for years! It’s refined too, with little noise from the engine or the road making its way into the cabin. Even long motorway journeys are no problem for this little car.

As an ownership prospect, the Micra has a lot going for it too. Thanks to the first-class reputation of the UK-based production plant, the Micra has an excellent reliability record, which should mean breakdowns are an unlikely occurrence. All new Micras come with one year’s free breakdown recovery as standard, but to extend that cover or if you’re buying a used Nissan Micra.

Buying New

The Micra offers excellent value for money, whether new or used. New models start at £7,535 although many dealers have special offers, which will cut that price even further.

Buying Used

For used models, the earliest examples will now be worth around £2,000, putting them within the reach of most buyers. If you’re buying used from a dealer or even from a private seller, car loans are a great way to get hold of the cash, and put you in a good position to haggle for a better price!

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