Nissan Micra Road Test Drive Review


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In 2005, Nissan Motors India began production with X-Trial sports utility vehicle and later the Teana saloon which didn’t proved to be too successful in market and are imported as Completely Built Unit. Recently this year, Nissan launched breathtaking 370Z sports car in an effort to improve their market presence and now to get hold of hatchback segment, just about a month ago the much awaited Micra (known as March worldwide) was launched which is based on the Nissan’s new “V” platform models and is targeted to directly compete with cars such as Ford Figo and likes, but has Nissan really Shifted the way we move? Let’s find it out.

Exclsuive Review of Nissan Micra Diesel Here
 
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Thread Starter #2
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How It Looks?

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Like we have been saying from the day new Nissan Micra was revealed, it looks as cute as Walt Disney's cartoon character - Mickey Mouse, from the front and has a classical touch as you move behind, due to slanting roofline and small tail lamps. From the outside, this car feels small, yet fat and solid. The wide focal lamps are elongated and protruded to include the boldness along. Also, the large “Nissan” monogram which defines Japanese reliability, adds to the glory of Micra.

The Bumpers are well integrated and molded for a perfect blend of the shape; Dual split grille appears like human lips, also the chrome garnish on the upper half of grille makes it even attractive. However, Fog lamps are undersized and positioned close to grille. Nissan Micra is neither a low rider nor tallboy; it is a compact hatch with perfect proportions and Aero-Dynamics. A glance from side shows that it starts low from hood and with the big windows, it eventually emerges out as light and airy car. The plain shoulder lines, small wheel arches does not matches too well with the body but ORVMs are large enough for the purpose. For us, somehow the Micra resembles with New Volkswagen Beetle, (which was road tested last year) in quite a few areas, especially when looked from the side. Ground clearance of 154 MM doesn't make much sense for pot-holed road conditions, we wish if Nissan would have at least concentrated on this common issue.

Moving onto the rear, Micra has highly subjective appearance which may not easily appeal to everyone. Spherical rear glass is average sized but provides the clear view; peanut shaped, Tri-split rear lamps protrude and stand apart from the car. The rear door can be opened by remote with the help of request sensor (transponder like system). Absence of alloy wheels even in top-end is pretty sad, so the 165/70R14 steel wheels come across all variants as standard.

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What's Inside?

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Just walk near the car and there’s no more hassle of using keys, simply press button and pull that handle, the real excitement waits inside. Door opens wide enough and getting in and out is comfortable too, close the door and “Thud” sound would instantly make someone impress. The entire cabin is roomy and the wide windshield gives the best view amongst other small hatchbacks. Inside, on the dashboard, Nissan has kept a circular theme throughout, which includes instrument cluster, A/C vents, dashboard buttons and even dual DIN MP3 system, the quality of plastics is good but some bits such as glove box pull lever feels literally low.

Three spoke steering with engraved logo is nice to hold but no built-in controls are available, and behind it, the speedometer console is trendy and offers information such as average fuel consumption, current mileage, DTE (Distance to Empty), trip computer, odometer and time. Horn pad area is extended which helps to honk easily, but the audibility is comparatively less. The Height adjustable driver seat is not present even at the top end model, Driver seats are soft & comfortable, thigh support is good, but slightly firmer cushions will not do any harm for long drives either. All power windows can be operated at driver's side and doors can be locked with one touch of a button, chrome door handles are eye catching and well shaped, something similar to a bottle opener, eh?

The Dashboard design is thoughtful with 3 splits, upper half, slim middle part and a shorter lower deck, but because of these various splits, the space has certainly reduced and makes the glove compartment limited for keeping documents only. The controls mounted on dash are funkier and bigger for ease of use, Air-con vents are placed well and circular styling helps in completely closing the vents when not required. The 2 DIN Audio system is not trendsetter, It performs in understated manner where just bass kicks in and not the Mids. Aux - In is available though USB is still missing. Auto AC is ease at touch and 7 stage blowers keeps interiors of Micra really comfortable under most of the climatic conditions in our country.

The front doors can hold only 1/2 Ltr can and the centre console has 2 cup holders, Vanity mirrors are not present even in the top end. The ORVMs are electrically adjustable and foldable too, which folds automatically upon locking the car with remote, Next car after i20 to have it, but first in its segment. However, Rear seats offer an average comfort, and lack under thigh support but headroom and legroom are adequate and so is the boot space.

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How It Moves?

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Micra's 1.2 Petrol engine is yet another competitor in the world of 1200cc, first came the Kappa engine from Hyundai which proved successful, followed by KB12 from Maruti and now it’s time for Nissan to produce yet another 3 pot 1200 cc engine. But don’t turn down when we say 3 Pot; neither it’s too bad nor too good as Polo’s. It makes a clear sweep for Maruti and a good start for Nissan.

Micra's 1198cc engine is churned out of three cylinders (V platform) which produces 75 BHP @ 6,000 rpm and 104 NM of torque @ 4,000 rpm. There is no concept of keys now for cranking your engine. Just tap the button & with a very minimal jerk, Micra is all set to roll out for an enthralling ride. Engine is silent that no one can hear when windows rolled up, but vibration could be felt at pedals.

Gearing ratios are pretty impressive and stunning; it has a great match of city drivability as well as highway. Slotting the 1st gear produces unbelievable speedometer reading of close to 55kmph, 2nd gear burns rubber double than it. Taller gearing ratios help to get great numbers on the display, but not the initial acceleration which you are looking for an outrun. At lower RPM, response is just mediocre and the torque doesn't play a major role like Hyundai's Kappa engine. Micra feel happy only greater than 2000rpm until 4000rpm. Idle city driving conditions (1250rpm-2000rpm) you can definitely see the lag.

Driving through slow moving traffic is easier, because Micra floats smooth with 3rd @ 30kmph & 4th @ 40kmph. Flushing the Gas pedals makes engine roar and sound is simply heavy & audible, basic characteristic of a 3 cylinder engine. Anything above 5000rpm is not the place where Micra wants to be. This 3 pot engine can easily bring up 140+ figures on display without much issues, Micra's engine is lighter than all competitors except Hyundai i10, which still leads segment with 1.2 Kappa.
 
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How It Performs?

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Eye Catching front design, funky interiors and class leading Gizmos would have kept you speechless, let’s see how Micra performs in the league when it comes to power.

Nissan Micra lives up to the taste of most of the Indian buyers and it performs almost the similar way like models of popular brand Maruti Suzuki. The gearbox quality is good and slots are well-defined but there is an odd feel shifting. Change the gear & tap the pedal, a small jerk in knob makes go dumb. Long throw gears could have been avoided. Clutch is short and gives better drivability in traffic. Gearing ratios should be re-visited & we expect shorter or medium ratios rather than the current longer ratios which has a restless performance under 2000rpm.

Gear knob is easy to hold which never slips out of hands and slots in perfectly; the steering is mediocre and light at parking / 0kmph. It really weighs super light at speeds greater than 15kmph. This helps Micra to take on slow moving traffic. You feel good at any speeds lesser than 120kmph, but Micra tends to be slightly scarier at 140+kmph because of the puny rubber on shoes. Micra has got boomerang groove in the roof which strengthens the top of the car without adding extra elements, this results in reduction of weight and therefore enhances car's centre of gravity, A practical touch by Nissan.

Splurging from NIL to 100 may not be that impressive as segment leaders, Micra does a decent job in 15+ seconds. The taller ratios expect more action in the same gear rather than to be faster in the next gear. Braking is not that impressive as Polo, But does a decent job with the help of ABS, Electronic Break force Distribution & Break Assist helps to get a clean stop at any speeds.
 
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How Safe Is It?

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Safety is now redefined with the release of Micra. Yes, Nissan has redefined the term safety in hatchback segment of India which is not just in words but, rather by providing Driver Airbag as standard even in the base variant. Nissan has ensured that you always feel safe behind wheels with the safety and security features such as Air Bags, Engine Immobilizer, Anti Lock Braking System, Electronic Break Force Distribution, Brake Assist, and Security Alarm (NATS).

How Much It Returns?
With an Ultra-light 3 pot engine, 1.2L petrol engine Micra gives 13+ kmpl in city drives & 16+ kmpl on Highway drives. We got an overall fuel efficiency of 13.9 in our day long shoot out which includes 40% highway & 60 % City driving. 45Liters of tank size is adequate for intercity runs.

What we Like in Micra? [thumbsup]

  • Push-Button Ignition
  • Refined Petrol Engine
  • Powerful Airconditioner
  • Airbag as standard feature
What we Dis-Like in Micra? [thumbsdown]

  • Weak Dealership Network
  • No Alloys / Steering Controls
  • Less Storage Areas
  • Low Ground Clearance
 
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The Automotive India Star Ratings

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  • Design & Quality:
    (4.5/5)
  • Comfort Levels:
    (4/5)
  • Performance:
    (4/5)
  • Ride Quality:
    (4/5)
  • Handling:
    (4/5)
  • Fuel Efficiency -
    (4/5)
  • Safety:
    (5/5)
  • After Sales Service:
    (2.5/5)
  • Value For Money:
    (4.5/5)

Price:

  • XE: Rs.3,98,000
  • XL: Rs.4,69,500
  • XV: Rs.5,28,800
(Ex.Showroom, New Delhi)

Colors Available:

  • Sunshine Orange
  • Blade Silver
  • Storm White
  • Pacific Blue
  • Onyx Black
  • Brick Red

Engine:


  • Max Power: 76PS @ 6000 RPM
  • Max Torque: 10.6 Kgm @ 4000 RPM
  • No. of Cylinders: 3
  • No. of Valves: 12

Transmission:

  • 5 Front, 1 Reverse

Suspension:


  • Front: Mc Pherson Strut
  • Rear: Torison Beam
Brakes:

  • Front- Ventilated Discs
  • Rear- Drums
Wheels/Tires:
  • 165/70 R14 Steel Rims

Dimensions:

  • Length: 3780mm
  • Width: 1665mm
  • Height: 1530mm
  • Wheelbase: 2450
  • Ground Clearance: -
  • Fuel Tank Capacity: 41 Liters

The Final Word:
In the era of premium hatchbacks buzzing around in the market, Micra is a unique and class leading car in many categories with its Japanese Engineering and thoughtful features as well as gizmos, but does Micra has everything to take Nissan in the country of ever growing hatches? Definitely. Apart from the thin service centers, Nissan Micra is another class rivaling hatchback amongst the hot competition, what now remains to be seen is who wins and who looses in this BIG hatchback war.
 
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Let Pictures Speak

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Report Credits:
Road Test & Photography: Zinam
Edit & Format: 350Z
 

Akash

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Excellent report Zinam and 350Z. Nice pics too. The fe figure is low as compared to k12 engines. To me Micra looks too cute to be my ride.
 
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Excellent and unbiased review guys! I think this a good car, though the design is highly subjective. It will be interesting to see how Nissan will perfrom in the mid hatch segment with Micra. It is going to be tough task with established and VFM products around.
 
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Nice review!
156mm ground clearance seems really low. As you said, the looks are very subjective not many would like it. And considering the price, lack of alloys is a downer. The success of Micra is yet to be seen, but I think it would enter in numbers game only after the introduction of 1.5 DCi engine.
 
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Decent review. Pretty neat I must say.
Minus Pt.s I want to add -
1. Poor rear visibility, thanks to the thick, round-edged pillars.
2.Removable/ht. adjustable rear head rests NA.
3. From the Pictures, rear seats seem rather flat.

Leaving all this in the back seat (literally), the Micra seems pretty impressive, and it is no surprise that Nissan could sell almost 1000 Micras in July alone.
Looks are subjective to one's liking and taste, but I rather like the looks. The front gives the impression that the Micra is a rather 'innocent' little dugong, while the rear hides its naughtiness. Features are many, and the door handles, lovely, and I will definitely add this as a competitor to the Fiesta and Polo for my dad's purchase.
Keep Revvin'
 
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