Skip to content

   

CAR Reviews

Click Thumbnails to Enlarge

Statistics

How much? £10,850
On sale in the UK: Now
Engine: 1198cc 12v 3-cyl, 79bhp @ 6000rpm, 81lb ft @ 4000rpm
Transmission: Five-speed manual, front-wheel drive
Performance: 13.7sec 0-62mph, 106mph, 56.5mpg, 115g/km CO2
How heavy / made of? 980kg/steel
How big (length/width/height in mm)? 3780/1675/1525
Need to know

CAR's rating

Rated 3 out of 53

Handling

Rated 2 out of 52

Performance

Rated 2 out of 52

Usability

Rated 4 out of 54

Feelgood factor

Rated 3 out of 53

Readers' rating

Rated 2.5 out of 52.5

Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

By Ben Pulman

First Drives

05 May 2011 13:10

This is the new Nissan Micra, but it’s not the first time we’ve tested it. This is in fact our third exposure to Nissan’s new Micra: after testing a Thai-spec car in Thailand, and an almost-finished prototype on a test track in Japan, we’ve finally driven a UK car on UK roads.

The Micra’s no longer a UK-built car though – the more profitable Juke is now built at Nissan’s Sunderland plant (and the electric Leaf will soon be put together there as well). Instead, the Micra rolls out of plants in China, Mexico, India (which will supply Europe), and Thailand, the lower labour rates lowering Nissan the chance to make a profit in a class where the margins are notoriously tight.

What do I need to know about the new Nissan Micra?

Underneath the skin is Nissan’s new V-platform that will, along with a saloon and Note-replacing MPV, soon be built at a rate of one million units per year. It's an impressive platform too, with clever weight reduction schemes leading to a 27% lighter exhaust, 19% lighter fuel tank and 15% lighter suspension.

So what’s good about the new Micra?

The same stuff we liked in our previous two encounters is present and correct. There’s great visibility all round, thanks to thin pillars and lots of glass, which means it’s a doddle to park and place. It’s pretty roomy too, with decent space up front, in the back, and in the boot.

And now it’s in European guise, we’ve had a chance to try some of the posher optional extras, like the little touch-screen Connect sat-nav that is ridiculously simple and straightforward to use. Usually we'd recommend you buy a portable sat-nav, but it's only £400 and comes with Bluetooth connectivity too.

Whisper it, but the looks are growing on me too. No, really, they are.

But…?

But the cabin quality still isn’t good enough. There are too many sharp-edged joins and the plastics are shiny and bright. A Hyundai i10 has a better cabin ambience, a Ford Fiesta is much more exciting to look at, and the quality in a VW Polo is far, far ahead.

Despite the 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine receiving a Euro-specific compression ratio since we tried it in Thailand, it’s still rough, reluctant to rev and not particularly quick. There’s a supercharged version on the way – and thanks to direct injection and a stop/start system it offers more power and torque (97bhp and 105lb ft) but also improved fuel and emissions figures (95g/km and 68.9mpg) – but having tested an early version in Japan it’s not any freer revving or more fun.

As for the rest of the package on the road, the steering is light (great for parking, poor if you want some involvement), there’s too much body roll, and the gearbox is notchy.

Verdict

The previous generation Nissan Micra always felt and looked rather special, even if it was never a class leader. The new Micra is nowhere near the top of its class, but has abandoned everything that made it unique amongst a sea of other superminis. It’s easy to drive, easy to park and easy to use, but easy to forget about too.  

>> Click 'Add your comment' and let us know what you think of the new Nissan Micra

1

Rate this article...

Average rating: Rated 2.5 out of 52.5 (34 votes)

Discuss this

Add your comment

Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

Subject

Your comment

By submitting your comment, you agree to adhere to the CAR Magazine website Terms and Conditions

Cancel

 

gendy943

reward badge

gendy943 says

RE: Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

I had to wait almost 8 months for my Silver Micra Tecna 1.2 DIGS CVT but it has been worth the wait.having added various packs to the vehicle,Chrome,Protection & Comfort ,this car isn a delight to drive.It replaced a Peugeot 107 2-tronic gain with all factory fitted options that I drove for 20k miles in 4 years.The first comparison   is how much more of a car I got for just another £4k .The Micra made the peugeot look & drive like a toy.The Micra is a real car with small dimensions - outside.

The Micra is very fast with the 98BHP from the 1.2 turboed engine,but it can handle the speed.Comfort is good with little road noise though under hard acceleration the CVT can sound intrusive.The small turning circle can catch you out as you may turn into corners too sharply and cut them.  

Nissan Connect is superb with good directions,a clear map display ,super radio and best of all very good ahands=free Bluetooth connection to your phone including remembering all your numbers.Thwe only problem with Connect is the cost of map & speed camera updates compared with TomTom which I have to say I still use for longer journeys on routes I do not know.POIs are easiet to put ino a TomTom too viz National Trust locations,Travelodge & Premiere Inns too. 

There is no 12v outlet just a standard plug socket for an .mp3 player which I use and a single USB socket which I have multiplied to 4 by using a standard laptop USB mini-hub.With this I can power a TomTom,my mobile and a road-camera leaving one terminal free.

The boot is reasonably large for the size of car & is illuminated,the spare wheel is a Space-Saver necessitated by the alloy wheels.The beauty of the Micra is the way  that the back seats fold to make more room and then tumble to give you a flat load space SUV-style up to the backs of the front seats.A huge carrying capacity is available that is unusual in a smallish city car.

 

20 November 2012 12:12

 

girasol

girasol says

RE: Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

Well I am glad Nissan thought of the last 2% of the population, especially on the low price range. Definitely a car I will recommend. Ergonomics are important.

27 October 2012 15:54

 

bertandnairobi

reward badge

bertandnairobi says

RE: Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

The last post shows the importance of ergonomics in car design. It also shows its limitations: can one design for the last 2% of the population without compromising other parameters? Some of the firms think not. Some just don´t bother themselves. When Ford went all-out for ergonomic excellence in the case of the Fusion they were greeted with apathy or contempt. Is it a surprise then that car designers don´t make more efforts at inclusive design?

23 October 2012 13:43

 

girasol

girasol says

RE: Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

I am a novice driver, and happen to be a short one, only 1.52 cm. Nissan micra was one of the 5 different small cars I tested, that got it right for me, ergonomics wise. I agree with the author in several points he makes concerning the design and the engine, but at the end if I am not able to find a reasonable position to drive, no matter how good the engine is, I just can't drive it. 

The micra has a low dashboard, great visibility and seat and steering wheel adjustments that works.

I tested I fiat punto, fiat panda (2011), kia picanto and nissan micra 1.2 and the turbo engine. I think I should have given a try to the Ford Fiesta but the 1.2 5d engine was already more expensive than the Nissan Micra. All except the Panda, had possibility to adjust the steering wheel and the passenger seat height but I could not find a proper position to drive in them.

Punto. After putting the driver seat all the way up and the steering wheel down and the furthest away from my chest, I cound not longer see the speedometer in the dash board without twisting my neck, and reaching the seat belt was almost impossible (probably because it was a 3d model).

Kia picanto. Adjusting the driver seat all the way up and the steering wheel all the way down is an impossible setup. I could not get my leg under the wheel to reach the break and gas pedals (steering wheel is too big for that). I had to move the steering wheel up and then i could not see properly over it. Complicated specially on hills.

Fiat Panda. The model was so basic, I could not adjust the steering wheel and seat up, but had a great visibility, the main issue here was that the seat could not go far enough to the front for me to comfortably reach the clutch (I could barely touch it with my toes). The dealer in Finland is not selling the model anymore, what a pity it could have been the perfect car if the adjustments existed.

22 October 2012 17:42

 

gendy943

reward badge

gendy943 says

RE: Nissan Micra 1.2 Acenta (2011) CAR review

In fact the back seat fold can proceed to a full rear seat tumble position giving a flat floor all the way to the backs of the front seats.

As to the interior plastics - in most budget super-minis the interior plastics ,door liners & dashboard, are usually of a rugged van quality and made for wear & tear.The Barcelona-built Polo certainly does have a better interior though not on a par with the German-built Audi A1 but there is a premium price for both of these vehicles.Comparing the Micra with these is unfair. 

29 January 2012 15:17

Become a CAR contributor

Upload stories, photos or videos direct to the site, or email newsdesk@carmagazine.co.uk.

Alternatively, call 01733 468 485 (+ 44 1733 468 485)

CAR magazine December issue
Untitled Document

Become a CAR contributor

Seen a secret new car, fabulous exotic or have news we should publish? Then get in touch now.