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Nissan Micra Diesel Test Drive Review


Nissan Micra Diesel Road Test

2010 Nissan Micra Diesel - Click above for high resolution picture gallery

Car tested: 2010 Nissan Micra Diesel XV

Price OTR Mumbai: 6,52,439/-

Petrol Micra Review: Read here

Nissan’s serious entry into the mass market was with the Micra, which was the first of its locally manufactured cars in the country. Launched about 6 months ago, the Micra has received more than 8000 bookings and Nissan is pleased with the response it has generated. Everyone is aware that India is a diesel loving country, if possible we Indians wouldn’t mind having diesel for tea or coffee. Diesel prices may be hitting the upside but the demand for diesel cars is steadily on the rise and as promised six months ago, Nissan launched the Micra’s much awaited diesel variant recently. We get our hands on the Nissan Micra diesel and find out if its got the guns to shoot the competition.

Micra Diesel Exteriors

The Micra diesel in not very different than its petrol sibling when it comes to the looks. The diesel variant is complemented by the dCI badge on the lower right side of the boot, the rest remains the same. Nissan has introduced the diesel version in 2 variants, namely the Micra Diesel XV and XV Premium. The XV premium get additional 15 inch alloys with 175 spec rubber while the the XV retains the same 165/70/14 MRF ZVTV tyres.

Micra Diesel Interios

The interiors are again similar to its petrol variant and the XV variant we drove was devoid of climate control. No height adjuster for the drivers seat even in the top XV Premium variant. Nisssan has followed a “twin bubble theme” with the interiors as they like to call it. Lots of space for the front and rear passengers with good thigh support for the rear seats.

251 ltrs boot space

Boot space measures 251 ltr but the rear seats don’t fold 60:40 if you want to tow some extra luggage. Interior quality, fit and finish is top notch with no inconsistent panel gaps. Owing to the large windows and thin pillars, the cabin feels airy and gives a feeling of it being larger than it actually is. Push button start, i key and immobiliser are standard on both variants, as already described in detail with the Micra Petrol.

Renault K9K Common Rail Engine

The engine which powers the Micra diesel is a product of the Renault – Nissan alliance and is doing its job on the Logan since a while. This 1.5 ltr, 8 valve, SOHC, 4 cylinder diesel motor produces 64 PS @ 4000 RPM and 160 NM of Torque @ 2000 RPM. The figures may not look impressive on paper but considering that the Micra is lighter than the Logan, the power to weight ratio is more favorable towards better performance. The K9K engine is a best seller from Renault and is known for its superior mileage. Its the second time a 1.5 liter engine is powering a diesel hatchback in India. ARAI figures indicate a class topping mileage of 23.08 kmpl.

On the move

Dump the clutch and push the start button, the Renault K9K engine starts with minimal sound and settles into an idle. For a diesel engine, the K9K is relatively quiet to the extent that one will hardly notice whether its a diesel or a petrol motor. Slot into first and the Micra drives very much like a petrol car, power deliver is linear without any turbo lag and this gives it petrol like driving characteristics, floor the pedal to the metal and Micra gallops forward without much strain. The light steering makes it quite easy to negotiate traffic and the 160 NM of torque makes sure the Micra is an established highway cruiser as well.

Rev limiter

On a timed run, the Micra hits 100 in just less than 16 seconds and the engine becomes more audible post 3500 RPM. The car revs all the way to 5500 RPM after which the ECU cuts its off subtly. Gearshift is slick and the gear ratios have been tweaked to suit the diesel engine. The Micra hits 130 kmph with ease and then struggles to its top speed of about 160 kmph. We hit a top speed of 150 kmph and the Micra seemed decently planted on the road at such speeds, though steering feedback almost disappears at high speeds.

Micra Diesel Average

Over our test, in extremely harsh, rev limit driving conditions the Micra delivered an average of 15.5 kmpl and we expect it to comfortably return 18 – 21 kmpl (mix of city and highway driving). A big incentive to the mileage conscious.

Ride & Handling

The Micra’s ride is decent and handling is fair but is adversely affected by the minuscule 165/70/14 tyres. The car tends to lock up under heavy braking and to makes things worse, ABS is not even offered as an option on the XV Premium model (XV Premuim comes with 175 spec tyres).

Puny Tyres

Upgrading to wider rubber should do the trick however. Nissan’s commitment to safety has been highlighted by the fact that every variant of the Micra comes equipped with drivers side airbag, but Nissan does not offer both sides airbags, even on the top model. When we asked the Nissan officials about this, we were told that in a price sensitive market, it was important to provide a bit of everything, ABS and both airbags would push the price to a higher level affecting sales, seemingly justifiable.

Micra Diesel Front

The Micra diesel is an all around hatch and though we miss ABS and both side airbags, the overall looks and interiors of the car oodle with quality and the diesel motor delivers outstanding mileage and is great on performance too. The only hitch could be the pricing of the car as there are many options available in the market for that kind of money and Nissan dealerships are sparse at the moment but if you are looking for a good quality diesel car, the Micra diesel has to be on your list.

Diesel Fuel Lid

Whats Cool

* Push Button Start & ikey
* Mileage
* Performance
* Low turning radius
* Retro looks
* Nippy handling and light steering

Micra Exteriors

Whats Not So Cool

* Lack of a strong dealer network
* Puny tires
* No ABS
* Unknown service costs
* Only driver’s side airbag

Micra Diesel In Action

Nissan Micra Specifications : -

* Engine: 1461cc, K9K, SOHC, 8-valve
* Power: 64PS @ 4000 rpm
* Torque: 160Nm @ 2000 rpm
* Transmission: 5 speed manual
* Top Speed: 160kmph
* 0-100kmph: 15.86 seconds
* Fuel Consumption: 17 – 18 kmpl (City), 20-21 kmpl (highway)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: Mcpherson Struts (front) & Torsion Beam (rear)
* Tires: 165/70/14 Tubeless Radials
* Brakes: Ventilated Disc (Front), Drums (Rear)
* Safety: Driver Airbag, Engine Immobilizer

Instrumentation

Nissan Micra Dimensions : -

* Overall length x width x height: 3780mm X 1665mm X 1530mm
* Wheelbase: 2450mm
* Front/Rear Track: 1470/1475 mm
* Ground clearance: 154mm
* Turning Radius: 4.65m
* Boot Volume: 251 liters
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 41 liters
* Kerb Weight: 992 kgs (XV variant)

Official Website

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  • amit

    Excellent review motorbeam, the pictures are awesome. I find the micra better in black colour then orange colour.

  • rakesh

    Nissan should have added ABS, atleast as an option as most diesel cars need better brakes due to turbocharger in engine.

  • sarthak

    I think the quality of the car makes it worth it, other than that, Nissan Micra looks really cute and is also awesome interior.

  • Rohan

    Great review. i think micra is a good car but is not muscular, a little feminine by looks, the diesel is good for the average conscious and those who want performance.

  • Ameya

    Its sad that abs is not even optional. wat irony, one side they insist on safety by giving airbags in all versions and top end does not have 2 airbags. even chevy spark has option of airbags and abs on extra payment

  • Vikram

    The diesel engine seems quite sweet, it redlines all the way to 5000rpm, unusual for a diesel.

  • Desai

    The Micra is a very cute car among all the weird looking cars around. I love it, only if it were available in Barbie pink.

  • Ukraine

    Why would Nissan not launch a more powerful diesel when companies like Fiat are already doing that?

  • Rabih

    The Micra is well priced compared to the Hyundai i20 which comes with a 1.4 diesel engine but when compared to the cabin noise insulation, road handling, gear shift quality and power delivery of the i20, the Nissan Micra doesn’t live up to the expectation of a real car enthusiast.

  • robin yates

    I have driven a petrol Micra in the UK and found it to be good where it matters. Diesels are of course fuel sippers. The Micra is a car I would let my family drive including sons and a daughter.

    • fas

      Robin, won’t the specifications of the UK Micra be different from the Indian one?

  • Srinath

    Nice review of the diesel Micra. One small glitch though. You mentioned that the Micra is the first hatchback to be powered by a 1.5L diesel engine. The Hyundai Getz CRDi first sported a 1.5L engine which was from the Verna and was a pocket rocket. It produced close to twice the power of the Micra.

    • fas

      Srinath, the Getz was a pocket rocket, however since the car was so unpopular due to the costs and lack of features that we almost forgot about it. We have corrected it.

  • robin yates

    I do not know if the specifications are much different between the UK and India, but I’m sure only slightly Fas

  • Vijay

    Nissan could have skipped on electric retractable mirrors and instead given ABS.

  • raghav

    Interiors are the main reasons why I would choose the Micra over the Swift, awesome quality.

  • Prajot

    The front is a little copy of the VW beetle, looks like Nissan wanted to make this car a little more like the iconic cutie.

  • aayush aaryan

    is’nt the car little underpowered??????????????????????

    • akshay

      just drive diesel micra ..u feel the power… micra lighter in its category so it helps in acceleration

  • Prakash

    It is a total loss, not worth for the money u pay. No ABS, No passenger Airbag. Dealers charge transport cost extra as well- another ripp off

  • Appu Joseph Jose

    On test drive I felt that the gear shift of the diesel micra wasn’t all that smooth. Also the absence of ABS even in the top diesel variant is a glaring omission. But I fell for the looks of the Micra. The milage is impressive. I have booked micra XV premium (diesel).

    • Javeid

      Appu, the K9K is a very good engine and you should get good mileage figures. However, omission of ABS, as you pointed out is really sad. We have shared this feedback with Nissan and they have taken this positively. Congrats on your new Micra.

      • Appu Joseph Jose

        Thanks.

  • Chittaranjan Pradhan

    Can you compare the refinement levels of Micra Diesel to Figo , Swift & i20 diesels. Which one will be most fun & will be suitable for highway driving. How is the AC effectiveness of the Micra. Any idea about the cost of service & spares.

    Thanks.

    • http://www.motorbeam.com/ Faisal Khan

      Chittaranjan, refinement wise, the Micra and Figo are very good but the i20 is the most powerful. Overall the Swift engine strikes a good balance of refinement, power and economy.