Nissan Micra Long Term Review
Car Tested: Nissan Micra Diesel XV
Kms Done: 3084 kms
Test Started at: 4837 kms
Test Concluded at: 7921 kms
Mileage: 16.39 km/l, 19.16 km/l (best), 14.28 km/l (worst)
Fuel Consumed: 188.16 litres
Fuel Cost: Rs. 12,230/-
Rs. per km: Rs. 3.97/-
Major Repair – None
Service Cost – None during the test
The Nissan Micra fits the bill perfectly as the ideal city car in Indian driving conditions.
The Micra has been Nissan’s bread and butter model in most Asian and Latin American markets and has tasted huge success globally. Sold in as many countries which account for more than 60% of the entire world’s population, the Micra is one model which is seen rampantly on the roads. First conceived in 1982, Nissan brought along with it the Micra when it started its Indian operations in 2008. We have been using the Nissan Micra since a while and have clocked more than 3000 kms on the odometer. Our intial long term impression were quite positive but has the Micra continued to impress us? Read on to find out.
As we have mentioned in the past, the facelift adds an element of masculinity which goes really well with most consumers. The Micra played the lead car for our 2013 Mumbai – Pune MotorBeam meet and most of our readers who attended the event liked the new look. Nissan has managed to package this car well. The Micra’s small size looks deceiving, especially if you factor in the space inside. Nissan has packaged the car well and it’s quite comfortable when you are inside, more so on long runs. The seats are comfortable and fatigue levels are in check even after long drives. While we found the headroom and legroom sufficient in both the rows, the headrests on the rear bench don’t feel too comfortable for tall passengers over long runs. Besides, the middle passenger doesn’t even get any.
Nissan exports the Micra in large quantities and thus the quality of interiors, fit and finish is at par with international standards. There was no unusual sound or rattle from any part of the car, in spite of having tested its suspension on really bad roads. The features on offer are pretty useful and get you addicted. For starters, the smart key. It rarely got out of our pockets and by the end of it, we were surely spoilt. Also, the addition of Bluetooth connectivity has been a big boon with phone connectivity on the go not being a luxury anymore. The auto up driver’s side window makes itself useful while you pay the toll or pick up a large packet of fries from the drive through window at McDonald’s. The AC cools quite well but the temperature moves up by a full degree rather than half degree as seen with most competition cars. The Micra is the only car to come with a dual glovebox and it is quite handy.
While most of the features are pretty handy, there are some which could have made it to the list. For one, rear parking sensors would have been a boon and there is no auto lock feature as well. The auto lock feature locks the doors once you pick up speed (usually 20 km/hr). After inquiring from the service center, we were told that this feature is already there but needs to be activated. If it’s already there, why should you have to activate it? It should have been done before the car was delivered. The boot was quite handy on weekend getaways, comfortably fitting in luggage for four people. Surprisingly, just to show how well this car has been thought off, we even managed to fit in a full size wooden rocking chair without a tussle.
Powering this little Japanese is a renowned French engine. The 1.5-litre k9k series dCi engine comes from Nissan’s alliance partner Renault and is one of the most fuel efficient engines in its segment. The Micra produces 64 PS of power at 4000 RPM and 160 NM torque at as low as 2000 RPM. These figures may not seem too impressive on paper but factor in the light weight of the Micra and it all makes good sense with 0-100 km/hr coming up in 15.8 seconds as per our VBOX run. Power delivery is linear and this is a huge plus point. Lugging around city traffic is quite comfortable owning to the light clutch.
The Micra is an ideal car for the city and that’s where we put it to maximum use. The light steering makes it so easy to thread through traffic and it’s small size means it can fit into the tightest of parking spots. Add to that the smallest turning radius of only 4.65 meters and you know why this car is to popular in the city. Gear ratios are perfect for city use with the second and third gear being used maximum. The 5-speed manual transmission was a bit notchy at first but the shifts have become more precise with time and the cogs work themselves into place with more confidence.
The k9k motor is extremely fuel efficient and the Micra returned an average fuel efficiency of 16.39 km/l with the best being 19.16 km/l and worst being 14.28 km/l. Drive around 70 km/hr and the Micra will reward you with great mileage figures but the fuel efficiency drops considerably post 120 km/hr. Another point of note is that NVH levels could have been better. The cabin insulation is not the best and the engine is quite vocal even when idling. Get the rev limiter towards the red line and the engine sound gets plain irritating.
The Micra does superbly well in the city but is it the same on the highway? While you will appreciate its high speed stability at triple digit speeds, the steering becomes quite vague as speed builds up and the feel is quite numb. Therefore high speed change of direction should be taken with caution. However, on the ride front, the Micra impresses at both slow and high speeds. Clearly the suspension has been set up for comfort and the car feels absolutely pliant on most road surfaces. Brakes are good and bite well but the brake pedal play had increased a bit by the time we were done with our test.
Nissan has recently divorced its sales and service partner Hover Automotive and has now taken full control. This is certainly good news for the customers as service quality is definitely bound to improve. Nissan currently has 129 service outlets in the country and will be continuously in the process of adding more. The service related costs pertaining to the Micra are mentioned below.
* Service Schedule: 10,000 kms/6 months
* Total Cost of Service till 1,00,000 kms: Rs 52,629/-
Nissan Micra Cost Of Service
a. Engine Oil per service – Rs. 1237.50/-
b. Brake Oil – Rs. 550/-
c. Oil Filter – Rs. 332/-
d. Fuel Filter – Rs. 995/-
e. Brake pad Front – Rs. 2306/-, Rear brake shoe – Rs. 1877/-
f. Front Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 2030/-
g. Rear Bumper (without painting) – Rs. 1689/-
h. Headlamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 2723/-
i. Tail Lamp Assembly (Each) – Rs. 1129/-
The Nissan Micra has been a global success and we can only see why. It’s the perfect city car and delivers a good balance of performance and fuel efficiency, something which goes very well with Indian consumers. Unfortunately, as we mentioned in our first report, it is quite underrated and certainly deserves much more recognition in India. Having said that, if you need a car for city duties and are looking for a comfortable hatch which is easy on the wallet, the Micra makes a strong case for itself.
The Nissan Micra offers superb city driveability with liner power delivery from the frugal k9k engine. With a healthy list of features on board, it is a great option for those looking for a nippy city car.
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