Nissan Micra Long Term
The Nissan Micra impresses with its city drivability and fuel efficient diesel motor.
Nissan started its serious Indian onslaught with the Micra. Launched in 2010, the Micra was the first car to be manufactured in the company’s Chennai facility, which also happens to be the largest plant of any automobile manufacturer in India. Based on the ‘V’ platform, the Nissan Micra is globally known for its reliability and user friendliness. We find out how it fares in our initial long term stint.
Nissan has recently put the Micra through a facelift and this has yielded some positive results. The facelift has virtually injected testosterone into the design and suddenly the car has become more masculine. Many people shied away from the so called ‘feminine’ characteristics and the facelift has addressed just that. The Micra looks small yet packs in a lot of space. Due to its compact dimensions, it’s relatively easy to park and you usually end up getting a parking spot of its size.
The interiors are comfortable and after driving for more than 1500 kms in the city, you have to admit that the Nissan Micra is one of the best hatches for city commuting. Nissan has given ample thought while designing the Micra and it shows. The new piano black finish looks premium and there is a lot of attention to detail. The driver’s side window has auto up option which is very convenient as you pass through various toll booths. You don’t have to hold the button till the window closes. Bluetooth connectivity enables you to make calls and stream music through the phone without any hassle. Nissan was the first manufacturer to introduce the smart key in the hatchback segment. The comfort and convenience of this feature is unmatched and spoils you and the key stays packed in your pocket, at all times. Just press the request sensor button and the doors lock/unlock without actually removing the key at all. While it is loaded with a lot of positives, the Micra should have been equipped with auto locking doors.
The Micra is a gem in the city and we have been using it to our advantage on a daily basis. Powering the Micra is a 1.5-litre dCi mill producing 64 PS at 4000 RPM and 160 NM torque at 200 RPM. The real beauty lies in the power delivery, which is linear and available from the word go. This is particularly useful in those battling city traffic on a routine basis. Power is sufficient and the light steering makes it a breeze to drive around in the city. To add to the convenience, the clutch is quite light, making it more comfortable for the driver over long hours. The gearbox is getting smoother by the day and the ratios are suited for both city and highway drives.
The ride is comfortable and bad roads don’t seem to ruffle the Micra’s feathers. Handing is average and cornering at high speeds will expose the Micra’s weakness in this regard but this can be excused since this is a car made mostly for city commuting. However, the Micra has done pretty well on our highway excursions delivering fantastic mileage figures worth boasting off. We are currently getting around 16.5 km/l in the city which goes up to 18.76 km/l on the highway. The highly efficient nature of this engine is what appeals to most buyers.
The Micra has impressed us immensely with its easy to drive character and compact size. Add to it the light steering and liner power delivery and you have the perfect car for city runabouts. We continue to use this to our advantage and log in more kilometers. This is one car which will appeal to both the heart and head and though quite underrated, the Micra deserves more recognition in the hatchback category.