The front exterior of a Nissan Micra

Nissan Micra review

The Nissan Micra is a safe and stylish supermini that’s inexpensive to run and great to drive. Some versions feel positively upmarket.

Pros

  • Striking design inside and out
  • Well-equipped
  • Efficient engines

Cons

  • Some rivals are more spacious
  • Entry-level version is a bit basic
  • Least powerful model is sluggish

Summary

“The Micra is a stylish hatchback that’s great in the city and relaxed on a long journey.”

The Nissan Micra is a small, smart hatchback with up-to-the-minute looks and equipment to match. 

It’s good to drive, feeling agile in the city but comfortable enough to tackle a long motorway journey, and it’s powered by a range of very efficient engines. Buy the basic Micra and you’ll enjoy very affordable running costs, including low insurance groupings that make it ideal for young drivers. An update in 2019 improved the touchscreen infotainment system and introduced a pair of excellent turbocharged petrol engines.

What's the interior like?

“Some really neat features and lots of space for the driver and front-seat passenger.”

The Nissan Micra is packed with stylish features, including a coloured dashboard panel that’s available in Invigorating Red, Power Blue and Energy Orange. It means that the interior can look as striking as the outside.

Some versions come with a Bose premium audio pack, which includes a pair of speakers in the driver’s headrest. It’s standard on the Tekna trim, but is an expensive option on some other models, so it’s worth finding a used Micra with this desirable upgrade if you want to really enjoy your music on the move.

All models except the entry-level Micra come with air con, but it’s worth paying a bit more for a mid-range Acenta model, which also has a seven-inch touchscreen display, digital radio, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. More features were added as part of the 2019 update, including voice recognition and the ability to update the media software via a smartphone or wifi. 

Although the Micra is extremely spacious in the front, space in the back seats is a bit tight compared with some rivals. The boot is average for a car of this size, offering enough room for a few bags of shopping or a folded buggy. If you need lots of space then it might be worth considering a Skoda Fabia or Honda Jazz instead.

What's it like to drive?

“The Micra feels at home on any road and the turbocharged petrol engines are excellent.”

Some small cars are great in the city, but not so good on a motorway. The Nissan Micra is perfectly at home in both situations, feeling light and nimble around towns but smooth and comfortable on long journeys. The light steering makes it very easy to park, although the view out of the back is quite restricted so you might appreciate a model with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera.

The engines are focused on efficiency and the lowest-powered petrol version feels a bit weak once you get out of the city. A diesel engine was available when the Micra was launched and is the one to choose if you spend most of your time on a motorway. For most buyers, the excellent 1.0 turbocharged petrol engines introduced in 2019 are the best choice.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Exceptional value for money with excellent real-world economy.”

The Nissan Micra offers exceptional value for money, with used prices roughly in line with the popular Ford Fiesta. It’s also likely to be cheaper than a Volkswagen Polo, so there’s a sense that you’re getting more for your cash.

Running a Micra with the non-turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine could be cheaper than taking the bus, with the car slotting into the lowest insurance group. Officially, it will return around 60mpg on average.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine has an official average of up to 88.3mpg, while the turbocharged petrol engines have an official average of 45mpg to 50mpg. While you’re unlikely to match the official figures, real-world fuel economy will be mightily impressive nonetheless.

How reliable and safe is it?

“The Micra boasts proven engines and an impressive suite of safety systems.”

The Micra has a good reputation for reliability, with the engines tried and tested in a number of Nissan and Renault models.

All Micra models come with a very good standard of safety kit for such a small car, including the kind of driver assistance systems you’d normally associate with larger and more expensive models.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.5 dCi 90 Visia

Best for family - 1.0 IG-T 100 Acenta

Best for fun - 1.0 DIG-T 117 N-Sport

Beyond basic Visia trim, the Micra comes with a list of equipment that would shame some larger family hatchbacks. Highlights include air con, cruise control, alloy wheels, a touchscreen media display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The trim levels allow you to choose a version that suits your tastes: N-Sport is the sporty option, while Tekna addas a dash of luxury. 

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