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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #1
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Default Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

The Nissan Micra CVT has been launched in India at a price of Rs. 6.39 lakhs (ex-Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Styling is more neutral now. Feminine face left behind
• CVT is smooth, seamless and effortless to drive in the city
• Quality, well-designed interiors
• Driver airbag standard across the range. Top variant gets 4 airbags
• Gizmos : Keyless entry & go, engine start / stop button, electric folding mirrors, LED tail-lamps etc.

What you won't:

• Lazy highway performer due to the slow CVT. Prominent rubber-band effect
• Ordinary 3-cylinder petrol engine. Dull to drive
• Mediocre under-thigh support from the rear seat
• Nissan's sub-par dealership experiences
• Priced higher than the Automatic Hyundai i10, Maruti Ritz & Honda Brio


Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 20:30.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #2
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Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review-nissan-micra-cvt-technical-specifications.png

Nissan has made subtle changes to the Micra's exterior. No longer a feminine face, it now looks more muscular, without any superfluous flab anywhere. The original Micra was cute, but that also limited its appeal primarily to the fairer sex:


Side-by-side comparison of the old & new:


The bonnet sides are sharply canted now, as compared to the subtle curve earlier. The nose has been redesigned, and bears only a peripheral resemblance with the outgoing model. The chin juts out more with a new lower grill (higher variants get a chrome lower lip). The larger radiator grill is inset and tilts towards the bonnet line:


New headlamps to keep up with the changes in the body profile. Look like a smaller version of the 370Z's headlamps. Night time illumination and throw are good:


8-spoke alloy wheels:


LED tail-lamps stand out. They are bright enough, even with the sun behind us. 3rd brake light is an LED as well:


Side profile is decidedly more neutral now (click to view older side profile):




Rear bumper is new as well:

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 20:29. Reason: Adding price & tech spec sheets
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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #3
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Since the Nissan Micra has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on the changes to the 2013 line-up. For easy reference, here are direct links to the complete Nissan Micra road-test:

Exterior Design & Build Quality (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

Interior design, space, practicality & features (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

The Petrol Engine (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

The Diesel Engine (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

Other Pertinent Points (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

The Smaller & Significant Things (Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review)

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 11:56.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #4
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Steering-mounted audio controls from the Sunny. The facelift brings marginal changes to the colour palette. Notice the shiny black center console. Looks nice, but will need constant attention to keep clean. Rectangular air-vents replace the older rotary units (though the side vents are still circular):


Lateral shot of the dashboard:


The AT's instrument cluster. Gear position & fuel economy displayed:


City-friendly CVT:


Conventional rectangular head-unit (apparently from Kenwood) replaces the funky earlier design. Should be easy for anyone wishing to replace with a 2DIN touch-screen HU, without needing an adapter bezel. The ICE is much better than the Nippon systems of other cars. If one boosts the bass via the built-in tone controls (rudimentary bass and treble control), the OE speakers sound surprisingly full. The increased bass doesn't overpower the mids. Jacking up the treble doesn't make it too bright. The HU supports Bluetooth (calls, as well as music streaming). Phone registration is unfussy. Music played through BT was surprisingly clean:


Aux-in and USB sockets conveniently placed, just beside the open shelf between the 2 glove-boxes:


Even the rear headrests are adjustable (original Micra had fixed, tiny units). Seats get improved cushioning on the facelifted Micra:

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 11:55.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #5
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Let's look at the spanking new introduction - a continuously variable transmission (CVT) mated to the 1.2L petrol. In one phrase, the Micra CVT is *butter smooth* to drive in the city. Ladies will love the ease and jerk-free experience. It feels simple like the gearless scooters - "start, twist throttle, ride".

This is the same CVT gearbox that the Sunny uses. The Micra is the first car with the latest generation CVT coupled to a small 1.2L petrol. Over the CVT generations (it is 10 years old already), Nissan has brought down frictional losses to minimise fuel consumption. The current generation uses far less transmission lubricant than the earlier ones, leading to 40% lower friction. The computed fuel efficiency increase is 15%. The effective transmission ratio is 7.3:1, a range broader than conventional ATs. Testing under ideal conditions, the Micra CVT delivered better mileage than the Micra MT (19.34 v/s 18.44 Kpl). Of course, this is because the CVT has a super tall top gear ratio that the MT cannot boast of. In your daily work <-> home driving style, the MT will be the more economical. One really wishes Nissan had mated the CVT to the 1.5L workhorse diesel. Perhaps, in the next refresh?

The Nissan CVT comes with 2 modes of operation - the mileage-optimized 'Normal' mode, and the comparatively free spirited 'Sports' mode. Shift between the two on the fly, via a small button you press with the left thumb. Sports mode, when engaged, is indicated on the dash. The shifter is a simple P-R-N-D stick with a single "L" position to keep the belt in the 'low gear' range (for steep inclines, declines etc.).

Driving feel in the Normal mode isn't meant for enthusiastic drivers. There is a slight if significant delay at the start, after which the car pulls away smoothly & sedately. It really doesn't matter if one mashes the pedal to the ground; the transmission ECU moderates the engine RPM and transmission ratio as the car picks up speed. Don't expect an immediate surge on 'kick down' either. In the city, the Micra CVT is a seamless shifter. The 1.2L petrol engine is acceptably refined when it isn’t pushed, and the CVT's shifts are absolutely jolt-free. In conventional ATs like the i10 & A-Star, you still feel the gearshifts, however smooth they are. Not so in the Micra CVT.

Light pressure maintained on the accelerator makes it a boon to drive in bumper-to-bumper traffic conditions. The steering is feather light and the engine has sufficient pep for urban commuting. CVTs usually deliver power in a linear manner & the Micra is no different. The Micra is easy to point in and out of traffic gaps, and parking is only made easier by its small footprint. As the car accelerates, one can hear the up-down modulation of the engine to keep it revving in the band of peak efficiency. Acceleration isn't brisk at all though. Remember, it's a 1.2L petrol mated to a CVT. The Micra petrol doesn't have punchy torque at low rpms and power delivery remains suited to a sedate driving style only.

The Sports mode is slightly more aggressive, albeit at the expense of fuel efficiency. The standing start is quicker and Sports mode keeps the engine at higher RPMs, before stepping up the ratio. Above 70 kph though, there isn't much to differentiate between Sports and Normal modes. Passing slow moving traffic is easy, but you'll need to carefully plan overtaking moves on fast highway vehicles (if at all, you manage to overtake them). No, the Micra is no road burner. CVTs respond best to soft accelerator input. Prod the Micra harder and you take the car out of its comfort zone. The Micra CVT feels like a timid kitten on the expressway. When you want "sudden-go", the rubber band effect becomes extremely prominent. You'll see the engine rpm rising, without any real increase in speed. The Micra CVT does take its own sweet time to gather momentum. Also, at higher rpms, the classic 3-cylinder thrum becomes audible. In fact, when being worked, it sounds identical to the humble M800 / Alto 800!

Again, the Micra CVT will suit those with a conservative driving style. It's at home within the city only...the intended playground for most automatic small cars. If you are looking for fun with an auto tranny, consider the Honda Brio 5-Speed AT or VW Polo DSG instead.

Nissan says that they have made some changes to the suspension set-up. The ride is compliant over most road conditions, and the handling is safe & predictable for a family hatchback. No, it's no corner carver. High-speed stability is average up to 120 kph, but nervous afterwards.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 11:55.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 10:11   #6
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Other Points:

• The 2013 Nissan Micra will be offered in 7 trim levels (3 petrol and 4 diesel).

• A surprise feature is the rear view camera of the XV premium diesel variant.

• ABS + EBD + BA are standard on all variants, but the lowest.

Disclaimer : Nissan invited Team-BHP for the Micra test-drive. They covered all the expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 11:59.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 12:56   #7
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line (The "Assembly Line" Forum section) to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 3rd July 2013, 13:18   #8
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Smile Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Thanks for the detailed update and review. Did Nissan sorted the brake issue? Did you test the Diesel as well? At last Air-bags (more than one), ABS + EBD + BA in Diesel XV premium. How functional was the reverse camera?

Cheers!

Vinu

Last edited by myavu : 3rd July 2013 at 13:19.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 13:31   #9
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Excellent review once again.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
The original Micra was cute, but that also limited its appeal primarily to the fairer sex:
Few exclusion though, I think I would be the darkest owner


Quote:
Originally Posted by DerAlte View Post
LED tail-lamps stand out. They are bright enough, even with the sun behind us. 3rd brake light is an LED as well:
Liked them, may opt for my Micra if compatible.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 13:51   #10
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Easily the most comprehensive review of the facelifted Micra CVT on internet!

The earlier Micra was favourite among the fairer sex. Infact, most ladies I know own a Micra. A bit adventurous ones went for the Pulse! A facelift was what the Micra needed, in order to differentiate itself from the Pulse. Now it has become confident and more muscular, important to neutralise it's polarised opinions (mainly on looks and interior, though). I just wished they provided all-black interiors (atleast as an option!) but even grey looks good now due to the glossy black central console breaking the monotony. The added safety features and a CVT are always welcome. But, except Hyundai, none offers an automatic oil-burner this side of 10 Lakhs! Manufacturers should explore this segment as it is a relatively untapped segment and many people would prefer the convenience offered by an automatic along with Fuel Effeciency of a diesel. Just curious to know, would a facelifted Pulse be launched as well, following the lines of the facelifted Micra? Well, only time will tell!

P.S. Rated the thread 5*

Keep revvin'
S@ndy

Last edited by S@ndy : 3rd July 2013 at 13:56.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:02   #11
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Somebody on twitter posted 3.5 lakhs ex-Delhi for Nissan Micra Active. Is that the old Micra they are rebadging as Active? Any ideas?

Cheers

Last edited by sahakar : 3rd July 2013 at 14:07.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:14   #12
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sahakar View Post
Somebody on twitter posted 3.5 lakhs ex-Delhi for Nissan Micra Active. Is that the old Micra they are rebadging as Active? Any ideas?

Cheers
Correct. Old Micra rebadged and some styling tweaks is now called the Micra Active. Start from 3.5L ex-Delhi and goes up to 4.71L ex-Delhi.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:18   #13
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Hi, I got a few requests / doubts / observations. Could you please clarify when you come across these information?

How many new color shades have been added? I just adore the one in the snaps.

Can you please put a picture of the improved seat cushioning? The very earlier models had pathetic support; which got a slight improvement on later models, including rear head rests. On the same note, am I seeing an art-leather finish? This was missing till now even for the top end variant.

I was thinking that the greige theme has made way to a blackish theme for the dashboard as well as the seats. Is it just the center console that has been changed? I hate this part - two air vents are rectangular and two circular.

Does the gear indicator on the MID come for the non-CVT models also?

For which all variants does the steering mounted audio controls come?

Can you please provide a long shot of the dashboard where the Aux-in and USB sockets are placed, if available?

Very happy to hear that ABS has made way into the Micra, which was the main reason why customers flocked away from the Micra. But at the same time, sad that I missed those, buying the outgoing model.

And lower variants for the diesel too

Last edited by thoma : 3rd July 2013 at 14:29.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:27   #14
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

At 3.5L, the micra active comes with PS and AC and makes for great value for money! Clearly the space is class above the rest of the offerings in that price range.
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Old 3rd July 2013, 14:28   #15
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Default Re: Nissan Micra Facelift / Xtronic CVT : Official Review

Pitching base petrol model at 3.5 Lacs means Nissan want to give one more option to the buyers of EON, WagonR, Estilo, Spark, Beat and may be even Santro (though it is only bought by die hard fans now a days)

It seems that all manufactures are trying to make a cross pitch to increase customer insterest in their product with a large price band & specifications / trims to offer.

Nice times are here to stay.

Last edited by i74js : 3rd July 2013 at 14:32.
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