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Old 29th June 2010, 20:19   #1
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Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review

What you'll like:

• Cheeky styling. A touch of retro too
• Quality, well-designed, interiors
• Driver airbag standard across the range (including base variant)
• Diesel engine offers stunning driveability. Fuel efficient as well
• Compliant ride quality. Suspension tuned for comfort
• Gizmos : Keyless entry & go, engine start / stop button, electric folding mirrors, climate control

What you won't:

• Ordinary three-cylinder petrol engine. Dull to drive
• ABS brakes removed from the diesel Micra
• Inexistent under-thigh support from the rear seat
• Quirky design may not be to your taste
• The wafer-thin dealer network
• Nissan's cost of ownership is yet uncharted territory

The Micra CVT:

Link to CVT Review

Take a look at the key points of the Micra in our video overview :

Last edited by GTO : 3rd July 2013 at 13:04. Reason: YT Fix
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:20   #2
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The X-Trail & Teana were mere appetizers; it is the Micra that’s the Nissan main course for India. This car is the latest of the Indian A2 hatchbacks, a segment that not only continues to grow, and has seen innumerable launches in the last 1 year, but also has the fiercest level of competition. After the many Marutis, the Nissan Micra is the second Japanese hatchback you can buy for <5 lakh rupees (Jazz has outpriced itself). The Micra is based on the “V” platform and will be sold in 160 countries. This is the 4th generation of the car. Nissan went on such a strict diet that its one of the few replacements that is lighter than its predecessor (the 3rd gen). The base variant weighs a mere 895 kilos (Swift, Figo, Beat etc. are all heftier). The global launch took place only 3 months back, and Chennai is home to the Micra’s global manufacturing hub. Nissan India will supply the Micra to the Middle-East and Europe; the UK’s entire allocation will be sourced from India.

Quick look at the stats vis a vis segment best-sellers:
Nissan Micra : Test Drive & Review-quick-look-stats.png

Don’t let the pictures fool you. The Micra looks bigger in person than images would have you believe (Swift-like size). On first impression, the car reeks of quality and feels well-screwed together. You can’t miss the bug-eyed headlamps & twin grille of the cheeky front end. Cute is an appropriate term here, and women will surely take well to the Micra. The side & rear profiles look a tad retro though, especially the flat arrangement at the back. The overall design is quirky and not to my taste; I’m a fan of clean understated lines. One thing though : Before you decide on whether the looks work for you or not, check it out in person first. Many BHPians changed their opinion after viewing the car at showrooms. A fly in the ointment are the irregular panel gaps in our test car (refer to pictures). Nissan claims it was a pre-production unit and that the final production cars will have equal shut lines.

In a welcome move, the Micra is equipped with a driver airbag as standard. Across all variants! Hopefully, Nissan sets a trend that other manufacturers follow (for ABS too, please!). In a segment dominated by Maruti, Tata & Hyundai, Nissan needs a differentiator. That’s why the driver airbag is standard. That’s precisely why the gizmos and the cheeky styling are in place.

Nissan sells the XV variant with dual airbags, ABS & EBD brakes, climate control, keyless entry & go, engine start / stop button, tilt-adjustable steering, 4 power windows, engine immobilizer, 4 speaker audio system with CD / MP3 / AUX compatibility, multi-information display (with real time + average fuel efficiency, and distance to empty reading), electric mirrors (adjust + fold in action) and rear wash / wipe. Alloy wheels are conspicuous by their absence on the top variant.

EDIT on 15th July, 2010 : Nissan launches the Micra with a price-tag that's bang in the area of the Swift, Ritz and i10. Rs. 3,98,000 - XE (entry), Rs. 4,69,500 - XL (Mid) & Rs. 528,800 - XV (Top), all ex-showroom Delhi.

Cayenne-like headlamps look swell:

Notice the inconsistent panel gaps. We were assured that these are pre-production cars, and that customer cars will have the problem sorted:

The li'l black button is the request sensor. With the key in your pocket, merely press the request sensor to unlock the door. Incredibly convenient:

165/70 R14 tyres. MRF’s are a poor choice of OEM rubber. Upgrade recommended:

Boomerang shape on the roof is purposeful. Firstly, it eliminates the need for a (roof) stiffener. Wind noise is also better controlled:

Lined up for the press drive:

The boot's request sensor button. Works the same way as for the front doors (& equally convenient). As long as the key is in your pocket...

In a design dominated by curves, the squarish fuel lid sticks out like a sore thumb. One wonders why the circular touch was overlooked here:

Wide panel gap:

Bright colours really suit the Micra. One of the few cars on which black looks boring:

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2010 at 17:23.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:20   #3
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Walk up to the car, merely press the “request sensor” and tug on the door handle. There isn’t a need to insert a key anywhere; as long as you are carrying the key fob, the doors will unlock. Step in, shut the door and you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the premium sounding “thud”. Once inside, you’ll feel that Nissan’s design studio hasn’t ever heard of the straight-edge ruler! The interiors carry a circular theme, nearly everything has a rounded shape here! The circular climate control layout with its orange backlighting looks like a Sony Discman. The stock audio arrangement is funky enough too. A generous greenhouse (glass area) lends an airy feeling to the Micra’s cockpit. The light greige (grey + beige) interiors feel fresh & chirpy. That said, Nissan should definitely have given some darker accents to break the monotony of “greige”. Simply put, the grey effect is excessive.

The dashboard is well laid out. Dials are easy to read while the silver finished center console looks great, and feels nice to the touch too (no cheap shiny plastics). No temperature gauge provided though, not even a digital unit. The large steering wheel is good to hold, while its horn pad extends to the spokes for the Indian version (not so in the export variants produced at Chennai). The OEM horn is meek and wouldn’t even suit a rickshaw (feedback already given to Nissan). The driver’s seat is not height-adjustable, but it’s not positioned too low either. Hence, frontal and lateral visibility is top notch (except for really short drivers). The A pillars don’t create a blind spot nuisance, and the large windscreen gives a super view of the road ahead. This is a rare modern car where the driver can actually see the bonnet. The front seats are deep and support is overall good. There’s steering tilt adjustment and finding the right driving position is pretty easy. The seat's soft cushioning works well within the city, but wouldn't be ideal for long drives (where a firm compound is preferred). On the flip side, the pedals are placed too close to one another. Also, I personally felt that they are slightly offset toward the right (and not dead in the center). The center console has a subtle tilt to the left, and looks away from the driver, as if it’s geared for left-hand-drive variants.

Each control feels relatively solid to use. Interior part quality is much better than in the Swift, and fit / finish are above the segment averages. Don’t get me wrong though, the Fabia & Polo are in a different league altogether with their classy interiors. Micra plastics are of good quality, and some bits like the switchgear really impress with their premium feel. Hyundai's success has proven how quality interiors can win over hatchback customers, the Micra hopes to leave you with the same impression. Front seat occupants get excellent space. There is sufficient clearance between your knee and the steering wheel as well. The Japanese sure know how to get the most functionality out of their interiors. Headroom is sufficient, front and back. The rear seat has adequate legroom; outright space is more than the Swift / i10, and amongst the better of the segment (save for the Indicas). However, the bench could use better cushioning. The under-thigh support is very poor! On the other hand, the large rear windows are welcome. Glass area at the back is generous and yes, the windows do roll down completely. The headrests (neck restraints) themselves are placed too low and aren’t adjustable either. Translated, they are useless. The elderly are well-advised to watch ingress / egress as the hip point is fairly low.

Brownie points go to the air-conditioner that instantaneously chills the interiors. Even in the hot Chennai heat, and sans any sunfilm, the Micra kept us comfortable. Storage space isn’t abundant as the main glove box is tiny (XV variant gets a second glovebox on top) and the door pockets are slim. There are three cup holders (two front and 1 at the back) while the driver gets an additional cubby hole (next to the handbrake). Both the front doors have bottle holders where 500 ml Bisleris can find a home. The 251 liter boot has a useful layout. Unfortunately the rear seat doesn’t split into a 50:50, but if you want, it can be folded down completely.

High-quality key can remain parked in your pocket / bag. True keyless entry & go:

Clean, uncluttered, dashboard. Grey effect is excessive:

Meters & MID are easy to read, whether day or night:

Engine start / stop button . Just tap it once to start the engine:

OEM stereo is MP3 / CD / AUX compatible. No USB. Sound quality is 6 / 10. Front speakers acceptable, rear are cheap (nearly inexistent):

7 speed blower on the climate control. Powerful throw effortlessly reaches rear seat occupants. Big buttons = easy to use. Large temperature display easy to read. Looks like a Sony Discman, wot?

Notice two cupholders & a storage spot right ahead of the gearlever:

Pedals placed fairly close to one another:

Multi-speed intermittent wiper control. Switchgear is of excellent quality:

Electric fold-in mirrors. Electrically adjustable too:

Door trim requires only 4 parts to build, as against 8 for the previous gen Micra:

Chrome & chunky door handles look really sweet. Nice to use too:

Main glove box placed inconveniently low. Too small for practicality. Top-end variant gets two gloveboxes (pictured here). Note the deep storage spot right between the 2 glove compartments:

Sorry ladies, you'll have to carry your own vanity mirror:

Rear legroom respectable for the segment:

Cost-cutting. No rubber beading between the metal frame and the rear windscreen:

Well-shaped boot. Capacity = 251 liters. Rear seat can fold away, but no 50:50 split:

Last edited by GTO : 24th July 2010 at 13:58. Reason: Updating boot capacity. 226 -> 251
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:21   #4
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Just tap the engine start button, and the starter motor decides the length of the crank automatically (no need to keep the button pressed). A now ubiquitous (in the segment) 1.2 liter petrol sits under the Micra's hood. The 3 cylinder DOHC 1198cc petrol engine is rated at 75 BHP (@ 6,000 rpm) and 104 NM of torque (@ 4,000 rpm). Idling is silent, refinement leagues ahead of an A-Star and there is hardly any rocking motion felt inside. You won’t think it’s a diesel idling (like in the Polo), yet some vibration (on the pedals, as an example) is evident. Low-rpm throttle response, say when moving from 0 kph, is ordinary. Don’t expect the torquey nature of the Hyundai 1.1 iRDE. Power really comes in only above 2,000 rpms. Above that point, it has enough pep by the segment standards. However, in the crucial bumper to bumper traffic range of 1,500 – 2,000 rpms, punch (torque) is weak. Further, the 2nd gear is so tall that it can touch nearly a 100 kph! The Micra's driveability is middle-of-the-road; it's nowhere as good as the Hyundai 1.1, nor is it as bad as the A-Star. Expect to use the gearbox judiciously to overtake within the city. When you want it to, the Micra can putter around town in 3rd gear @ 30 kph, or 4th @ 40 kph, without the engine lugging at all. Just don’t expect to close any gaps in traffic too soon when doing so. Start accelerating and the classic 3-cylinder thrum becomes audible. In fact, when being worked, it sounds identical to the humble Alto! Above 2,000 rpm, engine performance is acceptable; above 4,000 is where she likes to be. Overtaking slow moving vehicles on the highway doesn't pose too much of an issue. The 1.2 petrol will revv to its 6,800 revv limit, but as the rpm needle climbs, and past 5,500 rpms, it feels restrained and buzzy. The Micra's engine cannot hold a candle to the Maruti K12M engine (the segment benchmark). As mentioned in the opening post, the Micra is lighter than all of its competitors (save for the i10). The feather light weight, along with the 3 pot engine layout, gives it an ARAI rating of 18.06 kpl.

The (gearbox) gates are well-defined, though the throw could have been shorter. It’s not as slick as the Polo’s transmission and does have some notchiness in the shifts. The clutch has a short range which is great for the city, albeit it does require a certain amount of effort to engage. What I found surprising is that, driving in 1st gear throws out a prominent whine. The minute you shift to 2nd gear (or higher), the transmission whine disappears. The steering is direct, and the unit quick to react. This, combined with the tiny 4.65 meter turning radius (shorter than even the Swift), makes the Micra feel chuckable within the city. At parking speed, the electric PS is medium light. The minute you cross 10 kph though, the unit becomes really light, and stays effortless to use in urban India. At speed, the electric unit is vague, especially in the dead center position, yet weighs in well. Just don't expect much feedback.

The Micra rides well on a suspension that is tuned for compliance. You can tell that Nissan has “softened” the hardware for Indian driving conditions. Road undulations are dismissed off absorbingly, and it has absolutely none of the bumpiness that some of its competitors exhibit (even for rear benchers). Over some sharp speed-breakers, it actually felt cushiony. What’s more, the suspension isn’t noisy doing its work either. The handling is safe enough by hatchback standards. Know that you are driving a commuter hatchback and you’ll be safe. Push hard at speed and body roll becomes noticeable. Again, the suspension is entirely tuned for comfort. Highway stability is par for the course, though you’d be better off cruising at 120 kph than 140 (feels light and wafty at that speed). Cars like the Punto and Polo are in a different league when it comes to stability. The brake pedal felt very mushy to use, though grab action was quick. Perfectly modulating the brake pedal takes some getting used to. The on-paper ground clearance of only 154 mm raises concern. I can confirm that a speed breaker taken carelessly (with 4 adults on board) didn’t have the Micra scraping its underbelly. Still, I'm not entirely convinced about the GC and look forward to long-term ownership reports from BHPians.

Nissan has clearly played it safe with the Micra. The quality is right there, its looks are a differentiating point, equipment includes first-for-the-segment gizmos, the interiors are well designed and reasonably spacious, and we can expect the fuel efficiency to be respectable. The 3 cylinder engine is far from class-leading though, the drive is dull and her dynamics are mediocre. Honestly, there’s a distinct “Maruti-like” character to the overall driving experience (probably intentional?). The Micra is so obviously a commuter hatchback that is built for the point A to point B runs. It doesn’t excel in any particular area, but does most things acceptably well nevertheless. A conservative city car if you will.

Last edited by GTO : 14th August 2010 at 12:09.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:21   #5
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On the keyless entry and go:

Since there were several questions & concerns on the Micra's keyless entry & go feature (in this thread), I thought it would be a good idea to list out an FAQ:

Keyless entry:

- How does it work : Basically, the Nissan key fob has to be within a 0.9 meter range (< 3 feet) of the car. As long as you are carrying the key on you, just walk up to the door, press the "request sensor button" and pull on the door handle. It will unlock automatically.

- What are the benefits? It's a gizmo really, and convenient to use too. No need to insert a key anywhere, nor do you have to press any unlock button (on a remote control). The key fob could very well remain in your handbag or pocket.

- What if I want to open the car from the front passenger side? Well, there's a request sensor on the passenger door as well.

- What if the remote key's battery dies out? There is a skeleton key tucked away inside the key fob. This key can be extracted & used if the unit's battery dies out.

- "Thad E Ginathom" says he has a habit of manually checking if the car is locked (before walking away). No problem for friendly Thad either. He can press the "lock" button on the remote, and pull on the door handle (without pressing the request sensor) to check if the doors are locked.

- Does the boot have a request sensor as well? Yes. It works the same way as for the front doors.

- What is the active range of the key fob? The request sensors on the door will work only if the key fob is within 0.9 meters of the car. That's less than 3 feet.

- If I, as a Micra owner, am driving the car, can someone open the boot / door by pressing the request sensor (since the key fob is in the car)? No. Once you lock the car from inside (say, while driving), the boot / door request sensors don't work.

Keyless go:

- How does it work : As long as the key fob is inside the car, you only have to tap the engine start / stop button to get going. No need to keep the button pressed either. Just tap it once and the ECM decides on the length of the crank.

- What are the benefits? It's really cool, that's all. The next car to offer this feature is the Rs. 13 lakh Chevy Cruze.

- What if the battery dies out? Well, we tried . We made a Nissan engineer remove the unit's battery. Even then, the ECM detected the presence of the key fob and the engine started.

- What if my kid playfully presses the engine start / stop button when I'm sitting in the car? The clutch pedal needs to be fully pressed, for the engine start button to work. This safety feature is in place to prevent accidental / unintentional starts.

- If I'm standing in the vicinity of the car, can someone else sit in, start the engine and drive away? NO. The key fob has to be INSIDE the car for the engine start button to work. We placed it a meter away from the car, and the engine refused to start.

- I only want to listen to the stereo, but without starting the engine? For the "ignition on" mode (without giving a crank), press the engine start / stop button WITHOUT pressing the clutch. The first time you press it, the stereo will switch on. Press it again and the car will move on to "ignition on" mode (without the engine running).

- Any disadvantages? Switch the engine off before walking away! Though the car did throw out a fairly audible beeping sound when I started to walk away with the key fob, remember, the engine will not stop by itself.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:21   #6
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Micra Diesel:

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Note : GTO uploaded this diesel Micra review on 28th December, 2010.

This month, Nissan launched the diesel Micra by shoe-horning the Logan’s 1.5 liter turbo-diesel into the li'l car's engine bay. The Micra diesel is rated at 63 BHP (@ 4,000 rpm) and 160 Nm of torque (@ 2,000 rpm). There is about a Rs. 70,000 asking premium over the segment leading Maruti Swift. You only need to look at the specs to realise this is an old-school motor, running in a conservative state of tune. The Micra’s engine is an SOHC 8 valve unit, where the Swift 1.3L has a more modern DOHC 16 valve design. The Nissan’s BHP / Liter rating is a mere 42, compared to 57 for the Maruti. Just like the petrol Micra however, the diesel is also lightest in class. Therefore, the difference in power-to-weight ratios is slimmer (63.50 for Micra versus 69.48 for the Swift).

Main changes vis a vis the petrol : The top-end Micra diesel is shod with 15” alloy wheels (not available on the petrol). In a shocking, inexplicable move, Nissan has removed the passenger side airbag and ABS from the diesel. The 2nd glove box isn’t available either.

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The Figo was the segment benchmark when it came to the least turbo-lag. Well, all of that changes now. The diesel Micra is the new king of city driveability. Turbo-lag? What turbo-lag? There isn’t any! Torque is available instantly, with the engine feeling like a naturally-aspirated diesel. The 1.5 engine starts pulling from as low as 1,500 rpm, where its competitors require 2,000 revvs. The in-city driveability is astoundingly good, the engine feeling immensely tractable and eager to pull from low rpm (and low speed). You can almost get away with 2nd gear starts from 0 kph, while the 3rd gear can be used as an automatic when puttering about town. In driving conditions where the Swift would require a downshift (say, after a speed breaker), the Micra can trundle along in the same gear. Those who are used to the Logan diesel’s driveability will feel just at home here. The Micra feels peppy enough upto 120 kph, the light kerb weight no doubt playing a major role here. Performance starts tapering off after. The old-school nature of this motor does show on the open road. The 1.5 diesel isn't as free-revving as the Swift diesel, and doesn’t have that sense of urgency either.

No intercooler for the Micra:
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At idle, there’s only a slight murmur from the engine, and absolutely zero vibrations inside (after the engine has warmed up). When cruising on the highway, passengers won’t even realise that it’s a diesel car. Believe it or not, the refinement level upto 3,000 rpm is actually better than in the petrol Micra. Primary reason : An extra engine cylinder (Diesel Micra has a 4 cylinder engine while the petrol has a three cylinder). One fly in the ointment is the excessive engine shake (felt inside) at start up and shut down. Then, the engine also takes a rather crude, clattery note at high rpms. The beauty of this motor isn’t in driving spiritedly at the redline. It is better that you upshift at 2,000 - 2,500 rpms, move on to the next gear and maximise efficiency. Even when in a hurry, there’s no point in revving the Micra beyond 3,500 rpms (where it develops a coarse note). This motor is best driven between the 1,500 – 3,500 rpm range.

The gear lever's throw is slightly longer than you’d expect in such a small car, yet the shifter is overall smooth to use. Handling and ride are conservative, as in the petrol Micra. Nissan has clearly stiffened up the suspension to handle the additional weight of the diesel engine. While ride quality is still good, the diesel doesn’t tackle large potholes as softly as the petrol Micra did. The firmer set up isn’t as evident over regular roads as it is over broken patches (especially the front end of the car). I find it appalling that Nissan removed the ABS system from the diesel variant. This will detrimentally affect safety under emergency braking conditions. I’d give the diesel Micra’s braking ability a strictly “average” rating. Nissan forgets that the Micra customer is the informed urban type who does prioritize safety.

Last edited by GTO : 3rd January 2011 at 19:34.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:21   #7
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Other Points:

• In the run-up to the Micra, Nissan had some brand building activities. Click here for the must-read 370Z launch report by Rehaan & Dippy.

• Nissan’s decision of providing airbags as standard, even on the base variant, is commendable. You only wonder why they didn’t decide on ABS instead? It’s a marketing move. Airbags are a more “visible” technology than ABS. Apparently, customer clinics stated their preference for the same too.

• Lock the car and the mirrors fold in automatically. Convenient. IIRC, only the Hyundai i20 provides this feature amongst the hatchbacks. No, my Civic doesn't!

• If you press the lock button, and one of the doors is accidentally left open, the Micra won’t give you a lock confirmation beep. Instead, she throws out a 3 second long warning beep.

• Targeted completely at the urban buyer (unlike the Swift & Figo which enjoy equal success in semi-urban and rural India). Nissan's current dealers are all in Tier-1 cities. Now you know why Ranbir Kapoor was chosen as the car’s ambassador. An automatic transmission is conspicuous by its absence on the options sheet, considering the car’s urban positioning.

• Nissan should make conscious efforts to educate its customers on the importance of wearing seatbelts. Without them, the airbags can actually work against the cause of safety!

• Official launch on the 14th of July, 2010. 20 dealers by the time of launch, 40 in the current fiscal year and a 100 by 2013.

• Nissan has a saloon on the same “V” platform in the pipeline. Expected in 2011. Click here for a scoop picture.

• Standard warranty : 24 months / 50,000 kms. With extended warranty package, 48 months / 80,000 kms.

• Boot release lever missing on the inside. Fuel lid release placed next to the bonnet lever to save costs.

• Nissan says they have 9 models planned by 2012. Well, its 4 up already (Micra, Teana, X-Trail and 370Z). By that year, they also plan a production run of 100,000 cars (including exports).

• Without the engine & transmission, the Micra is at an 87% localization level. In addition to India, the Micra will be manufactured in (only) three other countries : Thailand, China and Mexico.

• We slammed on the brakes at 80 kph and she moved half a lane to the left. We tried it again, then again. Nissan says that our test car’s brakes hadn’t bedded in yet. Two other journalists confirmed that their test cars braked in a straight line.

• I was surprised as to how a brand new generation can weigh lesser than the outgoing (older) generation. Especially with cars getting bigger and safety standards more stringent. Get this, the new Micra requires lesser parts than the old to manufacture. Depending on the variant, you’re looking at about 80 kilos cut in flab. They saved 9 kilos on the suspension and 2.2 on the fuel tank! The boomerang roof (no stiffener) saved them another 2 kilos.

• Reason for the 4-cylinder-like idle : Oval crank pulley motion (outer balancer).

• Before driving off, you need to press the “lock” switch on the driver’s control panel to lock all doors. Merely locking the driver’s door ( from where the door open handle is) will lock only that single door.

• Fuel tank capacity = 41 liters.

• Launching the Micra is one thing, supporting it entirely another. The real work for Nissan starts NOW. Maruti became Maruti only after endless years of serving its customers. Building a dealer network + high level of customer satisfaction is priority no. 1.

• ORVMs are a size smaller than I prefer. They are convex and thus, cover the road behind well. Yet, I'd want them one size bigger.

• NVH levels are in control. At speed, wind noise is minimal and even the lousy MRFs don’t create too much of a racket.

• Lack of rear seat neck restraints throws out safety concerns. In a rear end shunt, passengers could end up with injured necks.

• Driver's window has one touch up / down and anti-pinch functionality. Say, if your arm is in the way when the window is being closed, it will retract.

• I actually preferred the seat upholstery of the base variant (vis a vis the XV). It's jet black and has a nice soft feeling to it.

• Chennai must be doing something right. Hyundai, Ford, BMW, Nissan, HM-Mitsubishi, Mahindra, TVS, Royal Enfield, Ashok Leyland, Daimler Trucks, Apollo Tyres and MRF are all located in this TN city.

• Nissan must be the only manufacturer whose website doesn’t show up if you google “NAME India” (i.e. Nissan India). Try it. Have already asked them to get cracking on this.

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

Credits : Pictures 1, 2 & 3 captured by our friend, Anamit Sen.

Last edited by GTO : 28th December 2010 at 17:20.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:22   #8
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The Smaller yet significant things:

Skeleton key tucked away inside the key fob. For use when the remote key's battery dies out:

Lots of comments on the Figo thread. Bumper clearance is sufficient:

Little things that impress. At night, when you unlock the door and step in, the only thing you can see is an illuminated engine start / stop button. Orange backlighting is neat:

Foam compartment for the tools = No rattling:

Nifty boot lamp:

Useless rear headrests / neck restraints. Placed too low:

Awkward positioning of the 12v power socket. Right next to the front passenger's feet:

MID churns out information on instant + average fuel efficiency, as well as distance to empty. The number you see here is after some spirited 2nd gear @ 100 kph runs

Rear visibility just about enough. Thick C Pillars mean you have to use the ORVMs:

A bottle holder (for rear passengers) and mobile phone cubicle, right next to the handbrake:

Fuel lid & bonnet release share real estate. Boot release missing:

Yup, can completely shut:

Retro center console. Part quality of tall order:

Small glovebox. Placed a 500 ml water bottle for size relativity:

Slim map pockets:

Useful handle to pull the hatch down:

Last edited by GTO : 30th June 2010 at 16:22.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:32   #9
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Excellent review GTO. The snaps are nice, the interiors look good.
Few queries :
a. Hows the leg space (rear) compared to i10, Beat.
b. Noticed the GC 154mm, did the under body of the car scratched in your test drive, in our city roads, considering our speed breakers, what is your view on this?

Last edited by AvonA7 : 29th June 2010 at 20:33.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:50   #10
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As usual high standard review by GTO.
Looks like a jack of all trades car to me - which is exactly what is required for city roundabouts.
Diesel, automatic and a combination thereof should see the sales rolling, provided the dealer network is jacked up.
Nissan is bigger than Suzuki in Japan (and in the world) - and they should leave no stones unturned to catch up and overtake Suzuki in India.

Last edited by blackasta : 29th June 2010 at 20:52.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:52   #11
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Awesome.. Thanks GTO, very comprehensive one.

Thanks again, Prem.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:56   #12
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Yeahhh!! Thanks for another one of 'em, GTO & T-BHP!

I dote the driver airbag across variant, and the Start / Stop button is damn nice touch - but the engine?!! I hope a better mill is on the cards sometime...
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:56   #13
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As always, great review! Thanks a lot GTO for such detailed review. And very nice pictures too!

I somehow don't like Micra at all. It looks like a bit too non-automobile-type. I mean, the shapes, lines and geometries are completely non-dynamic, and it looks like an appliance (a washing machine, for example) than a car. It does not have any lines or shapes depicting kinetics or motion, nothing depicting power or even stability.

However ....

Originally Posted by GTO View Post

In a welcome move, the Micra is equipped with a driver airbag as standard. Across all variants! Hopefully, Nissan sets a trend that other manufacturers follow (for ABS too, please!). In a segment dominated by Maruti, Tata & Hyundai, Nissan needs a differentiator. That’s why the driver airbag is standard. That’s precisely why the gizmos and the cheeky styling are in place.

Nissan sells the XV variant with dual airbags, ABS & EBD brakes, climate control, keyless entry & go, engine start / stop button, tilt-adjustable steering, 4 power windows, engine immobilizer, 4 speaker audio system with CD / MP3 / AUX compatibility, multi-information display (with real time + average fuel efficiency, and distance to empty reading), electric mirrors (adjust + fold in action) and rear wash / wipe. Alloy wheels are conspicuous by their absence on the top variant.
I believe this car can have a huge impact on Indian automotive scene (especially low end of the cost spectrum) because of this impressive features list. It may force others, as GTO pointed out, to introduce these features in small and low priced cars as well, and we all will benefit from that. These are signs of Indian automotive market maturing and developing into a nice competitive (the healthy type) market where manufactures are pushing each other to offer more for less. Thank you Nissan for this good competitive move!

I have a feeling that any car (well, cheaper than 10L, since above 10L is a totally different ballgame) we buy today will be outdated in 3-4 years from now, sort of what happens to computers in every 2 years. And I believe this is a great sign for all of us


Last edited by Dr.AD : 29th June 2010 at 20:59.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:57   #14
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Brilliant review as always! I'm not a fan of the styling of this car. But it's still subjective to everyone's taste. Some do like the retro look of this car. I think the Micra would still sell in decent numbers given the kind of equipment Nissan is offering at a good price.

How does the Micra's 3-pot engine fare against the Polo?

The Nissan logo just embossed on the steering wheel looks too cheap. They should have attached a chrome logo! I guess it'll be there in the production version.

Looking at the pictures, the rear seat is almost flat with very less under thigh support. I guess it won't be one of the most comfortable rear benches. And where are the adjustable headrests? Not even in the XV variant?

Last edited by theragingbull : 29th June 2010 at 21:11.
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Old 29th June 2010, 20:59   #15
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excellent Review GTO you have literally covered almost all aspects of the car.
Although the car looks small in the pics(it looks similar in size to a alto in the pics) It is rather large and comparable to the swift.
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