Review: Nissan Micra (2017)
Huge improvement over previous Micra. Good quality and comfortable interior. Generous safety equipment.
Basic models miss out on some handy equipment including air conditioning. Can be pricey with options boxes ticked. Can't match the class best for handling.
Nissan Micra (2017): At A Glance
- New prices start from £12,875, brokers can source from £11,249
- Contract hire deals from £149.63 per month
- Insurance Groups are between 1–8
- On average it achieves 78% of the official MPG figure
The Nissan Micra used to be the mainstay of learners, new drivers and thrifty motorists. But then Nissan made a mess of it with the dull 2010 model. Fortunately, the 2017 model is a huge improvement in all areas.
The looks divide opinion - we're not huge fans we must say - but it does at least stand out. However, where the Micra appeal is with its easy to drive nature, cheap running costs and lots of safety tech as standard.
It’s even available with a host of personalisation features, so you can get vibrant interior and exterior details, a variety of different alloy wheel designs, upholstery finishes and even decals or roof stripes. But if you fancy any of that stuff, prepare to pay for it – the Micra isn’t cheap if you start ticking boxes.
Originally, there were three engines – a basic, old-fashioned 1.0-litre petrol with 75PS, a 0.9-litre turbocharged petrol with 90PS and a 1.5 dCi diesel, also with 90PS. Of these the 0.9 is probably the best choice, since it’s punchy, responsive and fairly economical.
In 2019, a 1.0-litre IG-T 100PS petrol was introduced, available with a five-speed manual or a new CVT automatic, what Nissan calls 'Xtronic'. A 'warm hatch' was launched with a 117PS 1.0-litre DIG-T engine.
All the final suspension and steering development was undertaken in the UK and the Micra makes light work of uneven, potholed British roads. It can't match the class best (like the Fiesta) for handling, but it's composed nonetheless.
The cabin is nicely finished, with a neat layout and some plush material choices, plus it’s fairly practical. The back row is big enough for adults at a push, while the boot is a decent size and shape. There is a high load lip – but that’s only an issue with bulky, heavy items.
Even the most basic Micra comes with lane departure warning, lane keep assistance and auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection – gizmos that aren’t often standard even on cars from the class above. Weirdly, though, there is no standard air conditioning or alloy wheels.
Prices start low compared to a Ford Fiesta or Vauxhall Corsa, but entry-level cars are very basic with steel wheels and no air con. While it can't match the Fiesta for handling or quality, it's a good alternative to the Corsa and a very easy car to live with.
What does a Nissan Micra (2017) cost?
Nissan Micra (2017): What's It Like Inside?
- Euro NCAP rating of five stars
Inside, the Micra is nicely finished, with a comfortable and good quality feel. There are lots of optional colours and inlay details too, so if you want to liven up the dashboard with textured blue rubber or orange leather then you can – but you’ll have to pay.
Space is fine up front, with a decent amount of elbow room and plenty of adjustment in the driving position, along with cubby holes for storing small items. The rear row is less impressive, with a sloping roofline impeding hat room – but there’s enough space for short trips or smaller occupants.
The boot is practical, with a decent 300 litres of capacity. More than enough for a weekly shop or a weekend away, but there is a load lip to lift bulky items over and the rear seat backs don’t fold flush with the boot floor. With the rear seats down, capacity is 1004 litres.
Aside from the handy safety gadgets, basic Micra Visia models come with Bluetooth connectivity and not much more. You’ll need Visia+ if you want air conditioning or an Acenta to get alloy wheels and a touchscreen system. Thankfully it’s a good one, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
Picking an Acenta model or higher model also unlocks a variety of optional extras including personalisation packs and upgraded Bose audio. Just be aware that any paint colour, except for a miserable sort of off-beige called Ivory, costs extra.
Visia grade comes with 15-inch' Steel wheels, front fog lights, Audio system with 2 front speakers, Bluetooth compatible audio, 6 airbags, Lane Departure Warning and Intelligent Lane Intervention and Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian detection
Visia+ cars add air-conditioning and Stop/Start Technology
Acenta grade adds 16-inch steels/covers with free option of 16-inch alloys, body-coloured door mirrors and door handles, advanced drive assist display, 7” touch-screen display audio with four speakers, cruise control, two-tone upholstery, App integration and Apple Carplay
N-Connecta cars come with 16-inch alloy wheels, electric folding heated door mirrors, privacy glass, leather steering wheel, automatic air-conditioning and the NissanConnect 7-inch touch-screen infotainment system
Tekna grade adds 17-inch alloy wheels, Nissan Intelligent Key with engine start button, rear view camera with rear parking sensors and a BOSE Personal audio system with six speakers
Child seats that fit a Nissan Micra (2017)Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.
What's the Nissan Micra (2017) like to drive?
The final stages of development for this generation of Nissan Micra were undertaken in the UK and that shows in the way it drives. The steering is nicely weighted and the suspension does a good job of balancing comfortable ride quality with predictable handling, even on lumpy and uneven roads.
This handling is helped by a system rather grandly named Intelligent Trace Control. This gently brakes the inside wheels in a corner to help tighten up the line in a very subtle but useful way, making the Micra surprisngly agile on a twisting road.
While it's capable, it's not in the same league as a Ford Fiesta or Volkswagen Polo, but it’s still very enjoyable especially with one of three-cylinder petrols under the bonnet. It’s responsive from low engine speeds, so gives enough punch for overtaking, but it’s also economical with an official economy figure of more than 60mpg.
There’s a 1.5-litre dCi diesel engine. This produces 90PS, but it makes more torque and is quieter, so works well on the motorway – but the 0.9 isn’t bad for cruising either.. There’s also an entry-level 1.0-litre petrol with 75PS, which is more suitable for drivers who spend the majority of their time around town. All three come with a five-speed manual transmission.
In early 2019 two new engines were added to the Micra range. Both are three-cylinder 1.0-litre units, but Nissan assures us they are two different engines.
The first is the 1.0-litre IG-T with 100PS is more than adequate for everyday driving but the real appeal is that it's available with an automatic - the first time this Micra has. The CVT features 'steps' to give a passable impression of a seven-speed torque converter. It's very pleasant and fuss free.
Alongside that is another three-cylinder 1.0-litre but this one is badged DIG-T and has 117PS. It's feels far more sprightly than the IG-T with good mid-range pulling power helped by 180Nm of torque. It has a decent turn of speed too and although not as impressive as the Ford 1.0 EcoBoost 125, is very good performer nonetheless.
Choose this engine and regardless of trim, it comes with a 10mm lower ride height, revised suspension tuning and a quicker steering rack. Sadly the results don't quite work and rather than the comfortable nature of the Micra we like, it changes to a firm riding hatch with busy suspension that doesn't seem to settle down.
You can get this engine in the N-Sport trim, making it a warm hatch to rival the likes of the Fiesta ST-Line and SEAT Ibiza FR. It gets a few exterior extras such as a carbon-style finish on the alloy wheels and door mirror caps.
One feature that really sets the Micra apart from its rivals is the inclusion of lane keep assistance, lane departure warning and auto emergency braking with pedestrian detection as standard. These technologies are typically only found in bigger cars and provide useful safety benefits, but also reduce the cost of insurance.
There are some extra safety and convenience technologies that aren’t standard, too, including a birds-eye camera that gives a clear around view of the car to make parking effortlessly easy. It’s definitely worth considering, because the rearward visibility isn’t great.
|0.9 IG-T||61–64 mpg||12.1 s||99–104 g/km|
|1.0||61 mpg||-||110–121 g/km|
|1.0 DIG-T||-||-||114 g/km|
|1.0 IG-T||-||-||103–105 g/km|
|1.0 IG-T Automatic||-||-||112–113 g/km|
|1.5 dCi 90||76–88 mpg||11.9 s||85–92 g/km|
Real MPG average for a Nissan Micra (2017)
Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.
Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.
Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.
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