Nissan Micra (2003 – 2010) At A Glance
"Ahhh....cute. It's like a baby." Those were my wife's words when she first caught sight of the frogeyed new Nissan Micra. Smart girl. She summed it up straight away.
Other small hatchbacks try to be chic, like the 206. Or stylish, like the Ibiza. Or retro, like the C3. Or solid, like the Polo. Or practical, like the Jazz. Or just plain efficient Fordy, like the Fiesta. But this is the first to put on such a sweet and friendly look that women want to hug it. They'd have to have a heart of stone not to fall for the Micra's Kermit-like cuddlyness.
Of course, that wasn't enough for Nissan. They want to sell 160,000 a year in Europe, so cute alone won't cut it against the intense opposition. (And I hadn't even mentioned the Yaris yet.) So they've taken a few leaves from other peoples books as well as their own to make sure women love the new Micra.
Safety was top of the list. So every new Micra has ABS with electronic brakeforce distribution and Nissan Brake Assist (of which, more later). They all have five proper three-point seatbelts. They all have driver and passenger airbags. They all have electric power steering. They all have single slot CD players. And the petrol fuelled models all have unburstable chain-cam 16v engines.
What do owners think of the Nissan Micra (2003 – 2010)? Check out our Owners' Reviews
from people who live with the car day in, day out.
Real MPG average for a Nissan Micra (2003 – 2010)
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Reviews for Nissan Micra (2003 – 2010)'s top 3 rivals
Ask Honest John
What is the average life of a car?
"Do you know what the lifespan of a Nissan Micra engine would be? My 2004 diesel Micra has only done 87,000 miles. How long will it go on for?"
The average car in the UK is scrapped at 14-years. This is usually when the cost of the repairs start to outweigh the value of the vehicle.
I think your Micra has done a brilliant job carrying on for as long as it has. As long as the engine is serviced annually with an oil and filter change then there is no reason why it can't carry on for many more years.
Eventually, corrosion of the bodywork and suspension will become an expensive issue if the car is stored outside and used as a daily runner. But it reads like your Micra is being very well cared for and hopefully it'll be good for another 87,000.
Can you recommend a small, economical car to replace my ageing Micra?
"I drive a Nissan Micra and it's getting old (2006, 110,000 miles) so I'm looking at what to buy next. I would like something similar regarding economy of fuel and reliability; nothing has ever gone wrong with my current car. However, I would really like to get something just slightly bigger so passengers are less squashed. I'm doubting I can improve upon the Micra, but value your opinion. The new Micra seems more flimsy in its body work, or am I wrong about this?"
While the Micra used to be a really robust, reliable little car, it's true that the latest models don't have quite the same reputation. We'd recommend a Honda Jazz. It's a very reliable car and more practical than most small cars. Also consider a Hyundai i20 or Ford Fiesta.
Why does my 2003 Nissan Micra keep cutting out on start up?
"I have a 2003 Nissan Micra 1.2 that has recently been giving trouble. At first, it was just kangarooing for 30 seconds after moving off, then it got worse and would do it for maybe a minute or two. More recently, the engine would start cutting out on starting and would only go if you rev the engine a little. Then, sometimes it would even cut out at 6000 rpm. I have now found that it starts okay if you rev and then take off immediately.
There are no lights on the dash to suggest any faults. I had a basic service done this week, so spark plugs and air filter were replaced. I took the car to the mechanic who ran diagnostics and a few faults were coming up. They were cleared and test was run again and an unknown code P0340 came up again. I found this related to the camshaft position sensor, so the mechanic suggested replacing this as the easiest and cheapest option. Unfortunately, this didn't do anything for the car and the code was still present on the next check. What's wrong?"
If you have an engine code of either CR10DE/CR12DE/CR14DE then the code P0340 is indicating a worn timing chain (a known fault on these engines). You will need a new timing chain plus also check the sprockets and the timing chain tensioner
What small used car should I buy on a £600 budget?
"I just had to get rid of my 2003 Volkswagen Polo due to engine problems. I'm looking to buy a used car, but I’m limited money to £600. I want something mainly just for school runs and shopping. I only passed test five month ago so need something cheap on insurance. I've been looking at 03-plate Nissan Micra, Peugeot 206, Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta. Anything small and nippy, mainly for short trips and around town. Any suggestions?"
With a small budget, I'd be looking for a Ford Fiesta, Nissan Micra or Toyota Yaris - all are tough little cars and there are plenty around. Don't concentrate too much on a specific model, though. You'd be better buying whatever's available in good condition with a long MoT. And avoid dealers, they'll be selling scrap at this money. Just make sure whatever you buy has a proper service history so you don't end up getting a car that will soon have its fair share of issues crop up.