In Ireland the Micra is sometimes seen driving around under the Japanese name - Nissan March. This is a hugely popular machine from Nissan and was first built in the year 1982. Those first generations can still be seen on Irish roads which says plenty about the reliability of this supermini. According to the sometimes-reliable Wikipedia, the body of the first generation Micra was initially intended for the Fiat Uno. Never-the-less, the Micra has changed a lot since 1982 and is still a very popular supermini.
The Micra has never been known for its massive power. The 1.2 litre petrol engines offers maximum power of just 80 bhp. However, this is a supermini and it is very well suited for city driving – which doesn’t require high-performance. This car will bring you from 0-100 km/h in a very slow 14 seconds and it takes a little longer to get to the 120 on the motorway. The maximum speed of the five speed manual version is 170 km/h, while the same engine with the CVT transmission can apparently reach a slower 161 km/h.
While the Micra could be described as a fun car, it does have plenty of room for improvement. It suffers from body roll when pushed on corners and will have passengers reaching for the handle to stay steady in their seats. The steering wheel is also lacking in feedback. It has a fair way to go to meet the standards of the Ford Fiesta and the Skoda Fabia. The best thing about the handling of this vehicle is in the way that it soaks up bumps and potholes in a nice way.
It’s been a while since we were in a first generation Nissan Micra, but a feature then was road noise and while the vehicle has been padded a little better as we know it now - it still suffers a lot from road and wind noise. As already mentioned, the petrol engine will bring you from 0-100km/h in 14 seconds – if you do decide to put the foot down on a motorway you will hear and feel the engine try to achieve that speed. The engine noise does chill out to an audible hum at motorway speeds though.
The Micra is full of plastics and unlike most other Nissans, they do feel cheap. The good news is that it comes with some nice items as standard like Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Micra also come with cruise control. Visibility around the Micra is good due to the very large windscreen. The seats could do with being a bit more comfortable.
The Micra received a four star Euro NCAP safety score in 2010. It scored highest for adult occupancy with 84% and that was followed by 79% with child occupancy. For pedestrian safety it scored 58%. The car comes with six airbags as standard and has other features like; ISOFIX child-seat anchorage points, ABS, EBD and VDC. The Micra is available with a spacesaver spare wheel.
The interior of the Micra is surprisingly spacious. Four adults could fit in here without any major problems and head and leg room is good. The boot space offers a capacity of 265 litres - competitors like the Ford Fiesta and the Skoda Fabia would do better here.