The Nissan Micra has always been a vehicle we’ve always found to be a bit blend and boring over past years. Fast forward to 2019 and the model has come a long way since it was first introduced way back in 1982. There have officially been five generations of the hatchback throughout the past 36 years, all being diverse in various ways.
The latest Micra has recently been introduced with the 2017 model proving to be very popular and an award-winning car. After getting acclimatized with the latest version equipped with a very striking design (and various cool features to boot) it’s safe to say that it is worlds away from the first generation Micra.
We briefly spent some time with the new variant, specifically the Micra 84 kW turbo Tekna Plus grade (the flagship) which oozes modish style and sleek sophistication. Described as engineered for the streets, the Micra is not just a pretty face, it also packs a bit of power that gives it a bit of zip both at take off and when given the chance to properly stretch its legs on the open road. The engine and general drive is something we really liked so it’s only fitting that we spend a bit of time on that.
Developed by the Renault-Nissan Alliance in conjunction with Daimler, the new 84 kW engine can also be found in the other two derivatives, the Acenta Plus and the Tekna. The Tekna Plus grade variant we had came with a sporty turbocharged 1.0-litre petrol engine that produces 84 kilowatts of power – 18 kilowatts more than its predecessors – and 180 Newton metres of torque, giving you instant acceleration with dynamic performance.
The new DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbo) 84 kW engine features a number of technical innovations which allow it to deliver a spirited performance while maintaining high fuel economy and low CO2 emissions, another thing we found quite impressive.
Nissan have also introduced a couple of innovations in this vehicle and one of these is the delta cylinder head – a world first for a 1.0-litre petrol engine – which makes for a more compact and lightweight engine and provides for an increase in available impact protection space and greater freedom in the design of the car’s bonnet.
The other cool innovation is the bore spray coating on the cylinders. Developed from the Nissan GT-R supercar, this is another world-first technology in the 1.0-litre petrol engine and reduces the friction in the cylinder, improves heat management and combustion, cuts weight and improves fuel economy and CO2 emissions.
Another great aspect we noticed is the vehicle’s great handling in sharp corners/turns even at high speeds. This is largely thanks to its dropped suspension as well as its sharper steering, with a steering rack that’s quicker and lighter to use, the car is noticeably more agile and fun to drive.
For us music lovers, Nissan have included a really cool feature with their Tekna and Tekna Plus models coming fully fitted with an exclusive Bose® Personal® sound system, complete with headrest speakers on the driver’s side. This ensures top-of-the-range digital sound symposium and as the driver, it ensures that you will enjoy a rich, immersive 360-degree soundstage.
The headrest set-up makes use of Bose® PersonalSpace™ Virtual Audio Technology to produce a wide sound field with a clear sound image and musical depth and offer a range of listening options, from precise front-focused sound to a much wider and enveloping experience in which the sound feels like it’s coming from places in the car where there aren’t any speakers.
The system includes an amplifier under the driver’s seat (how cool?), wide-range speakers in the front doors, tweeters in the dashboard – which deliver sonic clarity and punch – and two 6 cm UltraNearField speakers in the driver’s headrest.
Nissan’s updated model comes standard with sport suspension, sport exhaust tail pipe fin, Smart (keyless) entry, push start button, rear parking sensors, automatic folding exterior mirrors, leather steering wheel & shift lever, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Moving Object Detection and blind spot warning.
The 84 kW Tekna model comes with LED headlights and front fog lights, automatic air conditioner and automatic headlight levelliser and the Tekna Plus, with ‘Invigorating Red’ interior personalisation, leather heated seats and ‘Enigma Black’ exterior colour. Even with the leather finishes (in parts) we did find the interior to be generally plain and boring.
The vehicle’s strong lines and modern finishes give it a modern athletic feel and you’ll be spoilt for choice in terms of personalision, with the top-of-the-range models now available in black.
Available in dealerships from this month onwards, the all-new Nissan Micra 84 kW is a welcome addition to the Upper B hatchback segment which already includes stiff competition and happens to be one of the most popular car segments in the country. Starting from R305 900.00 for the Micra 84kW Turbo Acenta Plus with a cost of R336 900.00 for the 84kW Turbo Tekna Plus, the pricing is a bit steep but considering what it offers, it’s worth it.
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