- Fifth generation of Nissan’s smarty hatchback
- ‘Exciting to drive, confident and responsive’
- Futher models, bigger engine, still to come
By LES STEPHENSON
Information / data from Nissan SA
ROSSLYN, South Africa – The fifth generation of Nissan’s Micra, the automaker says, ”is a significant progression in design and will revitalise the small-car segment in South Africa”.
After I’d spent a day driving a Micra Acenta Plus in the now green vastness of the Western Cape’s hinterland it was obvious that other vehicle manufacturers have a small mountain to climb to catch up.
My drive for the day was the top unit in the three-car range and – ignoring its deliberately overall smaller size – it showed it was easily up there with cabin comfort, space and array of connectivity and information screens associated with ”luxury” cars of only a couple of years ago.
Mind you, this model in the all-new range does cost R272 400…
ONE (GREAT) ENGINE FOR NOW
Nissan told The Corner potential customers were ”at the heart” of the 2018 Micras’ development, gathered in focus groups and clinics, to help to create ”a no-compromise package that answers the needs of small-car buyers”
My view is that they succeeded very well in helping to create this new contender in the lower ‘B’ hatchback segment which, in South Africa, makes up about 15% of the passenger vehicle market – said by Nissan SA to be ”one of the most popular segments in the country”.
Only one engine is available for now – a three-cylinder, 898cc, 66kW, 140Nm, turbo-charged petrol unit. It must be one of the most remarkable on the market for performance – small capacity but road ability that, had I not told you this, you would never have guess by just a test drive.
It drives through a beaut of a five-speed gearbox and handled the ups and downs of the Cape topography like a true champion.
Nissan has helpfully laid out the different goodies on the various models. First the items standard on each:
- Cruise control
- Auto headlights and automatic hazard lights, anti-lock brakes, braking assistance with electronic pressure distribution.
- Driver, side and passenger crash-bags
- Temporary spare wheel (bad mark, given distances in South Africa)
- IsoFix child-seat anchorS
BODY DIMENSIONS, COLOURS
- Overall Length: 3.999mm
- Overall Width: 1.743mm
- Overall Height: 1,455mm
- Wheelbase: 2525mm
- Body-colour choice: Orange, powder blue, red, grey, silver and that business stand-by… white.
Nissan Micra Visia
- Daytime Running Lights
- Multi-function steering-wheel
- Cruise control
- Auto headlights and hazard lights
- Six crash bags
- Idle Stop/Start
- Hill-start assistance
Nissan Micra Acenta
- 16” alloy wheel rims
- Front foul-weather lightsDecoration on gearshifter and handbrake
- Chromed door releases
- 13cm colour TFT display with tachometer
- 19cm audio display
- AM/FM radio, MP3, DAB, RDS, USB, AUX, Bluetooth
- Apple Carplay
Nissan Micra Acenta Plus
- 17″ alloy wheel rims
- Leather wrap on steering-wheel
- Leather wrap on shift lever and handbrake
- ‘Energy Orange’ cabin pack
- Daytime running lights
- Front power windows
- Roof spoiler
Nissan describes the cars as having a shortened bonnet design and more-vertical A-pillars, the headlights stretch through the front wings (think Chevy Spark) and include daytime daytime running lights on every trim level; Halogen headlights are standard on all grades.
Black B- and C-pillars give the illusion of a ”floating” roof effect and the C-pillars secrete rear-door releases. The rear clusters resemble a boomerang.
The cabin has two-tone soft-touch and, Nissan says, ”best-in-class” front-seat ergonomics and ”no compromise” on rear passenger space, rake/reach adjustable for the steering-wheel and ”exceptional” headroom – Nissan says a two-metre tall human will be comfortable.
Boot capacity is 300 litres, expanding to a maximum 1004 litres with the 60:40 split rear seats dropped.
There’s storage and a charging socket for cellphones and 12V sockets.
Of course no modern car is sellable without internet connectivity so the 2018 Micra has ”a wide range of technology to enhance comfort, convenience and safety” (varying with model).
Siri voice control, Apple maps with turn-by-turn navigation, access to music, phone services and other apps such as Audiobooks and Spotify fire up if an iPhone is connected via anApple lightning cable.
Key information about the car and journey developed for the Nissan Qashqai and X-Trail is included, with control though buttons on the steering-wheel.
If none of the above suits, hang on for a couple of months until the one-litre units for which prices will be announced in 2019. Frankly, any short wait for the Micra that suits you will be worth it.
..AND SO TO THE PRICES:
The tags, Nissan says, include ”a comprehensive after-sales offering”. That means they new cars will be covered by a six-year or 150 000km warranty; a three-year or 90 000km service plan, and 24/7 roadside assistance.
Nissan Micra Visia – R233 500
Nissan Micra Acenta – R257 400
Nissan Micra Acenta Plus – R272 400
- Visit Nissan South Africa for more information and to find your nearest Nissan franchise.