By Sala Masindane (@salaontop)
Let’s face it, there’s nothing more daunting than buying your first car unless mommy and daddy is buying it for you of course. Questions such as, can I afford the monthly instalments, is it the right model, are the replacement parts affordable and, most importantly, will I be ‘flourishing’ or ‘slaying’ on social media come to mind. Other than the last question, you’ll probably agree that these are some of the difficult questions young people go through when choosing the car to buy. The decision is also complicated by the country’s unstable economy which makes cars appear unaffordable at times. People’s salaries are just not going far enough. Interestingly and to muddy the waters even further, most entry level cars usually do not have features that some young people expect to find in them and quite frankly see as necessary, such as infotainment systems with touch screens and navigators. Adding on these features as optional extras can end up increasing the price of the car substantially. With all this in mind, one may find searching for a new car a daunting affair. Worry not, the Nissan folks think they have just the perfect solution for you, and it’s called the Nissan Micra Active.
How is it different from current Micra? The Micra Active has a new face dominated by the grille with Nissan’s V motif. There are also tweaks to the front and back bumpers, headlights and bonnet. The interior has been updated to look more modern. Inside the round vents make way for a hip infotainment system and if that’s not hip enough for you, then you can go for the optional trendsetter kit which has 14-inch Matt black alloy wheels, rear boot spoiler, chrome exhaust finish and mud guards.
Just as you are digesting that, to sweeten the deal, Nissan is throwing in a free touch screen infotainment system with TomTom maps. No more getting lost when you off to visit your mates to catch a game of rugby or soccer. This deal is only available for 3 months after launch and will cost R8500 after.
With the new updates, the interior of the car feels fresh and stylish. If you have been inside the current generation Micra you will know that there is enough room for all passengers in this car. Nissan has not messed with that in the Micra Active so look forward to those road trips in comfort with your mates. The only concern is the lady’s shoes or the sports kit that will never leave the boot as it is spacious.
The driving route during the launch took us across the streets of Soweto, where we got to see the iconic Orlando Towers and the lively Vilakazi Street. The 56 kW and 104 Nm 1.2 litre manual petrol engine took the streets of Soweto with relative ease affirming Nissan’s confidence in this hardworking engine. Nissan claims fuel consumption of 5.2 litres/100km. Due to the stop and start nature of the route, we managed 5.6 litres litres/100km but on a normal drive to work or varsity with less stops, the 1.2 litres engine should either match or do less than the claimed 5.2 litres/100km.
At R159900, with a standard 6 year/150000km warranty and 3 year/90000 service plan the Micra Active is an affordable choice, that should give likes of the Polo Vivo, Renault Sandero and Toyota Eitos a run for their money.
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