By Otsile Kadiege
Nissan SA has introduced a more powerful 84 kW Micra. The Japanese car manufacture’s upper-B-segment hatchback was already a good offering for customers looking for a hip daily car, but there was one thing missing from the sleek Japanese hatchback, and that is power.
Nissan SA heeded to the call of many for a more fun to drive Micra. The new Micra is now powered by a new 1L DIG-T (Direct Injection Gasoline – Turbo) engine. This engine was developed by the Renault-Nissan alliance, in conjunction with Daimler. The engine is available in three derivatives – Acenta Plus, Tekna and the top of the range Tekna Plus. The engine produces 84 kW (up by 18 kW) and 180 Nm (up by 20 Nm). Nissan claims it can do 5.0L/100km. The new engine is paired with a smooth six-speed manual transmission. Perhaps the next step is an auto? The standard sports suspension lowers the new Micra by 10 mm for increased downforce.
Is it engineered for the streets? Yes, 18 kW might not sound like much but this new 1L engine made the new Micra feel nippy once the turbo kicked. The steering felt sharp, especially when chucking it about on curvy roads. The Micra 84 Kw struggled a bit on the exceptionally steep inclines of Northcliff. The six-speed manual transmission was smooth and engaging once you bury your right foot on the go paddle. Being used to automatic transmissions, the manual gearbox was quite tiring. If there was an auto box, I would opt for that. Yes, I am lazy in that sense, and I feel there may be more like me looking at this 84 kW and wishing it was available in an automatic (no, not a CVT).
Exterior and Interior Design
The exterior design remains the same – a sleek, mature body with V-Motion grille and strong lines which are more prominent at the rear. An addition to the familiar design is a new sport exhaust tail-pipe fin which unfortunately is only a cosmetic upgrade.
I was blown away by the posh interior which is subjectively the best looking interior in this segment. An Invigorating Red contrasting leather on the dashboard, door panels, seats and center console made the sleek Micra look stunning. One of the launch cars was specced with comfortable leather seats which are heated. A logically laid out multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel wrapped in leather seals the deal for me.
The Micra uses an intuitive 7-inch touchscreen with average graphics surrounded by shortcut buttons on each side, as well as volume and tune knobs. There is a 5-inch TFT screen for Advanced Driver Assist Display in between the traditional speedometer and tachometer dials. The top of the shelf Micra has a powerful Bose Personal Sound System with nearfield speakers for a 360-degree surround sound but I must say the nearfield speakers are disappointingly mute.
At the starting price of R305,900, the new 84 kW Micra seems quite expensive, but one should look at the standard equipment the that it comes with when considering price and how it stacks up to rivals. It actually undercut its Volkswagen Polo Highline archrival which is priced from R311,800.
Looking at the total package, the 5th generation Nissan Micra is aimed at young independent thinkers who are looking for a car with an expressive design, has the latest connectivity technology, is agile and fun to drive. I am happy to report that it does all of that.
Pricing for the Micra 84 kW is as follows:
- R 305,900 – Acenta Plus
- R 326,300 – Tekna and
- R 336,900 – Tekna Plus
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