A history lesson…
Launched back when Margaret Thatcher was in office, the Nissan Micra was Japan’s answer to the MINI. It didn’t have the style, the looks, the driving ability, the go-kart handling or the noise, but what it did have was its price-tag; it was very, very cheap.
Add that cheapness to the fact that it was very reliable and it’s no wonder why the Micra is still going strong to this day. People loved their reliability, but they enjoyed the low running costs more. The Micra isn’t an exciting car, but it’s a car that goes about its business very nicely.
Bang for your buck
You don’t get sat-nav, you don’t get much in the way of gadgets, but what you do get is a car with loads of space, plenty of practicality and an ability to get to from A-to-B with a knowledge that you will get there.
Whether it’s an old one or one of the new models, all Micras are small, underpowered and about as exciting a mouldy cheese. They don’t do anything other than drive. That’s it.
For a pound-for-pound small supermini, you’d be hard pushed to find another better – except from the MINI… oops.
What you’ll pay
Hardly anything, we’re glad to report. Thanks to the sheer amount of Micras that have been made over the years, there’s thousands on the market all going for ridiculously low prices. You could pick up a lovely 2005 model with around 50,000 miles for easily less than £3.5k.
If you want a car under £1k, no problem; just look at 1998 models and you’ll be laughing.
What to check
A lot of Micras are chosen because they’re very cheap, so they are popular with new drivers. As a result, some could have been thrashed and treated badly, so make sure you check everything on the car, including the service book to make sure it’s been given some TLC.
A clutch assembly will be around £195 and front brake pads are around £45, while an alternator will be £250.
How it drives
The Nissan Micra is not the road-going go-kart like the MINI; it’s so far from it, it’s laughable actually, but that doesn’t mean you should get a MINI. Sure, the MINI is a brilliant car, but it’s also exteremely expensive for a supermini, and the Micra represents a much more budget-minded choice for the driver who needs to keep a tight lock on their finances.
Running a Micra is very easy; most will be only a few pounds a year for tax and it goes without saying that they are extremely economical on fuel. If all you want from a car is the ability to drive, then the Micra is an informed choice.
Sure, on the road it’s about as inspiring as day old pizza, but there are other cars on the market which are aimed at drivers. The Micra does not pretend to be something it’s not. It’s a car that will do its job and keep you in-pocket year after year.