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Preview of the 2017 Nissan Micra

By raccars Published

Micra

Fifth-gen Nissan Micra has been designed to appeal to European buyers and address key issues.

The countdown is on, with the new Nissan Micra due to go on sale in the UK after it was officially revealed at this year’s Paris Motor Show. The car is the first model to be launched on a new platform since 2003 and aims to reclaim the ground lost by the current model.

Nissan Micra takes on Ford

The 2017 Nissan Micra has been created to take on the Ford Fiesta and, according to Nissan’s CEO Carlos Ghosn, it will ‘raise expectations’ when it comes to what people believe a supermini can do. Ghosn said that the fifth-generation Nissan Micra demonstrates the brand’s commitment to competing at the pinnacle of the B-segment in the European market, which he believes is the largest and most competitive of its kind in the world.

A car with two roles

The new Nissan Micra will take the place of two current models; the old Micra and the Nissan Note mini-MPV. It’s design, meanwhile, is influenced by the Sway concept shown off at last year’s Geneva Motor Show.

Its new body is lower, wider and longer than before and boasts a new version of Nissan’s ‘V-motion’ grille and swept-back headlights. There are neat little touches to be found, such as hidden door handles at the rear, a range of personalisation options and a choice of vivid colours for the exterior.

Beneath the skin

The CMF-B platform from the Renault-Nissan Alliance underpins the new Nissan Micra and is shared with Renault’s Clio. The two cars are both built at the same plant in Elins, France. The next Juke will also share the platform, indicating the close relationship that exists between the French and Japanese brands.

Inside, Nissan has delivered cabin dimensions which will make it highly competitive in the sector. The size of the previous generation car meant that it straddled the supermini and city car segments but the new Nissan Micra should be as spacious as competitors such as the Vauxhall Corsa.

Nissan has also attempted to introduce a sportier and lower driving position, aiming to enhance driver involvement through the positioning of the seat, controls and pedals.

The car will also feature a new central seven-inch touchscreen, which controls the media functions and the sat-nav. Apple CarPlay takes care of smartphone connectivity and additional options include a six-speaker Bose sound system, featuring a headrest speaker in the driver’s seat, and pedestrian detection and autonomous braking. The latter marks a first for the brand in Europe.

The safety package available with the Nissan Micra is completed by an around view monitor, high beam assist, blind spot warning and traffic sign recognition.

Handling the Nissan Micra

Sharper handling should be evident when driving the new Nissan Micra thanks to a new chassis set-up, and active track control aids in subtle braking to assist with cornering. An active ride control set-up means that the engine torque and the brake pressure can be adjusted to offer a smoother ride and the re-turned electric power steering should offer greater response. Efforts have also been made to reduce cabin noise.

At launch, the Nissan Micra will be offered with a choice of two engines; a three-cylinder 0.9-litre Renault-sourced turbo petrol and a four-cylinder 1.5-litre diesel. Both units deliver 89bhp. There are plans for a 75bhp naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre and more powerful variants are also on the cards.

There is the possibility that the Nissan Micra range will eventually include a hybrid option as the Renault-Nissan Alliance continues its quest to make use of alternative power trains. There is also a chance that the Micra will be given the Nismo treatment, creating a spicier version delivering as much as 190bhp.

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