Used Nissan Micra C + C
The supermini class is ultra competitive and one of the ways that manufacturers compete is to extend their model's reach with variants to fill every possible niche. One of the most popular and no doubt profitable, of these niches is the convertible. Almost every manufacturer has an offering in this sector and it was no surprise back in 2005 when Nissan joined the fun with their little Nissan Micra C+C. If anything, Nissan was a little late to the party. The car first debuted at the Paris Motor Show in 2002 and that three year gap between concept and production car had some wondering whether it would ever actually get off the designer's drawing board and onto the road. They need not have worried. Nissan clearly used the time to tackle the problems usually associated with these cars, such as reliability and practicality and tweaked the basic formula to create something a little different. The British can be proud of themselves too as the approved used Nissan Micra C+C was designed in London, engineered at Cranfield and finally built in Nissan's superbly efficient Sunderland factory. So based on those solid Micra foundations and with such careful design and planning, is the Nissan Micra C+C actually any good?
Bang for your buck
One of the most striking features of this car is the roof. Other supermini convertibles offer a choice between the swanky folding steel roof or the more standard fabric version. The Nissan Micra C+C for sale is different though because that folding roof is made from glass. Despite what you may think, this is not just a gimmick. Nissan learned that the cabins of other manufacturers' little convertibles could be claustrophobic with the roof up and the glass roof on the C+C solves that. Even with the roof up the cabin is bright and airy and provides a taste of what is to come with the top down. In another first, the roof operates by a single touch button, without the need to undo clasps or latches first. Nissan also learned from poor sales of Vauxhall's two seat Tigra drop top and has stuck two seats in the back. Granted they are pretty useless for anything other than small children for all but the shortest of journeys but they do add a perceived element of practicality missing from two seat models. More practicality comes in the shape of a capacious boot which at 457 litres with the roof up and 255 litres folded, is class leading by a distance. The car is quite good looking with the roof up or down and is slightly more pretty than handsome, no doubt designed to appeal to a largely female clientele. Inside it is well kitted out with the base model offering keyless entry, electric mirrors, CD player with MP3 and Bluetooth sockets, electric windows and alloys. Move up the range and you will add air-con, sporty seats, parking sensors and the option of leather seats.
What you'll pay
A 2006 Nissan C+C in Urbis trim with around 40,000 miles on the clock will cost a shade under £4,000. A 2009 example in Acenta trim and with 22,000 miles showing will cost £6,700.
What to check
That glass roof is a real feature but there have been numerous reports of leaking. Look for water marks inside but don't be afraid to insist that it goes through a car wash or at least a good hosing before you buy. Otherwise the standard Micra underpinnings and Nissan build quality are rock solid.
A clutch assembly is £195 and front brake pads are about £45, with £40 for the rear set. An alternator will be close to £250 and a radiator £175.
How it drives
The manual-only 1.4-litre petrol engine delivers 87bhp and can reach 62mph in 12.8 seconds. Top speed is 108mph. The 1.6 unit meanwhile gives 108bhp, reaching 62mph in 10.6 seconds or 12.2 in the automatic version. Top speeds are 118mph and 111mph respectively. These cars are not about true performance motoring though and cruising around with the top down the car is still reasonably taut for the class and in 1.6 guise feels quite willing. The 1.4 might feel a little under-powered if you are loaded up with passengers and luggage. The suspension is well set up to give a good compromise between handling and comfort and overall a used Nissan Micra C+C is a competent and enjoyable little performer.