- We like...Smart, clever cabin
- We don't...Not very sporty
Sporty Brit-built supermini looks the part. But can it deliver the fun it promises?Can the Micra shake its so-sensible image and bag sales from younger, sassier drivers? Nissan thinks it can. So it’s added this brisker, attitude-fuelled ‘mini to an otherwise modest line-up.
First, let’s not get giddy. Despite the badge, this is no adrenaline-buster. Far from the 160bhp that the badge may suggest, this Micra musters a more real-world 110bhp from a 1.6 petrol motor. It’s hardly the ‘street racer’, that Nissan makes claims to in brochures. Its sub-10sec time to 60mph from rest isn’t special nowadays. No doubt, Nissan’s done a fair job with the Micra’s cutesy curves to make it stand tough, adding a deeper front bib, sporty alloy wheels and a chromed exhaust. Pick one in white, like our test car, and it looks appeal.
But, once inside, it’s all too-sober. Barring the metal-covered pedals, there’s none of the sporty-car pizz-azz you’ll get with , for instance, Suzuki’s Swift Sport. Instead the cabin is dark. Well finished, hard wearing, but dark. And to drive, there’s little reward for choosing sporty. The steering may be a jot heavier, the ride a notch firmer but the upshot is a car that steers no better and rides less absorbently than bread-and-butter Micras. The 1.2 we tested a while back had a wonderful, have-a-go feel to it, wringing ample power from its little engine and riding the bumps gamely. But this 1.6 feels little quicker and less settled.
We’re left feeling that with the Micra, less is more and cheaper is better.
That said, the 160 SR ds give a lot for a little. For £10,695 it packs climate controlled air conditioning, a CD changer stereo with iPod jack, and auto-on lights and wipers. And while the cabin isn’t as roomy as that of bigger superminis - Skoda’s Fabia, to name one – its slideable back seat, big glove box and hidey space in the base of the front left-hand seat makes the most of what’s there. But if you often want to carry a car-load of passengers the Micra’s not nearly best of the superminis. But if you plan to use the rear seat often, there is a five door version of this car that’s yours for an extra £650.
Whichever you choose, there’s much to like about this cute, British-built car. But while smaller-engined Micras make the most of what they’ve got, this one is out-of-sorts with its sporty manners and added power.
- 0-60 mph9.8sec
- Insurance groups6
Motors.co.uk value verdict: