Much like the eponymous time travelling meddler of Doctor Who, the venerable Nissan Micra is an entity that has been with us for quite some time now, undergoing more than a handful of regenerations itself along the way.
Whilst the Doctor is on the cusp of his 50th birthday though, the Nissan Micra is a relative whippersnapper at 31 years old but still, its longevity and its ubiquity should really tell you just about all that you need to know. It’s long been the workhorse of the Nissan range and its hard to imagine our roads without its amiable presence. The Nissan Micra is not the sort of car you associate with boy racers or an abundance of recklessness and as such has preserved its image as a family friendly, reliable vehicle to this day.
Much like any new Doctor Who actor (we’ll stop now) it’s got a lot of legacy to live up to, but one look at the newest model should be enough to let longtime fans of the model be reassured that, even at over thirty years old, the Nissan Micra is as solid as it ever was.
Whilst its big brother/sister, the Nissan Note has also been rejuvenated with a new model (which you can read our review of here), the differences in the approach taken to each car’s newest iteration are pretty profound.
First of all is the design. Whilst the new Nissan Note didn’t vary too much from its last model, the Nissan Micra has had a subtle but beneficial makeover. It’s not quite as radical as the Beetle-esque, somewhat bulbous curves of two generations ago but neither is it as enthrall to the series’ more angular beginnings as the previous generation. Instead it manages to take cues from both, creating a look that is both sleek and modern, whilst also unmistakably ‘Micra’. It’s a balance that has been missing for the last few years.
Whilst the Nissan Note was jam-packed with new tech, the Nissan Micra sticks to being a driving machine, pure and simple. Sure there’s a sat nav built-in, but instead of being a flashy gadget, here it becomes essential. The whole car is geared up to providing a more rootsy, down to earth style of driving, ensuring that nothing, not even getting lost, gets in the way of the experience.
There’s a real sense of getting back to basics in the best possible way with the Nissan Micra, free as it is from a lot of the technological add ons that you’ll find elsewhere. It’s not all about having a clearer dashboard though, as even the clutch/ transmission and steering feel pleasingly analogue and chunky, with the steering in particular feeling a lot more substantial than similar cars with a higher emphasis on electrical assistance.
The new Nissan Micra may be flashier on the outside then, but inside and where it counts most, under your hands and feet, it’s possibly one of the most pleasingly pure driving experiences you can have in a small family car.