With six million examples sold over 30 years, the Nissan Micra is a common sight on the UK’s roads – so the launch of a new iteration is always significant.
We’re taking a look at what the 2013 “mid-life facelift” brings to the table over its predecessor.
Old Micra interior
New Micra interior
The Micra driver will find a lot of familiarity in this update, with a significant proportion of the controls laid out and shaped in the same manner. Visually the largest single change is a redesign of the centre console housing and vents, to accommodate a larger touchscreen if specified.
The majority of changes focus on materials and finish – using gloss black and satin silver to give the impression of a higher quality interior. The seating fabrics have been upgraded to feature a tricot mesh (similar to sportswear) for Visia and Acenta grades, while the top-spec Tekna is clad in a suede-like fabric with double-stitching.
Behind the scenes, the navigation and audio systems have been updated. Aux and USB inputs have been added to the entertainment and a 12v socket is now included for mobile phone charging. The upgraded NissanConnect navigation and communication system is included as an option
The more obvious changes appear at the front of the new Micra.
The Nissan badge has been brought down into the grille and set into a silver V, to bring the face into line with the majority of the Nissan range. The grille itself has been widened and made more angular, along with the radiator opening below it.
The rounder headlight units of the original have been replaced with triangular ones, as have the foglights (where specified). Meanwhile the rounded front corners have been replaced – the swage line now plunges into the corners of the grille opening.
While the overall effect is of a Juke-esque underbite, it also makes the Micra’s front end more aggressive than the earlier model to give it more road presence.
The rear end is less-obviously changed. An update to the taillights – they’re now LED units – and a new lip on the boot lid merely tighten the image up a bit, but you’d be hard-pressed to notice the differences on the roads.
More noticeable are the new 15- and 16-inch alloys on the Acenta and Tekna models respectively – all adding up to make the new Micra a much more distinctive car than the preceding version.
There’s no substantial mechanical alterations to the face-lift, with the Micra retaining its engine and gearbox lineup.
This means there’s an entry level, 78hp (115g/km) 1.2 engine alongside the supercharged DIG-S 96hp (95g/km) 1.2 engine. Each has either a five speed manual or a CVT gearbox available.
Nissan hasn’t announced prices for the update, which goes on sale in September.
However, the significant similarities to the existing model means buyers can expect similar price ranges – meaning prices around the 10,000 mark for the base Visia. Acenta trim is likely to set you back another 1,500, with the Tekna a further 1,500 on top of that.
The DIG-S engine should be around 1,000 more expensive than the entry 1.2 and the CVT gearbox will likely be another 1,000.
Nissan missed the boat badly with the Micra in 2010 – toning the fairly daring exterior of its previous model down so far it became bland, while competitors got bolder.
Keeping hold of the qualities underneath – including that very frugal DIG-S engine – and livening up the exterior is just what the car needs to bring it back from the Doldrums and into city car buyers’ consciousness again.
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