Nissan Micra Performance

RRP from
average carwow saving
53.3 - 68.9
0-60 mph in
11.9 - 16.4 secs
First year road tax
£145 - £205

The Nissan Micra is one of the most relaxing small cars to drive and it’s impressively quiet on the move too, but the entry-level 1.0-litre petrol model is painfully slow

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Performance and Economy

You can get the Nissan Micra with one diesel and three different petrol engines, and with either a five or six-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox.

Pick the 100hp 1.0-litre petrol if you mainly potter around town – it isn’t exactly quick, but it’s strong enough to feel nippy in town and is always smooth and quiet. In fact, it makes the more powerful 117hp 1.0-litre look a little unnecessary.  You can also get a cheaper 71hp 1.0-litre non-turbocharged petrol Nissan Micra if you’re on a tight budget. Unfortunately, it takes more than 16 seconds to wheeze from 0-62mph and struggles to overtake quickly on the motorway. 

The Micra’s automatic gearbox is one of the best CVTs we’ve tried. Because Nissan’s 1.0-litre petrol is so quiet, there’s none of the usual din when you put your foot down.

Mat Watson
carwow expert

If you do spend a lot of time on the motorway you’ll want to consider the 1.5-litre diesel. It’s a little pricier than the petrols but it’s more efficient. It’ll accelerate to 62mph from rest in 11.9 seconds and can return around 70mpg in real-world conditions if you go easy on the accelerator.

You can get a petrol Nissan Micra with a CVT automatic gearbox to help take some of the stress out of long journeys and heavy traffic and it’s one of the better CVTs on sale, but the standard-fit five-speed manual is easy to use and cheaper to buy. The faster 117hp 1.0-litre petrol gets six gears rather than five. 

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The Nissan Micra’s light steering helps make it fairly easy to thread through tight city streets but the pillar between the front door and the windscreen creates a fairly sizeable blindspot – especially when you’re pulling out of junctions.

The small rear windscreen can make parking a little nerve-wracking but N-Sport and Tekna models come with rear parking sensors and a reversing camera to help you avoid any bumps and scrapes. These are also optional on lesser trims. 

To really show off to your friends, you’ll want to add optional Vision+ pack because it comes with a 360-degree camera system that displays a bird’s-eye view of the car and its surroundings on the infotainment display. It’s the kind of feature you’d expect to find in a posh SUV – not a Nissan Micra.

Whichever model you pick, the Nissan Micra’s one of the more comfortable small cars around. It’ll tackle bumps and potholes with impressive composure, although the stiffer, sportier N-Sport model is a touch too firm. Still, all cars keep unpleasant wind noise to a minimum – even on the motorway.

The Micra doesn’t lean much on twisty country roads either, although you’ll have more fun driving the more agile Ford Fiesta. All but Visia and Visia+ models come with cruise control as standard. As a result, the Micra’s one of the most relaxing small cars to drive on long journeys.

The N-Sport model comes with stiffer lowered suspension, different steering and the most potent 117hp 1.0-litre petrol as standard. In truth, it feels a little too firm over bumps, its steering is artificially heavy and there isn’t enough performance to call it a true warm hatchback.

Euro NCAP awarded the Nissan Micra a four-star safety rating in 2017. All models come with traffic sign recognition, automatic emergency braking (a system that’ll apply the brakes for you to help prevent a collision) and lane departure warning as standard but you can get blind-spot warning and obstacle detection as part of the Vision+ pack making it one of the safest small cars on sale.

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