What's it about?
The Nissan Micra has come along way from its launch in 2004 under the enigmatic 'Do you speak Micra?' campaign and the repositioned five-door 1.4 Acenta is a welcome addition to the city car fleet.
In the real world, Micra can be likened to the cute girl at your local bar. She's always friendly to everyone, but nobody leaves with her at the end of the night. Instead, patrons prefer the racier blonde in the corner (Ford Fiesta) or the feisty brunette behind the bar counter (Hyundai Getz).
However, living with the Micra is not that difficult. The control panel is easy on the eyes with big hard-to-miss dials and buttons adorning the centre console. It comes with a six-CD shuttle, but this great feature is marred by the fact that it does not play MP3s. The students and young adults at whom this car is aimed may be concerned by this oversight.
But remaining in the cabin, the dials are flesh coloured with white tips and may have looked a little better if they were flesh coloured with black tips, but that could just be me.
Another concern is that the Micra sports hideous seat upholstery - a bizarre chequered pattern that, to put it quite simply is hideous. And if you'll be spending long periods in the car, you'd better become really well acquainted with your chiropractor as the headrests are position at a neck sprain-inducting 45° angle.
One positive is that the Micra comes equipped with plenty of handy storage compartments for all those city-living essentials. It had a drawer under the passenger seat, large glovebox and cup holders and a deceivingly spacious boot.
Safety features abound with central locking, driver and passenger air bags as well as a Microdot anti theft system being part of the deal.
Under the bonnet
The five-door Acenta model displaces 1.4 litres of fuel to produce 65 kW at 5 200 r/min and has a peak torque figure of 128 Nm available at 3 200 r/min.
This engine is mated with Nissan's five-speed manual gearbox.
The Micra delivers a pleasant ride and snappy acceleration proved beneficial in the city centre when called in to help swat off the bigger barges. The Micra produces a claimed 0-100km/h time of 11.9 seconds.
It may not be the most classy of vehicles, but the car handles pretty well. Handling does become a bit dodgy once you hit the twisties at speed, though.
Fuel-wise the Micra excels and you'll be saving a quite a bit on petrol as the car consumes a claimed 6.3l per 100km. Driving for a week at average city speeds, could see you developing an irrational fear, wondering if your fuel gauge has malfunctioned since the needle just won't budge.
While the Nissan Micra isn't exactly good on looks it has plenty of redeeming features to make it a great city car.
It's a cutesy city car that says a lot about its driver's personality. One is inclined to image a ditzy blonde behind the wheel making her way home from varsity... Cute, very cute, if you can get head around the styling, of course.
Likes Smooth ride
Dislikes Interior design
Cramped rear seats