Reader test: Nissan Micra
I'd finally hit that pinnacle point in every man's life - buying my first car.
The obvious choice for any 21-year-old would be nothing close to what I eventually ended up with, let's be honest. No one with any amount of testosterone in his body dreams about driving a Micra, but getting it at 30% less than retail was an offer I could not refuse.
I’ll get the obvious out the way. It's the second ugliest car on the road, beaten only by the emperor of ugly: Fiat Multipla. It's hard to believe that one company designed both this and the GT-R. Apart from the looks though, it’s really not bad.
The cabin is a nice place to be, much nicer than the outside of the car anyway.
The dashboard is nicely laid out and the retro knobs are quite funky. Being a hatchback it does come with a small boot, but mobsters need not fear as you can store half the dead body in the boot and the other half in the freakishly large cubbyhole.
The only complaint about the inside is that my clock is not set and, for the life of me, I can't figure out how to correct it. Suggestions are welcome.
From A to B
Being a “hairdresser’s car” there’s no real grunt, but the 65kW 1.4 does what it needs to. I did manage to get to 190 km/h once, although I think going downhill might have been a factor.
Luckily it's not a petrolholic. Rather a connoisseur, it likes to savour the petrol taste instead of gulping all down at once. I average about 15 km/l driving through town.
No shortages here: electric windows, aircon, radio/CD, two airbags, power steering and ABS.
The only thing missing is a GPS, although this might be more of a personal issue since I ended up in Ventersdorp on my way to Boksburg from Pretoria once. But with the low fuel consumption I could afford the 150-km wrong turn.
The best thing to mention though is the wipers, believe it or not. When it starts raining you usually reach a point where the first setting is too fast so you just manually activate the wipers when needed. But after a while, the first setting is too slow and the second too fast... Well, the Micra has six speed settings to cater for all your wiping needs.
The biggest complaint I have is not with the car but the manufacturer.
Nissan has gone out of their way to make spares unaffordable. Replacement wheel caps, R700 each! Someone drove into me and bent my bumper and boot lid a bit. The damage was R40k, no jokes.
I'll admit that at first I really pondered if the 30% discount justified driving a Micra, but the car has not disappointed. I always feel good behind the wheel, unfortunately as soon as I get out and look at the car, disappointment unavoidably hits me again.
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