By on October 2, 2013

nissan-micra-1-front

Canada’s affinity for small cars may result in it getting yet another exclusive product that won’t be offered to Americans. In addition to the Toyota Echo hatchback, Acura EL and Mercedes-Benz B-Class, the Nissan Micra may be sold in Canada.

A report by AutoGuide claims that Canadian dealers have been presented with the Nissan Micra alongside the revised Rogue. Powered by a 1.2L supercharged engine making 97 horsepower, the diminutive hatchback would compete against the Mitsubishi Mirage and Chevrolet Spark in the nascent A-segment space. But America won’t be getting it, according to Nissan sources. The Versa is considered small enough for American buyers, though evidently Canadians are more willing to consider a smaller vehicle.

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27 Comments on “Canada May Get New Nissan Micra...”


  • avatar
    Zekele Ibo

    The Micra looks pretty good (better than the Mirage, although I’m not setting the bar very high with that comparison). I guess it would come with an optional CVT? It should sell well in Quebec.

  • avatar
    afflo

    These things are EVERYWHERE in Europe. Same platform as the Versa. The older ones (early naughties) we’re more classy looking to me, but they are apparently indestructible

    • 0 avatar

      If I am not mistaken, this car is sold in Japan as the March. It is all kinds of cute, but it is actually smaller than the Note.

      I’m not sure Nissan is wrong on this one. I would imagine that they took a good look at how other boutique small cars like the Mini and the 500 are selling stateside before they made their decision. It probably wasn’t worth the cost of the ad campaign they would have needed to run to get people’s attention.

      It’s a pity. Nissan makes a good small car and I would love to see more diversity in the American marketplace.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        “I would imagine that they took a good look at how other boutique small cars like the Mini and the 500 are selling stateside before they made their decision.”

        I would presume that for something like this, the goal is to hit a price point.

        Cars in Canada cost more than they do in the US (and that’s not including the higher sales taxes that are assessed in most of Canada.) Gasoline also costs more, plus Canadians also have less income on a PPP basis. Those factors create a market for a cheaper, fuel efficient car in Canada that isn’t large enough to support in the US. Stateside, Nissan will just sell Versas to those customers, and I would guess that the cheapest US-market Versa will probably cost about the same as a Canadian-spec Micra.

        • 0 avatar
          JJ Joseph

          Cars cost more in Canada because of the bilingual requirement. All placards, labels, manuals, service manuals, CDs, catalogs, and customer service must be bilingual. Not cheap!

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        I can’t see the Micra competing with the Mini or 500. It is not cute enough, or special enough. It’s just another small Asian car, like the Spark. So it would have to be VERY cheap to get buys-by-the-pound Joe Six Pack to even look at it. Thus I completely see why they can’t be bothered. The Chevy Spark seems to have the super cheap not-special tiny car market to itself.

    • 0 avatar

      In Brazil, these cars come imported from Mexico. Somewhere along the way, they’re outfitted with Renault engines (1.0 and 1.6). They were well on their way to taking a place in the top 10 when the government steeped in and limited importation from Mexico. They are Versa hatches in effect. I wonder if that 1.2 is a Renault engine as it seems a lot like the the Renault 1.2 very prevalent in Europe.

      Fun little cars to drive with good handling dynamics and tossability. In Brazil at least, the interiors are a huge letdown. The exterior is funky and fresh while the interior is just dowdy and hard, all black plastic. As I tell my friends who find themselves in this market, it’s a car that definitely worth considering.

  • avatar
    afflo

    Also:

    - That doesn’t look like a revised design. It looks like a new bumper and grille on the Micra that’s everywhere already.

    - Echo Hatchback? Okay, if it’s 2003. We get theEcho hatch now, which has always been the Vitz/Yaris elsewhere.

    • 0 avatar

      I remember seeing the Vitz for the first time when I moved to Japan in 1999. I wondered then just why the US wasn’t getting them. They were kickin’ little cars and I was sure they would have sold boatloads of ‘em.

      • 0 avatar
        afflo

        On the TV Show Psych – Gus drove (still drives? is the show still on?) a Toyota Echo Hatchback, pre-Yaris. The show is set in Santa Barbara, but filmed in Canada.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      The Acura EL was based on the 6th and 7th generation Civics (we also got the 8th gen as the CSX) – I don’t think the point is so much that these are Canadian-only models currently on sale, just that they’re Canadian-only models.

  • avatar
    Keith_93

    On a trip to Canada a couple weeks ago, I kept on seeing the Mercedes B-class hatchbacks. Will such small luxury options get more common in the US?

  • avatar
    Onus

    Good thing Canada is the only country that American can import new cars from without modification. Go and buy one, bring it back, and get the Canadian tax refunded. Easy enough.

    Sure the predominant units will be in kilometers, and the smaller ones mph but, that shouldn’t be too big of a deal.

    • 0 avatar
      danio3834

      With cars like this, you might find it difficult without DOT numbers and EPA stickers on the car. It could probably be done, certainly easier than from other places because the DOT standards and EPA regs are essentially the same as Canada’s equivalents. But the hoops to jump through to convince your friendly DHS/CBP agents of this would not be any less than frustrating.

      • 0 avatar
        Onus

        Yes don’t need a DOT / EPA sticker. The Canadian regulations are nearly identical and if you look on customs, nhtsa, epa they take that into account. It’s the older cars that are a pain to import but the newer stuff is easy.

        2002 plus cars EPA doesn’t care.

        FOR safety standards you need a letter from the manufacturer. Should be easy enough. Bam your done fill out the customs, and epa forms and you have your car.

      • 0 avatar
        jbdifino

        It’s crazy to think that if you import one from the united states, you just go pass inspection (which it likely wont fail, because new) it will be driveable in Canada.

        BTW, DOT/EPA are usually less stringent than Transport Canada and Environment Canada on the safety and emission details, but provincial is where it all comes into play (Quebec doesn’t smog car)

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          RIV inspections and anything else you need to import it are all Federal regs.

          Whatever you need to do to register it once it’s finally imported is Provincial. Once the Federal hoop jumping is done (the hard part with grey market), the rest is just the registration process as you normally would.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Good luck with that. Give it a go and report back to us. If it is a car that is sold in BOTH the US and Canada, you might have a shot. Something like a B-class – good luck! Plus you will likely find that there is no warranty coverage when you are on the wrong side of the border.

  • avatar
    CoreyDL

    Can we do something about the duplicates of the “Be sociable, share!” nonsense buttons? There are two sets of them and they’re too big.

  • avatar
    TDIGuy

    The only reason we got the Acura EL was from the days when the EL was the same as the civic. Since we couldn’t get the top of the line Civic EX-L, this was suppposed to fill the niche. Or maybe the other way around, Acura wanted a small car offering so they turned the Civic EX-L into an Acura. I’m not sure which came first.

    Anyway, there’s lots of small volume models much more exciting than the Toyota Echo that we didn’t get in Canada that were only in the US, so don’t complain.

    For that matter, there are plenty of imports that would sell well in Canada that we don’t get becuase they would never sell in the US. So there you go.

  • avatar
    Wacko

    If they sell it in canada, I say about 65% of the sales will be in Quebec. We are already flooded with yaris/echos.
    The Quebec market loves small cars

  • avatar
    Joss

    I can see Micra already on Autoshare/Zip stands. Cute may steal from Versa only.


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