Spy shots of the next-generation Nissan Micra undergoing road testing have rolled in from southern Europe.
Despite the camoflage, it’s the clear the next sub-subcompact Micra will be a departure from the bulbous current model, no doubt influenced by the Nissan Sway concept car unveiled at the 2015 Geneva International Motor Show.
Chevrolet might be trying to sell its newest Spark in the United States for $12,660 ($13,535 with freight), but the automaker is bringing its game to other low-priced subcompacts in Canada with a starting price of $9,995 CAD ($11,595 CAD with freight/PDI).
That means the Spark costs $6,880 USD on the Canadian side of the border after adjusting for current exchange rates. Either GM Canada is taking a massive financial hit on the Spark, or Americans are getting hosed — by $5,780 USD, to be exact — for the Korean-made hatchback.
On April 1, 2014, I met my girlfriend Jennifer for the first time. We sipped on our coffee and tea late into the night at a local coffee joint while sharing stories and generally just trying to figure each other out. But, after a while, my legs grew restless, my rear had gone numb on the provided polypropylene seat, and I was long done with my coffee.
Staring at a Monroney sticker with a four-digit MSRP would only excite you if spending a weekend clipping Sam’s Club coupons while sipping Faygo is a “fun night in.”
With a base price of $9,998 in the Great White North, the Nissan Micra is the definition of Quebec Special: an entry-level car in the lowest of trims and absolutely zero options. Wind-up windows. Manual locks. An actual, honest-to-goodness metal key. All it needs is a cassette deck and a bench seat to take you back to a time when parachute pants were cool and Wesley Snipes was paying taxes.
Nissan Canada markets their new entry-level car with a $9998 base price. (It’s $11,398 with destination, $14,698 with a 4-speed auto and air conditioning.)
The Micra is a sub-Versa car in a small car lineup that includes the Sentra and Juke, but no longer the Cube. It is the cheapest car in Canada. Its most obvious direct rival, aside from the Versa, would be the Mitsubishi Mirage. Our managing editor, a certain Mr. Kreindler, says the chassis is “promising” and “shockingly adept.”
You might also be shocked to see the level of popularity achieved by the Micra so early on in its Canadian tenure. (Read More…)
As I just noted in my comments on the 2012 Nissan Tiida pictures, the US-market Versa is moving up a class in order to make room for the Nissan Micra, which takes over as Nissan’s subcompact responsibilities by early 2012 at the latest. To celebrate the nameplate’s new importance as a global model, Nissan created this Compact Sport Concept aimed not at the US, but “young customers in emerging countries.” The highlights: it’s a tarted up Micra, rocking the Juke’s lovable 1.6 liter direct-injected, turbocharged engine, making 188 HP, albeit with a CVT transmission. Which is (almost) exactly what I was thinking of when I argued that the marketing-hijacked Juke could have been a “Versa GTI.”
Without the marketers, it’s tempting to believe that Nissan’s engineers would have widened the Versa platform, added the fantastic turbocharged engine, and then decided to simply put a steroidal Versa body on top, creating the king of all B-segment hot hatches.
When the high Yen drove Nissan out of Japan to Thailand, and to importing their Nissan March (elsewhere known as the Micra) from the Land of Smiles back to the Land of the Rising Sun, many thought this a daring, maybe even suicidal experiment. Will the notoriously nitpicky Nipponese buyer buy it? Or will “the first move by a Japanese carmaker to export a mainstay model to the home market,” as The Nikkei [sub] called it, be a resounding dud? Either the Japanese are changing, or Nissan pulled-off the impossible. (Read More…)