By on September 29, 2016

2017 Nissan Micra Gen5 Silver

Remaining relatively faithful to the Sway Concept from last year’s Geneva Motor Show, Nissan unveiled the fifth-generation Micra at the 2016 Paris Motor Show, more than six years after the fourth-generation Micra arrived.

Directed at the European market, which Nissan says is the world’s largest market for hatchbacks, the Micra is not at all intended for sale in the United States. But what about Canada, where Nissan has racked up 27,000 Micra sales in 29 months and the Micra is the brand’s second-best-selling passenger car?

“We don’t have current plans to announce for Micra in Canada for now,” Nissan Canada’s director of corporate communications, Didier Marsaud, told TTAC in an email today. “But Micra remains an important product in our portfolio in the Canadian market.”

So he’s saying there’s a chance. (Read More…)

By on August 16, 2016

2017 Mercedes-Benz C-Class Wagon

The Canadian new vehicle market is not merely a mini-representation of the U.S. auto industry. Full-size pickup trucks own a significantly larger percentage of the Canadian market, for example, and Canadians are nearly three times more likely to buy a Toyota Corolla than a Toyota Camry.

The Canadian market can, however, be a useful test bed.

Some new vehicle pass the test, such as the BMW X1 which enjoyed 16 fruitful months in Canada before grabbing a slice of the American pie. Others, such as the Chevrolet Orlando, wilt under the pressure of the Ontario-built Dodge Grand Caravan, endure a brief four-year run, and never even get a chance to make it in America.

Other cars aren’t prone on a test bed, they’re simply the response of different automakers to different markets. We already looked at seven U.S.-market vehicles which don’t make their way through the Detroit Windsor Tunnel. These are the eight current vehicles which are marketed in Canada, not the United States. (We’ve already examined the seven cars Americans can buy that Canadians can’t.) (Read More…)

By on January 15, 2016

2016 Chevrolet Spark

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.

(Read More…)

By on November 4, 2015

Nissan Micra Cup Race Car at MIA

When the Nissan Micra Cup series was announced in late 2014, there was one main goal: be the most affordable, semi-professional racing series in Canada.

In order to achieve that goal, everything about the series needed to be cost-effective. All races were scheduled in Quebec, where the majority of competitors reside, and tires and brakes had to wear in a predictable manner so as not to “fall off” during race weekends. However, the difficult part was building a racing car to a price — $20,000 CAD, or $15,225 USD at today’s exchange rates, to be exact — so that racers could either pony up the personal funds to buy it themselves or more easily woo sponsors to make their racing dreams come true.

During the planning phase of the series, Nissan Canada and series promoter JD Motorsport tapped racing car builder Motorsports In Action of St-Eustache, Quebec to build the pint-sized racers. MIA, which is located in an indescript row of commercial units racing at Autodrome St-Eustache about 40 minutes northwest of Montreal, fabricates and preps vehicles for varying types of racing series and prides itself on build quality. However, as they say, “Good, Fast, Cheap. Pick Two,” it’s much easier to build a racing car with a high-dollar budget than it is to put together an economical package like the one requested for Micra Cup.

Thankfully, due to MIA’s combined knowledge and ingenuity, racers get a decent chunk of all three. And MIA’s Carl Hermez gave us a tour to show us exactly how they do it.

(Read More…)

By on November 3, 2015

2016 Nissan 370Z at St-Eustache (Micra Cup)

Bark and I, either by fate or consequence, were presented with very similar automotive options lately. While his choice was made on the Emerald Aisle, mine was made over the phone before a planned trip to watch the final round of the Nissan Micra Cup in Quebec.

And while he was less than impressed with the 370Z  — and, on the surface, I can’t disagree — his view extended to the rest of the Nissan lineup.

From an enthusiast’s perch, Bark may not be able to see the forest for the trees.

(Read More…)

By on August 3, 2015

TTAC Nissan Micra Versa sales chart

Nissan began selling the Micra in the northern part of North America at the end of April 2014. The Micra was properly available by summer, and over the last twelve months — through the end of June 2015 — 11,832 Micras were sold in Canada.

Could the Micra make it in America? Can we do anything other than report evidence which supports Nissan USA’s decision to leave the Micra to their neighbors in the north and south? (Read More…)

By on February 19, 2015

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Walking up to the pearl white, Japanese-Brazilian, new Nissan March, I smile. Can’t help it. It looks so cute. Especially in this top-of-the-line version all prettied up, with the bigger (and good-looking) wheels and its funky design that though more grown up than before, is still playful. Plastichrome abounds and can be found in the front, sides and back. I instantly warm up to it, I want to like it.

(Read More…)

By on October 15, 2014

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The Nissan Micra has already staked itself out as the most affordable new car on sale in Canada, with a base price of just $9,998 CDN. And at $19,998, it’s also the cheapest race car in the country.

(Read More…)

By on September 25, 2014

2015 Nissan MicraNissan 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…)

By on May 16, 2014

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Canada and the United States are different in a thousand subtle ways. Surely, our auto market accounts for a few of those things. Our streets are tighter, our gas is more expensive and due to our tiny market (smaller than California’s) and our American-style regulations, our product mix mirrors that of what’s offered in America. But if the Nissan Micra is successful, that might change.

(Read More…)

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