By on January 9, 2014

Nissan-MarchK13 (2)

The often-ignored Montreal Auto Show will have two major debuts, both A-segment cars that may not make it past the 49th parallel. According to, Mitsubishi will debut a production-ready version of the G4 concept, aka a Mirage sedan, while Nissan will show off a Canadian-spec Micra. The diminutive Micra will likely slot below the Versa Note in size, but perhaps be positioned as a chic city car, to compete with the Fiat 500.

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16 Comments on “Montreal Has Monopoly On A-Segment Debuts...”

  • avatar

    Only if the interior is like 500 times better than it is actually. We get the March/Micra here and the interior is a sea of blackish, very low quality, though well put together, simple, hard plastic. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it here again, this car is mildly interesting on the outside, has a competent drive with neutral handling that manages to toe the line between too hard and too soft, for the front passengers the seating is good with the controls laid out pretty well and ergonomically. The negatives are the trunk that is smallish and the interior. It’ll take a whole lot of lipstick to bring it up to Cinquecento levels.

  • avatar

    Micra is chic? That must be some new Nissan definition of chic …

  • avatar
    Big Al from Oz

    I think as the Canadian’s move more towards the EU with vehicle trade this kind of event will occur. This doesn’t take into account the vehicle make up in Canada is slightly different from the US.

    The EU will take advantage of this situation over the Canadian’s southern neighbour.

    • 0 avatar

      It will only be temporary. The US is also negotiating much the same thing. It is also my understanding that Canada has not yet formulated what standards it will except as alternatives to CMVSS. Currently it only allows ECE headlights as alternatives.

      Plus Canada is a small market and will likely still get 90% US models.

      Much like New Zealand and Australia. New Zealand accepts FMVSS, CMVSS, ADR, JIS, EU. But for new cars get Australian models and they have to wait for the models to get ADR certified.

      • 0 avatar

        Technically Canada has already agreed to accept the same standards as Mexico (which includes ECE). However, the federal government has been dragging its heels on implementing this for the past few years.

        • 0 avatar

          Ontario politicians backed by USA based auto companies have successfully lobbied Ottawa in the past to keep tariffs on vehicles imported outside of NAFTA. I would bet that the government is dragging its feet due to pressure from that same group. Chrysler and GMC both threatened to pull out of Ontario if they did not get bailout money for their Canadian divisions.

      • 0 avatar
        Big Al from Oz

        Here’s a link worth reading. I don’t think a decision is made yet. Options 2 & 3 are the most viable with Option 3 being the recommended option to accept.

        Most ADR (and probably US) standards meet UNECE vehicle harmonisation regulations. They don’t require to be ‘re-assessed’ if already assessed in another UNECE compliant country.

        Also, New Zealand gets a little bit of a free ride with Australia. New Zealand is consulted heavily in regards to our ADR’s.

        Australia will move to comply fully with other signatory UNECE nations. As well the collapse of our own vehicle manufacturing sector will affect the outcome.

        The adoption of UNECE harmonisation regulations started over 15 years ago. I think the Canadian’s have already started researching their position regarding the adoption of the UNECE regulations during or even prior to the FTA talks with the the EU.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    The Fiat 500 has done pretty well in the US, I don’t see why these cars cannot come to the US, I’m sure they’re better than the 500. The new Mirage here has been lambasted by the auto media.

    • 0 avatar

      Hey Volt! They’re not better than the 500. They’re simpler. Believe me, it shows. The 500 inhabits the so-called “premium” small car market, the March/Micra doesn’t. It doesn’t mean it’s a bad car, it’s not, but it’s less refined. Here, for example, everybody pretty much agrees it’s an inferior car regarding the New Fiesta for example. So can it compete with the 500? In a way (size) yes, in most other ways, no.

      • 0 avatar
        Volt 230

        You get what you pay for, right? Fiesta costs a lot more than these.

        • 0 avatar

          Depends on where you live. In Europe they are priced very similar and in some markets the Fiesta is actually cheaper than the Micra.

          • 0 avatar

            Hey whynot. Yes pricing depends on a plethora of variables such as brand cachet, place of production, exchange rates etc., etc., etc.

            Unless the European Micra/March is completely different from the Mexican one we get in Brazil, I don’t really see it as a direct competitor. I’ve driven the March and it’s quite good, though Fiesta, and others, are better.

            As to an explanation as to why that’s so, read Varezhka’s post below.

      • 0 avatar

        It all depends on the pricepoint. If they slot it below the 500 then they can get by without a lot of changes. A sub $18k hatch would go over very well here.

        • 0 avatar

          They already have a sub $18k hatch. The Note starts at ~$14k (~$2k less than the 500). I struggle to see how Nissan can bring over the Micra to the US and actually make money off of it without cannibalizing their own products. The only way to make it work IS to try and make it “chic”, the cheap route is a no go.

  • avatar

    The last (3rd) generation Nissan March/Micra was a cute looking alternative to Toyota Vitz/Yaris, but the current (4th) generation was designed first and foremost as a small family car for developing markets.

    The design is a bit more generic for the world market, but more importantly, the car is designed to a price point and actually less refined than the last generation.

    I know this generation is selling quite poorly compared to the last generation in the Japanese domestic market for this reason, so I doubt it will compete with Fiat 500 over here either.

  • avatar

    Back in the 80’s I drove rental Micra. The 3 speed slush couldn’t top 65 on the highway. And boy that Micra moto was screaming!!!! CVT will help the new blighter.. 500 & Fiesta? Bet this Micra goes further for less.

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