By on July 30, 2015

2015 Nissan Micra S (2 of 10)

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.

Yet, this diminutive, red hatchback is much more than its price and lack of options suggest. While my predecessor likened the Micra to the EK Civic, I’m going to take it one step further: The Nissan Micra is a four-door Mazda Miata.

 


The Tester

2015 Nissan Micra S [Canada]

Engine: 1.6-liter DOHC I-4, CVVT (109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm, 107 lbs-ft @ 4,400 rpm)

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Fuel Economy (Rating, MPG): 27 city/36 highway/31 combined
Fuel Economy (Observed, MPG): 32 mpg, 50/50 city and highway, 50/50 eco-driver and small-car, fast-lane lunatic

Options: What you see is what you get, folks.

As Tested: $11,565 (sheet), approx. $8,950 USD.


“Miata with four doors? Have you completely lost the plot?” Maybe, but …

All the important ingredients from the Miata are woven into the Micra’s DNA as well: light weight, just enough power to spin the little front rubber donuts, and the suspension — well, let’s just call it peculiar for now as it needs an explanation all its own.

The bottom line: The Micra provided the most engaging and fun driving experience I’ve had in at least 12 months, and that includes all the 400+ horsepower cars that have graced my driveway over the same timeframe.

2015 Nissan Micra S (1 of 10)

Exterior
Before we get into why the Micra is a four-door Miata, we should talk about its looks for a moment, because this is really the only area where Nissan’s sub-compact could use some effort the next time around.

As much as some writers believe we shouldn’t genderize car design — especially when critiquing said sheet metal — the reality is automakers pen vehicles to appeal to certain demographics: young women, older men and any combination thereof. Certain genders will be drawn to particular design cues more than others.

When I attended the launch of the Micra last year, Nissan representatives were surprisingly upfront about the car being styled to primarily capture the attention and interest of female buyers — and it shows. The Micra is a women’s car whether you want to bury your head in the sand about it or not.

However, the cheap-and-cheerful demeanor of the Micra isn’t so dissentious that male buyers should disregard this wonder of economical automotive manufacturing. In a color other than our tester’s Red Alert, the Micra is a bit more palatable.

With that out of the way, the V-Motion grille is a bit of an architectural afterthought, like an addition to a family home gone awry. Fortunately, this forced design lineage only affects the Micra in the Canadian market. In other regions — where this runabout is named March — a single chrome bar floats within the grille’s crevasse. Headlights are the same globally, finding their place far up the hood much like the Chevrolet Spark and even the Nissan Juke, though their placement much less visually pronounced on the Micra.

A side view of the car brings back memories of the old New Beetle and its perfectly arched roofline thanks to the Micra’s semi-circular window frames. Unpainted door handles and mirror caps are noticeable but not in the same way as black plastic bumpers grabbed your attention on base model Chevrolet Cavaliers. Even though this Micra is the bottom rung on the trim hierarchy, its wheel covers still manage to look higher end than the optional alloys available on the Mirage.

2015 Nissan Micra S (4 of 10)

There’s additional unpainted black plastic at the back, but thankfully it’s limited to just the door handle for the rear hatch. The taillights and bumper seem to have received more stylistic attention than one would expect for a car costing significantly less than its competitors. To top it off, the rear window also provides ample vision from inside the car — and you’ll need it, as there’s no back up camera on this Japanese go-kart. But, you do get a rear spoiler, so at least there’s that.

2015 Nissan Micra S (7 of 10)

Interior
Complaining about the Micra’s interior materials is like going on a tirade at H&M about the quality of their $4.99 fashion-of-the-week, button-up shirts. A car that’s near-as-makes-no-difference $10,000 is going to be incredibly cheap. You don’t buy this type of car for its soft-touch dash and rubberized temperature control knobs. You buy it because it’s usable and serviceable. The plastic knobs are almost translucent in their cheapness, but they work and that’s all they’re meant to do. You should feel lucky the Micra even has a tachometer in this trim.

The only complaint I have — a trivial personal preference more than anything else — has to do with the gas gauge. You are given a digital gas gauge in the Micra — and I hate it. Please, Nissan, just give me a nice little dial so I can more accurately estimate the amount of fuel in the tank.

Other than that, the seats are incredibly simple along with the rest of the interior and not something you’d want to sit in for long jaunts on the highway, but this car isn’t built for long highway jaunts anyway.

2015 Nissan Micra S (9 of 10)Infotainment
I used to have a manual, Vulcan-powered Ford Ranger with a manual transmission. Like the Micra, it didn’t have air conditioning and just a simple radio provided your anthem for the road. When I bought my Ranger, the total came out to nearly $14,000 in used condition. It also featured two speakers — one in each door. The Micra has double the number of speakers and is cheaper in new condition. Folks, by all accounts, that’s a bargain!

In all seriousness, the Micra does come with a CD player and auxiliary input as standard. If you are keen on tuning into some daytime sports talk radio on the AM dial, you can do that, too.

You aren’t locked into the ’90s radio option, however, but you’ll need to spring for the Krom or SR-trimmed Micras to get USB input, Bluetooth and display audio as standard and those models are significantly more expensive than our base model tester.

As you can imagine, audio quality with the simple four-speaker stereo is on par with listening to a alleyway catfight on a string can telephone — tinny, full of treble and all the vocals sound like they’re being performed by Richard Simmons with a throat infection.

The 2015 Nissan Micra will mark a new era of unbeatable value for Canadians when it arrives this spring. Combining Japanese quality with European styling and heritage, Micra will provide Canadians with more fun, more attention to detail and more value than they've ever expected in a small car.

Drivetrain
Under the Nissan Micra’s short hood sits the same 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine found in the Versa Sedan and Versa Note producing 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. These numbers might seem downright dismal in comparison to other slightly more expensive offerings; in the Versa Note equipped with the CVT, this engine is slow, loud and almost as annoying as Social Justice Warrior Comedy Hour. When sent through the standard five-speed manual transmission, the little four pot sings along just like the eager hatchbacks of 15 or 20 years ago. The 1.6 loves to rev, but still has a grunty note that permeates the cabin. Meanwhile, it’s probably the most responsive motor in the sub-compact class with a manual that I’ve driven in recent memory. Even if you opt for the automatic transmission, you will still be welcomed by four real gears instead of the near-ubiquitous Nissan CVT.

However, the Micra isn’t incredibly efficient. Fifth gear in the manual box is too short for highway usage and bumps up fuel consumption a tad. Again, this car is built to be a cheap city grocery-getter and not a cross-country cruiser.

The manual gearbox itself is a tad loose, but it’s fairly forgiving, making missed shifts a rare occurrance. I could also say the clutch needs to provide some more feedback, but then I’m really going down the road of nitpicking. The manual in the Fiesta is better.

2015 Nissan Micra S (3 of 10)

Drive
Even with all the text above extolling the Micra’s cheap car virtues, driving it on a windy road is what makes it a real winner. The five-door Datsun absolutely loves corners — but not in the way you’d expect.

The Mazda MX-5 Miata is highly regarded as being the most-fun driver’s car per dollar. That’s not because the Miata puts up huge horsepower numbers or corners completely flat or does record-setting laps around the Nurburgring. Instead, it’s because the Miata communicates with the driver and doesn’t desensitize the driving experience. If the body rolls a little bit, you’re going to feel it. When braking, the Miata’s brake pedal will communicate to the driver the exact point before ABS kicks in.

The Micra does the same thing.

No, it isn’t going to attack a corner as fast as a Miata, but it feels just as fast. If the brain is tricked into thinking it’s going fast — even if the car is only doing a bit over the speed limit — isn’t that all that matters? You don’t need to be a driving hero. You only need to feel the sensation of being a driving hero.

While we all know this feeling is very hard to quantify, let alone market to the buying public, this is the Micra’s greatest party trick. It’s the slow car you want to drive fast — or at least think you’re driving fast. And it isn’t by accident that the Micra drives the way it does, especially in Canada.

Compared to overseas units, the Micra in Canada has different sway bars — front and rear — and steering tuned specifically for North American roads. This makes the Micra more chuckable, more communicative, and — as a result — a helluva lot more fun.

Unfortunately, those of you in the U.S. won’t be able to enjoy the magic of this micro machine — at least not yet. A year ago, there were rumors swirling about the Micra’s future availability in the U.S. They’ve simmered down before coming to fruition.

It’s unfortunate, really, because when the answer is not Miata, it could surely be Micra.

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73 Comments on “2015 Nissan Micra S Review – Lively Lilliputian...”


  • avatar

    This is what $10,000 looks like…

    …looks like HELL.

  • avatar

    Interesting! But what’s the weight?

  • avatar
    Nicholas Weaver

    They do make cool race-cars, too, going up on two wheels on turn 2 in Montreal. Despite being twice the laptime of the F1 cars, the actual racing was vastly better than the headline F1 race

  • avatar
    twotone

    Interesting car and great review!

    I wish there was a new “four-door Miata” from any manufacturer here in the US. The only car I owned that would compare was my trusty 1972 Datsun 510 sedan. Wish I still had it. My Lada 06 (read Fiat 124) I drove for five years in Moscow was a close second.

    Is there a market for an affordable sedan, four cylinder engine, manual transmission and RWD? Would anyone buy one? I would.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Evidently Nissan doesnt think so. Otherwise, we’d be getting the IDx. I think a base model (like this car, not a “base model” with more features than an early 90s Camry LE lol) with manual trans, RWD, I-4 with about 120-130 hp and getting 40 +/-mpg would make a perfect commuter that would be great to drive. A 4 passenger über cheap Miata (if not a 4 door, but make mine a coupe) would be awesome for guys like us. Offer the 200 hp/leather/chrome/25″ alloys (joking) model to compete for sales with the Mini, New Beetle, etc as a “premium, retro-ish small car”.

      But, no.

      We’re getting a new Juke instead (per Nissan, as if a new Juke wouldnt be on the radar anyway given the mini-CUV craze). FWD, CVT, all the reason for IDx customers to walk away and settle for an FR-S, 4cyl Mustang or Camaro as the only reasonable real alternatives.

      • 0 avatar
        JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

        Lol had to add: after posting that, I had to walk across the street to get my device’s charger Id forgotten on my neighbor’s porch. As Im walking back, I had to stop and wait for a car to come by….and it was a Juke. Like Nissan giving me the finger for talkin smack about ’em, I had to stand there and watch it pass.

        • 0 avatar

          Why you hatin’ on the current gen Juke?

          While I find it ugly, I respect it for at least being different and somewhat enthusiast. Heck, you can can get it with a 6-speed manual and turbo charged 1.6l that is apparently quite fun to drive. At least its not boring.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Compared to a modern 510 (the IDx), it certainly is boring. Imagine a turbo 4/6spd in a RWD small coupe/sedan instead of an uglier Versa without the (relatively) low MSRP.

            Funny how nobody respected the Pontiac Aztec for being different, or for being the first mainstream crossover or for being more innovative than the Juke is. To me, the Juke trys way too hard in the looks department. Being different just for the sake of it ruins the experiment IMO.

            If you start off to create a unique product and end up with something polarizing but useful and innovative, thats respectable and noteworthy, but if you sit down with your team of 40+ year old designers and say “lets make this sucker hidious just so young people will notice it”, it gets marked as a fail in my book. The Juke belongs firmly in the latter, cars like the Honda Element, Pontiac Aztec, Nissan Cube, Toyota bB (1st gen Scion xB to us), Ford Flex and AMC Eagle belong in the former.

  • avatar
    319583076

    Is it possible to buy a new car in Canada, then register it in the US?

    Is it a coincidence that this review appeared the same week I’m studying Quebecois separatist movements?

    Do They want me to buy a Micra and join a Quebecois separatist movement?

    • 0 avatar
      Pch101

      “Is it possible to buy a new car in Canada, then register it in the US?”

      Ens ce cas, probablement pas.

      • 0 avatar
        319583076

        Merde!

        • 0 avatar
          Pch101

          In Quebec, they say “tabernak,” which should win some kind of most ridiculous curse word award.

          Since there is no US version, getting it certified would be expensive, if not impossible.

          And that should have been “en”, without a “s.” Je suis desole.

      • 0 avatar
        krhodes1

        Register it? Yes, you certainly can in Maine. Maine will accept a Canadian title no questions asked and take your money for registration, sales, and excise tax. It would not be legal at the Federal level, but Maine won’t care – they have their money at that point. No shortage of even relatively new cars here that wandered down and never left for one reason or another.

        • 0 avatar
          JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

          Sounds like Florida. I saw a newer (than legally allowed) JDM RWD Mazda coupe for sale down there a while back with Florida plates and a Florida title.

          It was one of those weird sub-brands (Éfinî ? I dunno) Mazda had at the time in Japan. I want to say it was rotary powered, and it seemed to straddle the line between sports coupe and personal luxury coupe. Of course I was totally smitten with it, I loved it and wouldve been willing to stash it away until it became Federaly legal to register where I live, only risking to take it out on back country roads on Sunday drives until then.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Sounds like you’re describing the gorgeous and complex 90’s PLC, the Eunos Cosmo.

            http://www.autoviva.com/img/photos/282/mazda_eunos_cosmo_large_23282.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Corey,

            That’s it. I would absolutely love it. Park it next to my first-gen Infiniti M45 rebadged as a Nissan Gloria, my J30 with JDM badging and my M30 also with JDM badges. All of these currently reside in my fantasy collection, lol, though I have owned a J30 previously.

            Im not just partial to Nissan JDM cars, Id love an early Vigor 5-speed and a late model Integra 3 door 5 speed with JDM Honda facia/badges. I really prefer the JDM later Integra front clip to the goofy quad bug eyed Acura.

            I dont mind converting USDM products to JDM badges and exterior styling because I prefer LHD. I mean, what good is a sporty car that handles great if you get stuck behind every delivery or garbage truck on two lane roads because you cant see to pass? Thats why I laugh at the ricers converting their hopped-up cars to RHD. Youre just screwing yourself. Its not like its better or anything. Makes no sense.

            That said, if I did buy a true JDM import like that Cosmo or the Kei trucks I fawn over, I wouldnt attempt a LHD conversion because thats how they were built, and therefor thats how they belong.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            I like your JDM thinking! However, on the LHD Cosmo – you’d be fabricating EVERYTHING!

            There were literally zero LHD Cosmos made. And when you see how complex the interior is, you’d change your mind I think. It had touchscreens and the like.

            Looks like maybe even digital projection gauges in front of the passenger!

            http://i.ytimg.com/vi/ruszimdLI-I/maxresdefault.jpg

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Corey

            I meant in the last paragraph that I would *not* convert a true JDM (or any RHD market car). If it was built RHD, it’d stay that way.

            I just meant that I dont think starting with a USDM LHD is a bad thing, if it could be modified to look like another market’s version, thats okay, and my desire to make it unique is acomplished.

            I even considered making a Mondeo-ized 95-97 Contour. It looks distnct, but buying the parts would cost more than the car. And, Id have to find a decent model like a manual trans to start with. Would love an SE.

          • 0 avatar
            JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

            Im sorry I spelled your name wrong in the previous post.

          • 0 avatar
            CoreyDL

            Lol, all good.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I bought an ’88 Pontiac 6000-SE while stationed at Fort Riley, KS, for a beater to drive in the winter. It had never been registered in Kansas, not unusual in the military. However, during registration and the extra expense that KS was suddenly socking me with to register, I realized that the horizantal sweep speedo was in KMs, not miles as it was a Canuck refugee. It also explained why an ’88 6000 had a tachometer, heated front seats, and amber fog lamps as standard equipment and the only options being the A/C and four speed autobox.

  • avatar
    JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

    I like it better than any other North American Nissan car, since the Cube is gone. All it needs is to ditch the wheel covers, paint the steelies silver and add some small center caps. Otherwise, and maybe a 3 door bodystyle with the non-V grill, I really like it. Reminds me of the endearing qualities I find so attractive about 1970s Datsuns.

    Come to think of it, It shouldve been the relaunch model of the Datsun brand, call it the 310.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Without A/C, it won’t be welcomed south of the border, I’m afraid.

    • 0 avatar
      JohnTaurus_3.0_AX4N

      Because people have been spoiled. I worked all summer on the Mississippi Gulf Coast a few years ago and drove a 1999 Saturn SL with no A/C and no power steering. I loved how cheap it was. It was the perfect basic comnuter. I couldnt help but get 40 mpg everywhere, even doing 80 through Texas (in July lol) with two passengers and a trunk full of tools. I bought it in Pensacola for $1300, put about 50k on it, sold it in Gulfport, MS in Augusr for $1500.

      When I lived in Alamagordo, New Mexico with a buddy for one summer, we drove a black 1987 Aerostar with no A/C while moving his household items across town to a storage unit (as he was being reassigned to Germany), one trip at a time in the van. We also pulled an engine at a pullapart type place and hauled it in the van.

      I cant tell you how many cross-country trips Ive driven in a non-A/C vehicle. Many without a radio as well.

      A/C is optional for me, even living in the deep south now, I can easily (and do) go without it. The more you get yourself used to it, the harder it is to go without it.

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      Plenty of people in Maine would buy cars without A/C if they could (if it saved $$$), but of course Maine is the cultural sibling of Quebec.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      Yeah, the take rate in the US with no AC would be what, 1.5% of total sales? It’s too humid most places even if they don’t get hot, to go without.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    I wonder how it compares to the US Versa sedan, same engine and all.

  • avatar
    Russycle

    I wonder if they made an “S” version with bumped power and some nice wheels, kept the price under 13 grand if this thing could catch on like the original GTI? There really aren’t any cheap cars that are genuinely sporty these days.

  • avatar
    Maymar

    I test-drove one of these last fall – it’s really not bad as a $10k car, but I just couldn’t connect with it. I found the suspension a little crashy, and the general thing a little crude. As mentioned, the fuel economy is sub-par for something so light and small (not awful, just not great). The weirdest part is that on the S (as featured here), you can only get A/C if you spring for the automatic as well, otherwise you have to step up to the next model (about $15k with freight, before taxes). I’m not buying a car with 109hp, crank windows, and an automatic transmission. That’s just sad.

    So, by the time you’re spending $15k on one of these, there get to be a lot more compelling options within spitting distance, and good financing deals on the competition render what little savings there may be irrelevant.

  • avatar
    MWolf

    This is one of those cars you don’t want to admit you like, and you won’t know you like it until you drive it. Not a soul will understand why you like it unless they get to drive it.

    It has to have A/C for me. That’s my only real gripe. Artificially cooled air needs to be accessable to me when temps get above 75°F. That might sound bad, but I have a car I will only drive in fall or at night due to no A/C.

    • 0 avatar
      wolfinator

      For me it’s A/C and cruise control. Without cruise control, I WILL get a ticket from our local overzealous law enforcement. Interstate speeds are as low as 50mph around here…

      But other than that, this sounds like a very tempting little commuter.

  • avatar
    Joss

    I heard a re-do’s due soon and canuck gets it later.

  • avatar
    johnharris

    First car I ever rented overseas (in Ireland) was a 2003 Nissan Micra. At the airport, I thought, here we go, bottom-of-the-barrel sh!tbox. But Dia ár sábháil! With a 5-speed it was taut and fun and felt way faster than its price tag. (Ireland’s roads—twisty, quiet, and usually in excellent repair, at least at the time—multiplied the fun.) It was my first exposure to small Euro-spec cars and really changed my attitude. If a rental-spec Micra can be fun to drive, I thought, what about a really GOOD small European car? So I bought a Mini Cooper S. Yeah, yeah, reliability, blah blah. The Mini has been a lot more reliable than the Nissan Xterra I purchased new.

    • 0 avatar
      dolorean

      I had the same experience in the same year, but the EuropaCar gave me a ’03 Opel Corsa 1.2 16v. That was a blast to drive through Ireland’s West Coast. Shifting the 5 spd with the left hand, no problem! Driving the weird side of the road, no problem! Leaving or entering a car park at an Aldi or Gas station, f-ed it up everytime.

  • avatar
    dwight

    I live in Canada. The Micra is my car. Mine is an SR with automatic.

    It’s cheap and cheerful and a lot of fun to drive. I gave up a MK4 Golf for it and haven’t regretted it. It reminds me of those nimble Japanese cars of the ’90s. But more refined and a lot more solid.

    I’ve taken it from Ontario to PEI and back and I was quite comfortable. It stays planted even at highway speeds, however, cross winds push it around a bit but it has to be quite windy to notice . Once you find the sweet spot on the rpms you really enjoy what it has to offer.

    The automatic is a 4-speed with a Low and 2nd gear and an overdrive on/off. Shifts are so smooth it feels like a CVT but without the whining from the engine. It also has electronic stability control of which you can turn off.

    Sales are picking up in Canada as the car catches on. The big selling point aside from price is it’s nimble, “sporty” feel. That’s what drew me as I was about to take delivery of a Versa Note, but once I drove the Micra, my mind was made up.

  • avatar
    tylermattikow

    Wow, $7700 + destination, next cheapest car on us soil is the Versa at 11990 + dest. That is shockingly cheap, very impressive. The fact that this could be sold here fairly easily makes the $6800 Elio a tough sell.. I’m curious how it fairs in a crash test.

  • avatar
    TonyJZX

    years and years ago i drove a Mini Cooper S with the usual high spec trim

    fast little thing and built like a swiss watch but probably not $40k+ worth

    not sure its so fun to drive sans supercharger etc.

    then i remember 20+ yrs ago driving the issigonis mini and the original VW bug

    new mini isnt a decendent of old mini

    The Micra as reviewed here is more ‘Mini’ than the New Mini

    car for the masses, cheap and strangely fun to drive

    like fat girls and scooters, enjoy riding them but dont tell your friends

    also on a technological level, it amazes me that a car like that has multiple airbags + a black box that does DSC TC ABS EBFD and TLA etc. and all probalby on one circuit board that costs $10 in bulk

  • avatar
    RideHeight

    Little buggers like this and the Mirage show that for the world of cars there’s still a British North America and it’s nothing to envy.

    But I must say, exemplary greenhouse here. Being too cheap for cameras is a “feature” to me.

  • avatar
    shaker

    Part of me really likes the idea of this car, as I’ve driven a ’67 Beetle, ’72 Fiat 128, and a ’76 Rabbit; all manuals that I remember fondly.

    But, I’m sure that the rubber shifter and numb clutch (along with the emissions-required throttle hang) would sour the experience pretty quickly.

    That aside, for the price, this little bug looks pretty good; no gobs of black plastic on the rockers, good visibility, and no need for a backup camera, because you only have to back 2/3 into any garage or parking space, and you’re *in*.

  • avatar

    I forgot to mention something in the review and should add it here.

    One of the commenters mentioned the Micra having a “crashy” ride. In contrast, I thought the ride was excellent considering the short wheelbase and simple suspension. The only issue I really had with the ride were during jaunts across the local suspension bridges here. The wheelbase wasn’t a good match for the expansion joint spacing. Other than that, the Micra had a better ride than even some of the German machinery to go through our media fleet.

    • 0 avatar
      gtemnykh

      Very interesting. I appreciate a well sorted comfortable ride at the bottom of the segment.

      Someone else asked this above, Mark have you driven the US spec base model Versa or Versa Note here in the US? If so, how do they compare?

      I briefly drove a Versa S in bare bones 5spd manual trim, I’m a sucker for totally utilitarian cheap cars. integrated headrest front seats like a Lada but with worse seat fabric, shifter was not Honda-slick but perfectly usable. Seemed plenty peppy to me with the stick shift, you’re right that little 1.6 motor is a peach. The sedan is actually incredibly practical for families as the rear legroom is awesome (albeit the car is narrow) and the trunk is midsize good at 15 cu ft. Of course the hatchback is best if you have bulky things to haul and only 2 people. The nice thing about this US variant is that A/C is standard.

      Man, now you’re making me want to totally reverse course on my plan to upgrade to something cushy from my Civic and get a stripped out Versa :/

      • 0 avatar

        I haven’t driven it at all, which is why I didn’t respond to the above question. I have absolutely no idea what the Versa Sedan is like. Next time I’m in the States, I will try to get one as a rental if possible.

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      Admittedly, I’m not the most articulate sometimes, and I’m basing this off a ten minute drive from almost a year ago. I very distinctly remember lots of noise over bumps, which might have clouded my judgement – I don’t know if that matches up with your experience.

  • avatar
    Rod Panhard

    That was an enjoyable review Mr. Stephenson. I find the reviews of real-world cars to be more interesting than the reviews of the cars that few of us can afford. Yeah, I know, fantasy sells more than reality (i.e., Harley-Davidson badass periodontists). So although the click-thru on a “pedestrian” car like the Micra might not get the quantity of eyeballs, I’d say the quality of the eyeballs (people who might actually buy one) has to be better. Thanks.

  • avatar
    bumpy ii

    “You are given a digital gas gauge in the Micra — and I hate it. Please, Nissan, just give me a nice little dial so I can more accurately estimate the amount of fuel in the tank.”

    Lol, the gauge isn’t any better. It just looks more familiar.

    There is almost zero chance of the Micra showing up in the US. It’s only 100 pounds lighter than the Note, and the fuel economy is actually a bit worse. Not enough differentiation in price or specs to offer both.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Doss Nissan sell the base Versa sedan in Canada?

  • avatar
    DweezilSFV

    Finally some originality in the taillight dept. Minimalist motoring.No CVT. Totally up my alley. Looks like a simple car and not some gaping mawed insect.

    Well done, Nissan. About the same weight as a 95 Saturn SL1. Had no problem on freeways with that, can’t see there would be on the Micra.

    Every offering out there doesn’t have to be premium . Just make the thing work as intended ask a fair price.

    Japan cut it’s teeth here on cars like these. Nice to see them going back to their roots.

    • 0 avatar
      CoreyDL

      I think about the difference in price between this, the Fiesta, and the Fit (in my mind, they are similar in price – without researching).

      So I go and look it up. You can’t get a Fit for less than $15,7! And that’s a huge price difference at this level. Fiesta starts at $13,9 which is still a lot more.

      The Versa starts at $11,9 – so it’s funny that a Nissan’s closest competitor on price is another Nissan. The interior on the Versa looks unacceptably dark unless you get the tan cloth.

  • avatar
    Volt 230

    Toyota and Honda have stayed out of this market in N.A. I wonder if and when they’ll decide to jump in.

  • avatar
    Jim Broniec

    This article is insanely timely – I just spent two weeks in Dublin, Ireland driving this AMAZING little car.

    I have not had that much fun driving on the ‘wrong’ side of the road around countless roundabouts as I had driving this car.

    I invented reasons to drive anywhere. And drive FAST. It’s light as hell and gets great mileage. It’s also loud, but so is the stereo system in it. And getting attached to the pirate Dance 91.6 radio station was I think half the fun.

    The car has a soul.. It kind of reminded me a bit of the Suzuki Forenza. It’s got a similar wheelbase and semi-similar handling.

    Interestingly, Suzuki is still pretty prevalent in Ireland, and their ads are nifty.

    But I digress – my rental had 90K kilometers on it, and was beat to HELL, but I’ll be damned if that car didn’t just enjoy being driven.

    You forgive the road noise, the tinny hollowness of the metal; remember – this car sips fuel. And in Europe, that’s important. I filled her at half tank and it cost me about 48 Euro. But no matter. If she comes stateside, I’ll buy it.

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