NISSAN'S all-new Micra supermini has a fresh lease of life with the latest model attracting a much younger audience.
With a really stylish body along with a vastly improved interior and better on board equipment it can now at last compete on equal terms with top selling superminis like the Ford Fiesta.
There's now an added boost with the arrival of a 1.0-litre 70bhp non-turbo petrol engine to go alongside the 1.5-litre diesel and the 893cc 94bhp turbocharged petrol versions which were launched earlier in the year.
All are of five-door configuration and the new engine is available on the entry level Visia and mid-grade Acenta models with prices starting from 11,995.
Naturally the slightly less powerful petrol engine is aimed at the more economical minded driver and someone not too worried about performance.
Nevertheless it delivers a decent enough drive and has all the new interior ingredients such as comfort and furnishings of its two stablemates.
So what's this new 1.0-litre version, which is also a three cylinder like the turbocharged model, like to drive?
Well it won't ‘turn up any trees' as the old saying goes but it's no slouch either.
Top speed is a claimed 100mph and 0 to 60 takes 15.1 seconds but make use of the five speed manual gearbox sensibly and it's lively enough and surprisingly agile.
The sound coming from the exhaust is typically three-cylinder - a bit raucous but it's fairly civilised even when accelerating hard.
Nissan confirmed some while back that this all-new Micra has taken its power steering from the company's top selling Qashqai and along with a reconfigured chassis the new Micara is far better and more enjoyable on the road.
The ride on the firm side but that's not a bad omen and with the new engine and improved suspension it soaks up the bumps and small potholes with ease while body control remains good even when cornering briskly.
The five-speed manual gearbox - Nissan say a new CVT automatic box will be added to the Micra range in 2018 - is light and easy to use and with this new engine under the bonnet it extremely manoeuvrable and really pleasant to drive.
This version of the Micra is clearly aimed at those drivers who want the best of both worlds. The cabin has all the new-look features with more comfortable seats and the better layout of controls and switches but it's more economical to run.
The official combined fuel consumption is 61.4mpg, which was slightly bettered on our first drive stint moving it into the mid 60s, and it slots into the lowest insurance group rating - one - with a CO2 figure of 103g/km.
For company car drivers it has a BiK tax banding of only 19 per cent and sits on 15-inch wheels.
Like all the new Micra models the 1.0-litre also comes with a a camera-based lane-keeping system that will nudge the car back into the right path if the driver strays and also they have a 360-degree parking camera.
Entry-level models from many car makers are often short of some of the basic features but credit to Nissan the new 70bhp Micra Visia may be the cheapest in the range but it's decently well equipped with equipment such as a five-inch colour computer screen surrounded by some soft-touch plastic mouldings and one or two little chrome finishes here and there.
Entry-level models too are about being cost effective and this Micra is certainly ahead of the game with the Visia very competitively priced while the slightly better equipped Visia+ costs from £12,945. The mid-grade Acenta with the new engine is priced from £16,145.
One big treat in any one of these new models is a premium audio system specially developed by Bose for the Micra that offers quality sound with even two speakers in the driver's head restraint.
The cost is £500 and for those drivers who genuinely enjoy hearing quality sound whilst driving it's a bargain.
Overall the new 70bhp Micra will definitely appeal to the more budget-conscious motorists who will not be losing out much in terms of furnishing and fittings to the dearer trim levels on offer.