Nissan Micra Tekna

1.5 dCi 90

Nissan Micra, 2017, front, action
Nissan Micra, 2017, front
Nissan Micra, 2017, side
Nissan Micra, 2017, rear
Nissan Micra, 2017, interior
Nissan Micra, 2017, front
Nissan Micra, dynamic
Nissan Micra, 2017, side
Nissan Micra, 2017, rear

THE Nissan Micra is the little car that thinks big.

It may be the smallest car in the Japanese car maker's stable but it punches well above its weight, as I found out on a 400-mile round trip to Norfolk.

Its 300-litre boot, for example, managed to swallow up all the soft bags we could throw at it - and we don't travel light - and still allow us to close the tailgate so we could safely stop for coffee on route without having to worry about luggage being on view.

While the boot area may look relatively small it's deceptively deep which means it's capable of accommodating far more than you would think. And the bonus is that under the boot floor there's plenty of nooks and crannies for oddments, or in our case things like walking boots and trainers.

But even more impressive was the little car's economy on a long journey.

The 1.5-litre diesel engine in the Micra Tekna returned an average of a remarkable 78.5 miles per gallon during the Norfolk trip which is almost as good as the official figure of 80.7mpg - gathered in ideal test conditions - and is pretty impressive because it relates to real world motoring.

So while the little car only has a small tank - less than nine gallons - there was no need on the journey to the east coast to take time out for re-fuelling.

And despite having only 90bhp under the bonnet this Micra is never found wanting when it comes to high speed motorway cruising.

It's also an engine which is surprisingly quiet for a diesel, although the car does exhibit a reasonable amount of tyre noise.

Now in its fifth incarnation the new Micra is longer, wider and lower than earlier models and definitely far more sporty. New petrol engines are coming on stream but the diesel remains in the line up.

The old-style upright, high roofed family car has been replaced by a sleek, sporty model which has far more kerb appeal than ever before.

And in Tekna trim it's now available with a very upmarket look with options which - in the case of this car - included two-tone leather seats (£1,400) and a £500 Vision Pack which included a reversing camera with a 360 degree view around the car for easier parking as well as blind spot intervention.

All the dials are crystal clear and easy to read at a glance and there's a seven-inch touch screen set in the leather covered dashboard for the satellite navigation system and for operating many of the on-board features.

Perhaps a little surprisingly the impressively smooth gearbox only has five rather than six gears but nevertheless it seems to work well, with the Micra registering around 2,000 revs at the official motorway speed limit.

And what I really liked about the car is that despite its relatively small dimensions it has a big car feel from behind the wheel, with plenty of seat and steering wheel adjustment to ensure you can find the ideal driving position.

Leg room in the rear is not massive but certainly adequate for a car of this size.

Standard on-board features include lane departure warning, hill start assist and automatic high beam/dipped beams headlights as well as automatic braking if it thinks you are about to collide with anything ahead of you.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Micra Tekna 1.5 dCi 90

Price: £19,340

Mechanical: 90ps, 1,461cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 5-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed: 111mph

0-62mph: 11.9 seconds

Combined MPG: 80.7

Insurance Group: 8

C02 emissions: 97g/km

Bik rating: 24%

Warranty: 3yrs/60,000 miles

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