Nissan Micra N-Sport

DIG-T 117

Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, front, action
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, front
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, side
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, rear
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, interior
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, display screen
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, door mirror
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, wheel
Nissan Micra N-Sport, 2019, badge

REAR door handles in the widow frames show this is a Nissan Micra - but not as we know it.

Gone is the bubble shape and frumpy image and in is a sporty design with sharp good looks and plenty of cutting edge mod cons.

Rather than being hamstrung by the previous generation's impossible task of catering for the needs of Europe, Asia and South America, the latest model is specifically designed for our continent so it's longer, wider and more lavishly equipped.

Nissan offers a six-model line-up for the five-door supermini including the N-Sport version featured here which has looks more akin to a hot hatch than the Micra of old thanks to angular lines, handsome face and snazzy 17-inch alloys plus a Black & Carbon-look exterior pack and chrome exhaust pipe finisher.

There are also coloured door mirrors and front door handles which ties everything together nicely. Rear privacy glass and a roof spoiler give the package a rock ‘n roll feel.

The cabin carries on the good work with a thoughtful design making good use of high quality materials and an excellent fit and finish.

The part leather-Alcantara seats are supportive and comfortable while a decent driving position is easy to achieve behind a steering wheel that features a blizzard of buttons on the horizontal spokes. These are nonetheless logically laid out and easy to use when operating the audio system or cruise control.

Chrome is lavished on the door handles while there is a satin silver decoration for the gear knob and air vent as well as soft-touch upper dash - even the floor mats exude a sporty air.

There are also plenty of opportunities to personalise the interior and exterior of the car with contrasting colours, decals and inserts available on the menu.

A seven-inch central touchscreen offers access to the car's many goodies as well as the opportunity to hook up your smartphone via Apple CarPlay or Android Auto giving access to music, entertainment and navigation options.

Nissan's touchscreen sat nav system with traffic information is standard on top-of-the-range Tekna models only, otherwise coming as part of a Vision Pack which is an optional extra.

A raft of safety systems help keep you out of trouble and protect occupants if an accident can't be avoided.

There is plenty of storage space with a decent-sized glovebox and door bins as well as a cubby hole in the centre console ahead of the gearstick which provided a home for my phone.

The Micra's larger dimensions ensure there's plenty of space for four adults although the ceiling is quite low making headroom a touch tight.

A major plus though is the 300-litre boot which expands to a shade over a 1,000 litres when the rear seats are folded over - just enough to get my student son and all his belongings home for the summer.

Power is provided here by one of the new generation of three-cylinder 1.0-litre engines developed by the Renault Nissan Mitsubishi Alliance.

The 117ps version under this N-Sport's bonnet propels the Micra from 0-62mph in a shade under ten seconds on its way to a top speed of 121mph. The six-speed manual transmission is a willing partner offering reasonably slick gear changes.

A stop/start system is fitted helping fuel consumption measured under the WLTP testing regime to 47.9mpg, while emissions are 133g/km. The supermini is decent to drive with the slightly lowered suspension soaking up most of the humps and hollows littering our roads these days, while the handling is reasonably sharp thanks to uprated steering and electronic systems borrowed from Nissan's Qashqai SUV.

FAST FACTS

Nissan Micra N-Sport DIG-T 117

Price:£18,430

Mechanical:117ps, 999cc, 3cyl petrol engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox

Max Speed:121mph

0-62mph:9.9 seconds

Combined MPG:47.9

Insurance Group:11

C02 emissions:133g/km

Bik rating:30%

Warranty:3yrs/60,000 miles

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