By Mike Torpey on 2021-10-10 - Driving Force news editor and responsible for organising our daily output. He was staff motoring editor of the Liverpool Echo for 20 years.
Nissan Micra IG-T100
THE people who know best, the drivers of their cars, were the inspiration for Nissan when it came to updating the latest version of popular supermini the Micra.
But while every Micra model has benefited from an upgrade of one sort or another, it's the more premium variants that have come off best - especially in the area of technology and style.
The Japanese brand sees the 2021 refresh as the next step in the evolution of a model that first appeared in Europe 39 years ago.
Keeping things simple has long been part of the plan and in the Micra's case there are just the four trim grades of Visia, Acenta, N-Sport and Tekna.
While there's also a new IG-T 92 petrol engine, meaning it's turbocharged, our tested model featured the existing and more spirited IG-T 100 unit, so named because it develops 100PS of power.
Compact, well balanced and lively, the 100 can satisfy more enthusiastic drivers and at the same time provide a stylish runaround for city and suburban motoring.
Our Micra returned average fuel consumption of 46.2 miles per gallon over 275 miles of varied work, just short of the official 50.5mpg figure.
And that was for a model with a CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) auto gearbox - not something I would generally desire in a small car but which actually works well in the Micra, even if you do lose a little economy.
Every Micra model comes with essential safety kit like Hill Start Assist, Intelligent Ride Control and something called Intelligent Trace Control for better handling in difficult conditions.
That said, there's even more advanced stuff in the Safety pack, high beam assist, traffic sign recognition and forward emergency braking being just three of them.
If you choose either of the top two trim levels - N-Sport and our tested Tekna grade - LED headlamps are provided as standard along with an Around View Monitor camera system and eye-catching 17-inch diamond cut alloy wheels.
The Japanese brand's vision for a more exciting and connected future through technological innovation, called Nissan Intelligent Mobility, is particularly noticeable in Tekna models.
So the Around View Monitor, which helps negotiate difficulty parking scenarios, gets a moving object detection set-up, and there's also blind spot warning exclusive to Tekna.
Music lovers will appreciate the BOSE sound experience with speakers built into the driver's headrest in addition to the NissanConnect infotainment system with Tom Tom navigation, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
Otherwise the Micra's cabin makes its mark courtesy of two-tone black and ivory highlights for the seats, dash trim, door panels and either side of the gearshift, not forgetting the flat-bottomed steering wheel.
Interior space is adequate too, unless the front seats are fully slid back, and concealed rear door handles add to a smooth, clean profile.
Nissan Micra IG-T100 CVT Tekna
Mechanical:100ps, 999cc, 3-cyl turbocharged petrol engine driving front wheels via CVT automatic gearbox
0-62mph: 10.9 seconds
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