Used car check: Nissan Micra - a woman's darling with problems

Years ago, the cuddly Nissan Micra was considered a womanizer.

Used car check: Nissan Micra - a woman's darling with problems

Years ago, the cuddly Nissan Micra was considered a womanizer. Its round shape and wide-eyed headlight made it popular around the world. Meanwhile it has become quiet around the small car. And that, although it still exists in a completely different form. Maybe it can win hearts again as a used vehicle?

The Micra was once the bestseller in Nissan's portfolio. But the sales successes of the first two generations decreased significantly over the years. Quality problems and strong competitors made life difficult for the former darling of women. The fifth generation, which has been available since 2017, should build on old virtues.

Compared to the fourth generation, the five-door has grown by 17 centimeters to a length of four meters. At the same time, the small car became wider and flatter. The increase in length enables proper space conditions. However, only two people should ride in the back seat, not for too long. The sloping roof line is also at the expense of headroom for the rear passengers.

The driver and front passenger can enjoy the space gained. The seats provide decent support for a small car; however, the seat cushions could be a bit longer and regular long-distance trips should be avoided. The luggage compartment volume can be expanded from 300 to up to 1004 liters by folding down the rear seat backrests. However, there is an impractical step when pushing through longer parts.

Visually, the fifth generation sets itself apart from its predecessor. Instead of being compressed, high and plump, it is stretched, flat and muscular and takes design cues from the Juke and Qashqai. The googly eyes are also history, there are now large, dominant lights. Depending on the taste of the first-time buyer, the Micra comes in eye-catching paint finishes and with a coordinated interior decor.

There were three engines at launch - two petrol and one diesel. The units come from Group partner Renault. The basic engine is the 1.0-liter three-cylinder with 73 hp, which should come up with standard consumption values ​​between 4.6 and 4.9 liters depending on the equipment. The 1.5-liter diesel makes 90 hp and is content with an average of 3.2 liters. The diesel was discontinued in mid-2018. Volume engine was the 0.9-liter turbo petrol engine with 90 hp. The three-cylinder acts quite lively, creates Tempo 175 and is given in the data sheet with consumption values ​​of 4.4 to 5.1 liters.

At the end of 2018, Nissan replaced the turbo with a one-liter version that produces 100 hp. In addition, an expansion stage with 117 hp has been available since the beginning of 2019. In the meantime (since the end of 2020), the Micra is only available with a 92 hp one-liter turbo. Only with the 117 hp unit did a manual six-speed gearbox take over the power transmission to the front wheels, otherwise a five-speed gearbox is standard. For the variants with 92 and 100 hp, there is a stepless CVT transmission (Xtronic) as an alternative, but it is better to keep your hands off it.

The Micra was initially offered in the equipment variants Visia, Visia Plus, Acenta, N-Connecta and Tekna. From Visia Plus there is air conditioning on board. Anyone who appreciates a little comfort should at least use the N-Connecta models. Here, among other things, 16-inch wheels in aluminum, leather steering wheel and navigation system come as standard. Electronic helpers such as blind spot, lane departure or high beam assistants or a 360-degree surroundings camera were available at extra cost. At the end of 2021, Nissan restructured its equipment lines and added further levels. N-Design offers about reversing camera and fog lights. N-Sport has, among other things, 17-inch wheels, LED headlights, Alcantara seats, a sports steering wheel and automatic air conditioning on board. In 2017, the Micra earned a four-star rating in the NCAP crash test.

The current Micra generation has so far not covered itself with glory at the TÜV main inspection (HU). Although the average mileage of the Micra vehicles is below average, the small car was already noticeable at the first HU with axle suspension, lighting and oil loss. This means that you should take a close look at the used car model and, if in doubt, seek expert advice.

Conclusion: Compared to its predecessor, the current Micra (type K14) has become more attractive. However, the trend towards small SUVs is having a negative impact on the sales figures for classic small cars. The space and workmanship are okay, but so far it has not been able to convince the TÜV. If you want to buy a used model, you have to invest at least 8000 euros.

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