I spent a couple of days in Lisbon last week road testing the new Nissan Micra N-Sport. Initial thoughts were how agile this Nissan Micra N-Sport is for a 1 litre engine. Being a car designed for the city, it's crucial to have the agility, response and dynamism.
You want to be making sharp manoeuvres in the city to counteract congestion. Especially in London where the average speed is around 4mph, you need to have precision as your feet will be permanently engaged with the car.
As well as delivering ‘More Micra’ than ever before, each new version offers improved powertrain refinement and response on all road surfaces and in all driving conditions.
Helen Perry, general manager, small cars, Nissan Europe, said: “With a greater focus on efficiency and performance, these new models further broaden the appeal of the Nissan Micra N-Sport. We are now in a position to better meet the needs of Europe’s compact hatchback customers.”
Did it exceed my expectations?
In a word yes. I can't stress enough how easy and responsive this car was for a 1 litre. I was expecting a little drag, some latency, but this completely transformed my assumptions of the 1 litre. The pull-away is incredibly smooth and notably the in-gear acceleration.
What I also liked was the road noise isolation. The cabin is noticeably quiet which I love. Especially living and driving in the city where there is a cacophony of horns and irritable road maintenance.
Inside the seats are part Alcantara leather which is a synthetic material composed of 68% polyester and 32% polyurethane. Importantly it's comfortable, soft to the touch and fire retardant which why it's all the rage with the Formula 1 industry.
There is also some neat upgrades to make my life easier. Some rear view parking cameras will help me negotiate those tight parking spots.
How does this compare to other City cars?
The new Nissan Micra N-Sport is positioned in the heart of the ‘warm hatch’ category occupied by contenders such as the Ford Fiesta ST Line, VW Polo R-Line, Peugeot 208 GT Line and SEAT Ibiza FR.
It's available with all three new powertrains – the 1.0-litre IG-T 100 PS manual and Xtronic, plus the DIG-T 117 PS manual. It is available in four distinct body colours – Passion Red, Solid White, Echo Grey and Enigma Black.
For the price it's a fantastic value. I enjoyed driving it around in Lisbon immensely. It's nippy, it's practical, it's economical and has a very accessible price point. RRP £17k.