The latest Micra is destined for local shores soon though, however, before its arrival, Nissan decided to launch a more value added version of the outgoing K16 generation, something to compete with the likes of the Volkswagen Polo Vivo, Ford Figo and Renault Sandero. I had a chance to drive the Micra Active in Johannesburg recently.
Updated inside and out
From an exterior perspective, the Micra Active benefits from a mild refresh with new headlamps, a reshaped bumper and the brand’s now signature V-shaped chrome grille, while at the rear, there are new tail lamps and a new rear bumper.
Inside the Active, we find new seat fabrics along with a six-speaker sound system, Bluetooth connectivity and an optional seven-inch touch-screen infotainment system as seen in the latest Navara, which will be included as a free extra for a limited time.
Overall, the updates appear rather minor but have certainly made the Micra a far more appealing product within the lower B-segment.
Optional Trendsetter Pack
The folks at Nissan have included an optional extra for the Active for those looking for a slightly more sporty looking Micra. The Trendsetter Pack includes black alloy wheels, a roof spoiler, splash guards and a chrome exhaust tip. The package will cost around R8 500 and is fitted at a dealership level, meaning retro-fitment of the package is possible.
With the likes of the Renault Kwid and the Micra’s cousin, the Datsun Go, lacking crucial safety features at the most price sensitive point within the automotive market, it’s nice to see that this Micra, despite its sticker price of R159 900, has the basic safety features expected of a vehicle in the modern age.
Items such as ABS with EBD, driver and passenger airbags, ISOFIX child seat anchors and central locking are all standard, making this a far safer bet for young drivers and first-time buyers.
Underneath the bonnet of the Active beats a rather willing 1.2-litre three-cylinder naturally aspirated petrol motor with 56kW/104Nm, which is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Driving the little Micra through the city was quite a fuss free affair, with light steering and a relatively easy clutch action being highlights of the driving experience.
Having such a small motor does have its advantages, with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.2-litres/100km; just don’t try and climb any hills with the air-conditioning on as the little car tends to suffer a bit. In terms of practicality, there’s likely enough space for four occupants, while the 265-litre boot is good enough for light luggage and is par for the course in this segment.
It’s hard to be overly critical of the Micra Active because its offers such a strong value proposition. Factor in all of the aforementioned specification with the fact that the car comes with a six-year/150 000km warranty and a three-year/90 000km service plan, and you have one of the best entry-level new car propositions on the market at the moment.