Car reviews - Nissan - Micra - 5-dr hatch
Nissan throws down a gauntlet with its sensationally priced new light car
13 Dec 2007
NISSAN may not be setting the small-car segment alight with the Tiida, but anybody who writes off the company that brought us models as effective as the Datsun 1600, 200SX/Silvia, 350Z and Skyline/GT-R is deluded. When Nissan gets it right, look out! Case in point: Micra. Yes, the previous one flopped embarrassingly in Australia, but the current car is still a formidable supermini in supermini-mad Europe even after five years. And so while the Micra is not exactly new, it is fresh to Australia, appealingly packaged (a manual would be nice, though) and priced so sharply it may even redefine value for money in the hotly contested light-car class.
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Nissan K11 MicraReleased: May 1995
Ended: December 1997
Family Tree: Micra
Although available overseas since the early 1980s, Nissan Australia didn’t market the Toyota Echo-sized Micra until well into the MkII model’s career in 1995. Engineered and built in Britain for European tastes, and offered in three and five-door hatchback guises, the Micra suffered from high pricing at a time when rivals were engaging in a savage price war. Yet its exceptional spaciousness, peppy performance and excellent economy should have won Nissan more buyers. The base LX was sparse, the SLX five-door gained power steering and the sporty Super S (so-named to evoke the Mini Cooper S which inspired the design) offered anti-lock brakes, a sunroof, bodykit and alloy wheels. All models feature the same 55kW 1.3-litre twin-cam four. A minor facelift heralded the 1997 model from August 1996.
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