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Car reviews - Nissan - Micra - SLX 5-dr hatch

Used Rivals

20 Jun 2003

THE Spanish-built City's smart styling, sassy cabin and Euro chicness are outweighed by the slug of a 33kW 1.2 litre engine, a drag of a manual gearbox, and dullsville dynamics. The '96 44kW 1.4 version is better, but the best by far is the post-August '97 facelift with its 60kW 1.4 and improved dynamics.

MADE by the South Korean Kia company, the Festiva was Ford's low-cost baby. It is front-wheel drive, has a noisy 46kW 1.3 engine with a choice of three-speed auto or five-speed manual, and power steering as standard. Flimsy build, dreary handling, a bouncy ride and cheapo reputation ruin any appeal.

BASIC and cheap. Front-wheel drive powered by a 1.3-litre, carburettor engine driving through a three-speed auto or five- speed manual. Radio/cassette is the only luxury. Super light at 795kg, giving good economy but not much crash protection. Great around town though, and long lasting too.

THIS car may have taken the market by storm, but it's as appealing as a wet blanket used. Front-wheel drive, a gutsy 1.5 engine and lots of space appealed, but a problematic four-speed auto, awful five-speed manual and low quality trim are off-putting. Durability problems plagued this model, so it's best avoided.

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