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First look: Refreshed Nissan Micra breaks cover

Fresh faced: Nissan’s updated Micra, due to arrive in Australia later this year, features a refreshed front end and updated rear.

Nissan Micra city car gets a facelift, due Down Under later in 2013

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Nissan logo25 Mar 2013

FIRST details of Nissan's upgraded Micra city car have emerged, detailing a look that is now more grown up.

Images of the updated model, due on sale in Australia later this year, were published on the Japanese car-maker’s Thai website this week.

The pictures reveal a redesigned front end with a version of Nissan’s current corporate grille that features on a number of models including the Juke crossover, X-Trail and upcoming Pathfinder SUV.

A restyled front bumper with chrome lining, new foglights and redesigned two-tone black and chrome headlights are the most obvious changes to the Micra.

A rear spoiler is a new addition, while the alloy wheels currently available on the top-specification Ti are redesigned. At the rear the tiny runabout gets restyled tail-lights and a different bumper.

Images on the Thai website show a model with automatic-folding external mirrors that are yet to be confirmed for Australian-spec versions.

Interior changes include a redesigned centre console, and steering wheel audio controls.

The facelift comes after Nissan announced plans earlier this year to shift the Micra’s production from Indonesia to a bigger facility in India to ensure greater volume.

The switch to Indian production also means that the Micra is no longer available with the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine fitted to the ST-L and Ti models, with power for all models now coming from the 56kW 1.2-litre three-cylinder unit used for the base ST.

Micra sales this year place it well ahead of its competition at the cheaper end of the light-car segment, with Nissan shifting 923 units in the first two months of the year. The Suzuki Alto has sold 519 units and the Holden Barina Spark has recorded 301 sales.

However, the Micra faces stiff competition in the form of the newly released Mitsubishi Mirage hatch, which has sold 1688 units in the first two months of this year.

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