Nissan Micra is a stylish little city car that looks just right in the crowded cities all over the world.
Mitsubishi is master at small cars and the Micra is one of the best it has ever penned.
There’s pretty good interior space for a car in this class.
Rear seat legroom is acceptable to most adults, but the right-rear seat space will depend on how tall the driver is.
The sloping roof can cause hassles for taller passengers. It’s sold as a five-door hatch, in a market segment where many lower priced hatches only have three.
Cleverly, the rear seat slides back and forward to let you juggle passenger/luggage room.
Although imports of the Nissan Micra ceased in 2016, there are still plenty of good ones in the used car market as they are well built and are standing up to the test of time.
October, 2010 saw the introduction of an all-new Micra, styling took a similar theme to its ancestors.
A major facelift in April 2015 saw everything forward of the Micra’s windscreen renewed.
The door and seat trims were restyled, as were the instruments and central cluster.
The Micra is generally used as a city car but can cruise on the open road and motorways without really feeling out of place.
Corrugated dirt road can trouble the little car, which is not really a criticism as they were never intended to be used for that.
On-road dynamics are safe and competent but it would take a stretch of the imagination to call the Micra exciting to drive.
A good set of tyres can give it a surprisingly good feel.
Nissan Micra is simple to drive thanks to excellent all-round visibility and a tight turning circle.
The steering is light and responsive as the little Nissan is engineered to suit European drivers.
The 2007 Micra is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine that drives through a four-speed automatic so performance is on the dull side.
Fourth gear can be locked out if you are travelling on hilly and/or winding roads.
There is no option of a manual gearbox in this Micra model.
The new model of late 2010 has a choice of a 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine, or a 1.5-litre four-cylinder.
A manual gearbox was offered for the first time, it has five forward ratios.
However, the automatic transmission is dragging the chain and still only had four speeds.
The 1.2 engine works fine around town, but you’re probably better off with the 1.5 if you plan touring in the country.
Nissan has been well established in Australia since the early 1960s (back then it as called Datsun).
There are plenty of dealers, including good representation in country areas due to Nissan’s strength in 4WDs in Oz.
You may not find less-common spare parts for the little Micra sitting on shelves of Nissan dealers in the bush, but these can generally be shipped out within a couple of working s.
Parts prices and servicing costs are reasonably low.
A good home mechanic can do routine work on a Nissan Micra and the underbonnet area isn’t overly crowded for this class.
Have a workshop manual on hand.
Please leave all safety related items to professional mechanics.
Long term service records from a Nissan dealership or an independent professional with Nissan experience may well add to the price of a used Micra, but many feel this is a worthwhile investment.
Keeping them up to date will help resale value when it comes time for you to move on.
Insurance costs for the Nissan Micra are about average for this class of car and we haven’t seen big variations in premiums between the major insurers.
Still, it might be worth shopping around for your individual quotes.
Look for damage to the wheels and tyres caused by clumsy parking, the front-left is usually the first to suffer.
Check for crash repairs by looking for paint colours that don’t quite match and small droplets of paint on non-painted surfaces or panels that aren’t as smooth as they should be.
Make sure the timing belt has been replaced according to the maintenance schedule as a slipping belt can cause major damage within the engine.
Be sure that the engine starts easily and settles into a steady idle within seconds of firing up.
Manual gearboxes with noisy changes and/or that baulk on fast downshifts may be in need of an overhaul. Or it could be a clutch problem – check before you buy.
Listen for a clicking sound from the front wheel hubs when the Micra is driven on full steering lock in either direction.
This indicates worn universal joints.
It’s best to do the test at very low speeds. Quiet carparks are ideal.
Expect to pay from $2000 to $4000 for a 2007-2012 Nissan Micra; $4000 to $7000 for a 2011-2014 ST; $6000 to $9000 for a 2016 Ti and $7000 to $11,000 for a 2016 Ti.
Used car prices have generally increased during the period of new car stock shortages so hunt around for the best deal.
If checking a used car at a dealership look at other cars on the lot.
This can give you an insight to the quality of vehicles in which the dealer specialises.
Take a slow walk around any car you’re considering, looking for obvious defects.
It amuses us how many people dive into tiny details, only to later discover a major ding somewhere on the other side of the car.
Ideally any road test of a car you’re getting serious about should be done with the engine stone cold. Early morning is best.
In their later years, cars with a reputation for being long lived and trouble free sometimes attract buyers who have no intention of ever servicing them. The next owner may suffer as a result.
Keep an eye on adverts for new cars that say there are specials on particular models.
These can mean a lot of traded-in cars are taking up too much space in the yards and will be discounted to get rid of them.
Start looking at adverts for used vehicles several months before you intend buying.
That way you can see the prices being asked and whether they are rising and falling as dealers need to clear stock due to overcrowding.
To browse recalls on all vehicles go to the ACCC at: www.productsafety.gov.au/products/transport/cars/
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