Nissan Micra - Introduction
With petrol prices going through the roof across the globe and rising demand and interest in diesel vehicles in India, many car manufacturers started adding diesel vehicles in their product portfolio. Nissan, too weren’t going to be left behind in competition. After the success of Nissan Micra petrol, the Japanese auto manufacturer followed it with the launch of the diesel version of the Micra hatchback, utilizing the popular 1.5-litre dCi diesel from the Renault Pulse.
The Nissan Micra diesel comes in two variants; XV and XV premium. In October 2012 Nissan added a Primo edition with additional features for both the trim levels. The Micra XV is priced at Rs 6,18,696 and goes up to Rs 6,88,123 for the XV premium Primo edition, (ex-showroom, Kolkata).
Nissan Micra - Design & Engineering
The Nissan Micra diesel is absolutely identical to its petrol sibling. It retains its same cheeky and refreshing appearance. The only way to distinguish between the petrol and diesel is the dCI badge at the rear of the Micra diesel.
Powering the Nissan Micra is 1461cc 4-cylinder in-line diesel engine (code name K9K) mated to a 5-speed manual transmission. This is the same tried and tested K9 diesel engine from Renault which previously did duty under the bonnet of the Logan and now powers the Verito. This versatile engine is widely used across a number of cars from the Renault and Nissan stables, not just in India but across the world. The motor pumps 64PS of maximum power at 4000 rpm and 160Nm of peak torque at 2000 rpm. The suspension architecture of the Nissan Micra is the same as its petrol stable-mate. It comprises of McPherson strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear, but with different springs and dampers to account for the increase in weight. Ventilated disc brakes do duty on the front with drums at the rear.
In comparison to its petrol sibling, the Nissan has provided more standard features across the diesel model range. Features like roof antenna, body coloured bumper, rear washer and wiper, body coloured outside door mirrors and door handles are just some of them. The top-of-the-line XV Premium that we tested also came with rear defogger, body coloured roof spoiler and 15 inch alloy wheels. Mind you, the roof spoiler and alloy wheels are only available on the XV Premium trim across the Micra model range, petrol and diesel combined.
The Nissan Micra is available in six colour schemes – Sunshine Orange, Blade Silver, Storm White, Spring Green, Onyx Black and Brick Red. However, the Primo range only comes in Pearl White.
Nissan Micra - Interiors & Comfort
There isn’t much to differentiate the cabin of the diesel from the petrol either. One would notice the familiar ‘round’ shape theme all around similar to the petrol variant. The greige colour scheme in the interior still doesn’t catch my fancy, simple beige would have been better.
The front seats felt comfortable and also offer good visibility to the driver and front passenger. Legroom, headroom and shoulder room are decent for both front and rear occupants. The 251 litre boot is fairly generous but you don’t have an option to split the seat. However, they neatly fold forward in one piece to make more room for luggage.
The entire Nissan Micra diesel range also comes with a keyless entry fob that allows you to open the door while the key is still in your pocket, and the engine is ignited with the help of a push-button.
Nissan has also offered power and tilt steering, digital clock, central door lock, front and rear power window as standard across model range.
Nissan Micra - Performance & Handling
So what’s the Micra diesel like to drive? The car has a fixed-geometry turbo producing just enough power to maintain smart progress. The good thing is that the power is delivered linearly, with minimal turbo lag, which makes the Micra very easy to drive around in city traffic. The good all-round visibility helps too, as does the light steering action. Clutch take-up and progression is good too, and these attributes together combine to make the Micra a very nice city car. The gear ratios are well-matched to the Micra’s power output, although fifth is a little too tall to be of use in the city.
On open roads, the Micra’s strong torque means that it motors very comfortably at 100 kmph with four passengers on board and the AC running. Overtaking is competent, but you do wish response was a little more urgent, especially since there are other diesel hatchbacks in the market which respond better at part-to-full throttle transitions.
The increase in weight means that the Micra diesel does have a tendency to understeer more as compared to its petrol sibling. However, it isn’t disconcerting and is quite easy to drive around.
Our test car had been driven considerably, by countless potential customers, and so wasn’t in the best of shape, but we did notice an annoying boominess in the cabin
Nissan Micra - Fuel Efficiency
At 1008kg, the Nissan Micra is lighter than the Maruti Suzuki Swift (1075kg) and Ford Figo (1130kg) diesel versions, and this automatically translates into good fuel economy figures. The Micra diesel boasts of an ARAI ratified fuel efficiency of 23.08kmpl and although we didn’t get a chance to do a proper mileage test, however, it is safe to assume that the real world figures will be much less. Expect the Nissan Micra diesel to deliver around 15kmpl within the city with air conditioning and while cruising on the highway, you should get around 19kmpl.
Nissan Micra - Safety
On the safety front, Nissan has provided engine immobiliser and driver airbag as standard safety features across the Micra diesel model range. However, front passenger side airbag and other crucial features like ABS with EBD and brake assist has been taken off from both the XV and XV premium variants simply to cut costs and competitively price the product. This is quite surprising for a company like Nissan who has always maintained high standards of safety in their vehicles. Mind you, these features are not available as a cost option in any of these variants.
The top XV premium variant that we tested came with front fog lamps.
Nissan Micra - Verdict
We are all aware that the small car segment in the fiercely competitive segment. The Micra has done a good job to establish Nissan’s brand image among the mass in India. And while the Maruti Suzuki Swift diesel is really hot in this segment, however, this cheeky little hatch has plenty to offer. The Micra diesel boasts of good mileage, frugal diesel engine, adequately spacious interiors, refreshing looks and is a powerful car.
But at the end of the day, Nissan as a brand in India is yet to catch the imagination of the buyers. Price sensitive buyers of small cars for whom every rupee counts, would much rather like to invest in a car from Maruti or Hyundai as oppose to Nissan, simply because those brands are more established in the Indian market.
But if you are willing to look beyond the more established brands and have decided on buying the Micra diesel, then it might be a prudent choice to opt for the Primo edition. This special edition Micra trim gets LED lights, remote controlled rear view mirror, rear parking sensors, ‘Primo’ body decals on the sides and a double DIN Kenwood stereo with USB and Bluetooth connectivity. The Primo trim comes at a premium of Rs 23000. But if you consider the additional features that one gets along with the company warranty offered on these features, I think it’s a deal worth grabbing.
However, the absence of crucial safety features like ABS with EBD and brake assist is detrimental and not expected from a company like Nissan which have always laid stress on safety. This leaves plenty of room for improvement on the safety front.
Nissan Micra - Competition Check
|Length x Width x Height (mm)||3825 x 1665 x 1530 (petrol), 3825 x 1665 x 1525 (diesel)|
|Ground clearance (mm)||154 (petrol), 150 (diesel)|
|Turning circle dia (m)||4.65|
|Fuel tank capacity (lt)||41|
|Boot space (lt)||251|
|Engine & Transmission|
|No of cylinder & configuration||3-cylinder in-line petrol; 4-cylinder in-line diesel|
|Valvetrain||12 valve (petrol), 8 valve (diesel)|
|Capacity (cc)||1198 (petrol), 1461 (diesel)|
|Power (PS @ rpm)||76 @ 6000 (petrol), 77 @ 6000 (CVT), 64 @ 4000 (diesel)|
|Torque (Nm @ rpm)||104 @ 4000 (petrol), 104 @ 4400 (CVT), 160 @ 2000 (diesel)|
|Gearbox||5-speed manual, CVT (auto)|
|Suspension & Brakes|
|Front suspension||Mcpherson Strut|
|Rear suspension||Torsion Beam|
|Front brakes||Ventilated Disc|
|Wheels & Tyres|
|Tyre size and type||165/70R14 (petrol), 175/60 R15 (diesel)|
|Wheel size and type||14X5.5J Steel (petrol), 15X5.5J Alloy (diesel)|
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The Nissan Sunny is the company’s second Indian made vehicle and forms an important part of the company’s product portfolio. First to arrive was the petrol variant in September 2011 and in less than three months, the company launched the diesel variant keeping in tune with the market demand and rising petrol prices across the globe.
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After the success of Nissan Micra petrol, the Japanese auto manufacturer followed it with the launch of the diesel version of the Micra hatchback, utilizing the popular 1.5-litre dCi diesel from the Renault Pulse.
The Micra always had a lot going for it, from good built quality and Japanese reliability, a fuel-efficient petrol engine (a diesel joined the range soon after) and a fast-expanding dealer network. Despite all the right ingredients, the Micra never found the sales numbers it richly deserved. Now however, with Nissan having addressed the Micra’s one valid criticism – the designed by committee approach was always fraught with pitfalls – can this car stage a fight back?
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