For simple, honest-to-goodness motoring, Nissan’s Micra is a difficult proposition to beat. A popular small car in Europe and Asia, the Micra was tweaked for the Canadian market before being launched in 2014 as the most affordable new car on the market. Two years later, the Nissan’s smallest hatchback continues to be a strong seller.
The Micra carries over into 2016 without any changes, other than the availability of a special Cup Edition to celebrate the success of the single-make racing series. The Cup Edition gets red stripes on its doors, and eight-spoke wheels similar to the ones used on the race cars. Special badging and an interior plaque are also included.
Inside, the Micra offers a simple design with a dashboard similar in nature to that of the Versa Note hatchback with clear, controls. Storage bins and cubbies abound, too. A standard 60/40 split folding seat expands the cargo space to a maximum of 814 L.
While equipment on the base Micra S is relatively sparse – it has crank windows, manual door locks, and no air conditioning – buyers can outfit the Micra with additional gear. The SV gets air conditioning as standard, plus a height-adjustable driver's seat with flip-down armrest. The top-level SR adds 16-inch machine-faced wheels, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, plus upgraded seats. Buyers can option their Micras with one of three Colour Studio packages that add accents such as contrast stripes and colour trim for the rear spoiler, door handles, and tailgate.
Regarding in-car entertainment, the Micra comes standard with a four-speaker AM/FM CD player with aux-in jack. Bluetooth and USB are available on the mid-grade SV, while a display audio system and reverse camera come standard on the SR. You won’t find Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, or Siri Eyes-Free, features that its key rivals offer.
The Micra is powered by a 1.6-litre four-cylinder that produces 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque, which is healthy for a vehicle in the subcompact class and offers significantly more oomph off the line than the Mitsubishi Mirage or Chevrolet Sonic. It’s even got more power than bigger subcompacts like the Toyota Yaris. Fuel economy is only so-so, though; 8.6 L/100 km city and 6.6 L/100 km highway for the five-speed manual, and 8.8 city and 6.6 L/100 km highway for the optional four-speed automatic. The Micra claws back with the lowest cost of ownership in its class and offers the highest residual value according to ALG.
Pricing for the Micra starts at $9,988; adding an automatic transmission bumps the price of up to $13,488, but it also includes air conditioning and cruise control. The range-topping SR sells for $15,988.