Depending on the time of year and which sales and promotion deals are ongoing, Canadians have not one but three different sub-$10,000 cars to choose between - including the Mitsubishi Mirage and the Chevrolet Spark. But when it comes to the outright cheapest, through and through, that title goes to the Nissan Micra which has a starting price of just $9,988.
Sharing its platform with the Versa Note hatchback, the Micra has a shorter overall body length and adorable styling that gives it the look of a European city car. Buyers can add contrast colour exterior trim - mirror caps, door handle covers, wheel trim - with Colour Studio accessories for extra pizzaz.
With the exception of the top-of-the-line SR trim level, which sports glossy black trim and metal-accented vents, the Micra's interior styling is very basic, finished almost exclusively in hard but durable plastics. A telescoping steering column isn't available, and height-adjustable front seats only appear on the mid-grade SV trim level. One benefit of its larger frame is its ability to seat five. Cargo space is pretty decent too, especially once the 60/40 split rear seats have been folded.
A tight 4.6-metre turning circle is smaller than just about anything this side of a Smart ForTwo, making it incredibly easy to navigate city traffic and parking lots.
Where the Micra really sets itself apart from the competition is in the power department. No, the 109-horsepower 1.6-litre four-cylinder won't set your hair alight, but the Micra will beat both the Spark and Mirage off the line. This is the same engine found in the Versa Note, which is both larger and heavier than the Micra. Buyers can choose between a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. With its bigger engine, the Micra does consume more fuel than its rivals, as well as the Versa Note - city consumption is between 8.7-8.9 L/100 km, while both gearboxes are rated at 6.8 L/100 km on the highway. Regardless, the Micra is still a veritable fuel sipper.
The Micra is available in three trim levels: S, SV, and SR.
The S comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels with wheel covers, a trip computer, intermittent rear wiper, a plethora of cupholders, 60/40 split folding rear seats, floor mats, and a two-speaker AM/FM/CD player with aux-in jack. It also comes standard with manual door locks, wind-up windows, manual mirrors, and no air conditioning for good measure. It's more than a $3,000 step up to the S with Automatic, but it is bundled with air conditioning and cruise control.
The SV keeps the steel wheels, but adds body-coloured door handles, power heated mirrors, air conditioning, power door locks with keyless entry, power windows, a height-adjustable driver's seat, passenger grip handle, chromed interior door handles, and upgraded cloth trim. The SV also gets Bluetooth and a pair of extra speakers.
The SR adds a tiny 4.3-inch colour display audio system with reverse camera and USB port, sport cloth upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a rear spoiler, fog lights, snazzy side skirts, and 16-inch alloy wheels.
Unlike the Spark or Mirage, the Micra is not available with heated seats, proximity key, or Apple CarPlay / Android Auto.
Pricing for the 2017 Nissan Micra starts at $9,988 and tops out at $17,138 for the fully loaded SR Automatic.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed