Words by Gugu Masuku

We recently attended the launch of the Nissan Micra, in the picturesque city of Cape Town.

Now this may be a little confusing for some because Nissan launched a new Micra towards the end of 2017. Well, this is different. What was launched in September last year was the Micra Active, an updated version of the already existing Micra, just given a slight name change to make room for what has now been introduced to us as the all-new Nissan Micra.

The New Micra bares no resemblance to its stablemate the Micra Active

These two versions will be sold side-by-side, with the more recent of the duo coming into the market as an upper B segment vehicle. This means it goes head-to-head with the likes of the recently launched Polo and Ford Fiesta, the Micra though, comes in as the more affordable of the three (only by a margin at R233 500 for their lower spec Visia).

At a glance the new vehicle bares no resemblance to its stablemate the Micra Active – this is something completely different. It strikes a very confident pose with its urban outfit and edgy design, and boldly holds its own against its rivals in the aesthetics department. The launch colour (Energy Orange) does the most in bringing out the Micra’s best side, and in all honesty, it was a favourite amongst journalists.

The interior quality and layout left a good and lasting impression. We had no expectations going in since it adopts the Micra name – not to say the Micra Active is a poorly built vehicle, but it is an entry-level car.

You’re pleasantly surprised once inside by the two-tone colour scheme and overall quality of the materials used. The seats may not be wrapped in leather but the substitute material worked just fine!

The 0.9 motor was very satisfactory for what it is and offered no resistance to being told what to do.

Nissan is moving in the right direction by including some useful kit as standard, beginning with their entry grade Visia.

You get automatic headlights with daytime running lights, cruise control and Bluetooth/MP3 – right off the bat! Upgrade to the top spec and they’ll throw in that Energy Orange two-tone interior, a 7-inch  touch-screen with Apple CarPlay and the usual Bluetooth and USB connectivity found in all the other grades.

A standard six airbags plus ISOFIX tethers are included across the model range because – well safety!

Although the 0.9 motor was very satisfactory for what it is and offered no resistance to being told what to do – we do expect the power-plant range to be extended in the near future, and Nissan plans on doing just that! More variants on offer in 2019 starting with a confirmed 1.0.