The Micra's doors close with a reassuring thud so once you're inside the car, you get a sense of being in the lap of safety. The top-end Micra (that costs a little over 6 lakh rupees in Chennai) comes with keyless entry. As long as you have the key fob in your pocket, you have complete access to every control.
Buckle up and press the "Start-Stop" button and you're ready to go. The seat height is just about right, the overall visibility is good and the large wing mirrors are a good addition.
For a 3-cylinder engine, the refinement level is good. There is not much power low down. Beyond 2,000 RPM the Micra is brisk and reacts well to throttle response. The engine gets a little noisy when you rev it hard and understandably. The 5-speed gearbox has well-spaced out gears, sometimes you get a click while shifting gears which was sole sore point of the powertrain.
The steering is the best bit in this car. Inside the city, it's at its best. Light and agile, it makes the Micra a delight to drive through congestion and take tight U-turns. The brakes on the other hand is a bit of a let down. It was soft and spongy and took time getting used to. Nissan should think about making the brakes feel a bit more direct.
The car's suspension is tuned well to suit Indian conditions. At normal speeds, bumps are soaked up with no trouble at all. You will have trouble negotiating tall speed bumps and giant potholes. The car's underbody could easily scrape the road, and taking it a little easy over surface disruptions helps matters.
The Micra's front seats are comfortable, but at the back, things are not very happening. There's very little leg room or thigh support. If there are 6-footers in front, you can only fit in short people or kids. The boot space is adequate for a car of this size.
Things I like in the Micra?
1) I like its cheerful and curvy looks, it's very different compared to a Chevy, Maruti, Tata or Hyundai. It has an identity of its own, it's not very aggressive or muscular.
2) The driver's seat is very comfortable and the steering wheel setting makes this the easiest car to drive inside the city
3) The interiors are well put together and practical as well.
4) The controls on the dashboard aren't too many and learning them takes little time. The Micra's a user-friendly car
5) The start-stop button, keyless entry and standard driver airbag are awesome features, some found on cars many segments higher.
Things I like less in the Micra?
1) I don't like the step-motherly treatment to its rear seats. There isn't much comfort at the back for a tall person like me.
2) The climate control worked well but it took a little longer to cool the cabin compared to most other cars in this segment.
3) The gearbox has a false click while shifting and that sometimes is annoying.
Verdict - The Micra will help Nissan gain visibility in India. The car’s able to cope very well with stop-and-go traffic, potholes, and speed breakers. It is suited for the occasional highway trip with powerful lamps, decent road grip and formidable boot space.