The owner of a new Nissan Micra will often have to explain that he drives a Micra. While that car does its best to be seen. But you saw every nook and cranny more often. The design is an exuberant bunch of other people’s feathers. The huge arch over the front wheel arches; see Mazda and Hyundai. Seat once went into the ship with those seasick waveforms. It thought to create a style, but came too soon; the Seat citizen at the time just thought it was crazy enough.
Seen more often, the black molding that extends over the C-pillar as an extension of the pointed rear side window? Opel Astra, the Toyota Aygo. The taillights are taken from the Nissan Juke, but those weird dripping offshoots – as if they were melted in a fire – are also seen on the competition. Ford Focus, Peugeot 308.
So you don’t see him, because you saw him before. I suspect that this paradoxical quality was consciously given to him by his manufacturer. Stylized exaggeration is pre-eminently the weapon of brands that struggle with the image. The target audience: ordinary people who could count on blindly when Nissans Sunny on First were called.
The point is: you can no longer navigate a country with ordinary people. They still go to the office well. But they get tattoos and piercings, cry on television about pent-up soul pains, they want to get out of the dungeons of their anonymity – and always just not enough to break the rut. That individuality half unleashed and half restrained, it must be nurtured; with daring, a touch of danger, but dosed. Their little car has to be obtuse and yet remain neat. It should index camouflaged readiness to adapt.
That has worked out wonderfully. Through the exuberant surface you see a sweet creature of habit. At the same time, it’s modern enough to make Nissan’s CEO exclaim with joy: great, we’re back on track.
Can’t miss. They are for sale from 15,000 euros, they have three-cylinder petrol engines and the unsurpassed small diesel from concern partner Renault. They have a neat screen for the navigation, the apps, the chic grown-up things; active safety systems, LED lights, ‘ergonomic anti-fatigue seats’ and bold color combinations. The furniture of my test car has been battered with Pack Energy Orange, a combination of black and orange fabric and orange leather on the dashboard. The Bose Personal Audio System has two of the six speakers located close to the ear in the driver’s seat headrest, which, by the way, don’t need the music to make itself heard; the Micra is pretty quiet, it’s mainly a gimmick. Anyway; It’s not important that experts think it’s daring, it’s important that the rider feels that he counts.
It surprises on one point: with its consumption. With the same three-cylinder turbo engine as the Renault Clio, which I did not find particularly economical with 1 in 16, the Micra scores an average of 1 in 21 on long journeys. The Nissan is just under 50 kilos lighter, but that difference can never yield such a consumption gain , and the Clio’s better aerodynamics should make up for the drawback. Be that as it may, he has one of his main selling points. A Nissan must be economical. If, moreover, even my test car loaded with options does not cost 22,000 euros, the argument is won.
It is unbelievable what you get for such a civilized amount. I can play Spotify files via the bluetooth connection on the sound system that is not bad at all. I can make hands-free calls. I have air conditioning with temperature control and a fast navigation system. Apart from appearance, I don’t miss anything and I can get a tattoo from the profit.
The best thing about the Micra is the illuminated bottom of the gear lever storage compartment, where you deposit the key that you no longer have to put in an ignition lock – the Micra has a start button. It’s a grid of dots of light that make small things visible, like an illuminated dance floor once illuminated discogoers in the dance houses where Nissan teenagers were delivered with a Sunny in the 1980s. It is a find to make very happy.