It’s never too late to learn Micra – in all its forms.
For a car that isn’t really in the business of setting people’s hearts aflutter, the Nissan Micra does garner a decent wordcount upon our pages. Now of course we can rationalise this on the basis that DTW is (perhaps to a fault), undogmatic in its judgements. [This, I accept, is a matter of debate]
But nonetheless, it’s indisputable that the entry-level Nissan is, in pretty much all of its iterations, a thoroughly decent and fit for purpose compact motor vehicle, if not one you might necessarily choose for the sheer love of the open road. But to condemn the Micra on this basis (especially these days), is to ignore the fact that it sits well within the class norms in just about any metric one cares to fling its way – after all, Nissan is far too astute a business to offer anything less.
Having said that, the Japanese carmaker in its wisdom elected to take an admittedly cost-effective, if commercially unsuccessful route to market with the previous generation K13 generation model, a car which elicited little but derision from most critics, despite its essential competence.
The current K14 iteration arrived to market in 2016, and while its predecessor was a repurposed ‘developing markets’ offering, the current model has reverted to a level of perceived sophistication which ensures its position smack in the heartland of the Euro B-segment. Built at Renault’s Flins-sur-Seine production plant, the K14 is to all intents and purposes a reskin of the outgoing Renault Clio, a matter which is made clear when one views both models in close proximity – (as I did by chance earlier this week).
Both cars are characterised by design themes which major upon varying degrees of expression – Renault’s being softer, more organic, relying upon the viewer’s perception to underline its design sophistication. On the other hand the Nissan appears more geometric, more strident in its graphical message to the punter.
‘It may say Micra on the boot, but I’m so much more than that’, the Nissan appears to suggest. While its predecessor seemed a little self effacing, perhaps even a little staid, the current iteration comes across as pushy, a little too much the attention seeker.
Perhaps I’m nit-picking here. It’s a thoroughly competent piece of work, if maybe a little too design-by-numbers for its own good. But the big problem as I see with the Micra is now that it’s anything but. Having expanded out of all recognition, not to mention adopted an entirely different, more assertive persona, the Nissan, perhaps more so than any of its B-segment rivals has conclusively outgrown its name.