Like "everybody" else, Micra wanted to "grow up". Thirty five years after the launch of its first generation, Nissan answered the wish of its B-segment (subcompact) model, boosting its completely new 5th generation Micra in size and technology, while downsizing drivetrains for better efficiency.
Unveiled at the 2016 Paris Motor Show (1-16 Oct.), as it is mainly targeted for Europe where deliveries are expected from spring 2017, the 5th Micra (the 1st generation was launched in 1982) is announced as lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, with more interior space (no official specifications are announced yet).
Built in France at the Renault plant in Flins, on the common CMF architecture with the Clio (IV) sister within the Renault-Nissan alliance, unofficial sources expect length to grow from 3.83m in the current Micra (also known as the Nissan March in some markets) to around 4m in the Micra Gen5, wheelbase from 2.45m to over 2.5m, width from 1.67m to around 1.7m, which means larger cabin space. Height should drop from 1.53m to some 1.4m.
New Micra adopts Nissan’s latest styling details such as the V-motion grille, the rear door handles hidden in the C-pillars, the floating roof with extended roofline and spoiler, enhancing both aerodynamic performance (Cd of 0.29) and aesthetics.
Nissan promises up to 125 different exterior / interior personalization variations, including 10 vivid exterior colours.
Inside, the lower driving position comes with greater seat adjustment and a fully adjustable steering wheel, while the gliding-wing shaped dashboard conveys a spacious feel.
A 7-inch full colour central display gives access to the audio system, satellite navigation, mobile phone, downloadable apps and Siri voice control via Apple CarPlay.
The line-up will offer advanced safety features across all grades (standard equipment and options depend on versions and markets), such as Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist and Blind Spot Warning.
Nissan indicates that as an integral part of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, these safety features are the "building blocks for Autonomous Driving". This usually means "more to come on this subject".
Optimized for the driver, an all-new six-speaker Bose Personal sound system will be available with two Bose UltraNearfield speakers and Bose PersonalSpace Virtual Audio Technology built into the driver seat headrest. With this system, new Bose Super65 speakers are fitted in each of the front doors with tweeters in each A-pillar.
On the chassis side, the new Micra is available with Active Ride Control (comfort), Active Trace Control (sharper handling) and a new brushless electric power steering system (brushless EPAS systems operate independently of the engine, providing steering assistance even when the engine is not running).
At launch, the new Micra will be available with a turbocharged 0.9-litre three-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel, both developing 90hp. A naturally aspirated 73hp 1.0-litre petrol engine will follow later.
Additional details with standard and options lists will be available nearer to market launch from March 2017.