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Car Review: Nissan Micra Active

A bubbly budget buy…

The Nissan Micra has been a familiar vehicle among South African car buyers for over ten years. While a new generation is expected to launch in SA next year (March 2018), Nissan has in the meantime added a new derivative to its existing Micra range.

Yesterday, (20 September 2017) I attended the launch of the Nissan Micra Active at Gold Reef City to test Nissan’s highly anticipated new derivative.

New enhancements have been made to this bubbly little hatchback to give it a more sporty exterior as well as higher levels of interior specification. Managing Director of Marketing and Sales, Xavier Gobille, says that Nissan believes that these enhancements will set new standards in the Lower B Hatchback segment and at a price of R159 900, I think consumers will definitely get their money’s worth, considering all that it has to offer…

The Micra Active has only one model derivative, the Visia 1,2-litre petrol engine, delivering 56 kW of power and 104 N.m of torque. It is mated to a manual transmission. It’s punchy and zippy to drive and a real treat when it comes to negotiating tricky parking spaces. For the first half of the launch, Nissan laid out a fun little obstacle course, focusing on parallel parking and ally-docking. We got pretty familiar with the Micra Active’s practical features including its tight turning radius that makes it even more city-friendly.

On the outside, the Micra Active gets an updated bonnet, front fenders and headlamps. The new grille hosts the circular badge in a chrome-extended V-shaped motif. Front and rear bumpers also have a refreshed, modern look.

Inside, Nissan’s goal was to give Active drivers more sporty aesthetics, while at the same time maintaining its reputation as a compact vehicle with a ‘spacious and versatile interior’. The fabric upholstery, which features a new design, is an improvement on the previous generation’s. The centre cluster and instrument panel have been redesigned to complement the updated interior, and a range of new features add to the appeal of the Micra Active. These features include manual air-conditioning, front power windows, Bluetooth with audio streaming capability, a 12V power socket, steering wheel adjustment and foldable rear seats.

When it comes to budget cars, safety is always something to pay special attention to. I was pleased to learn that the Micra Active offers ABS, EBD and Brake Assist, driver AND passenger airbags, ISOfix child seat anchorage points in the second row, rear headrests, rear fog lights, a high mounted stop light, remote central locking, speed sensitive auto door lock and an immobiliser. That’s a substantial amount of safety features at a competitive price!

Our driving experience with the Micra Active wasn’t limited to the parking lot. After our parking practice session, we headed out from Gold Reef City for a drive through Soweto. The Micra Active seems happiest in the 60 km zone, which is perfect for city driving. Nissan says that its 1,2-litre three-cylinder engine claims 5,2-litres/100 km and that top speed marks at 166 km/h.

Pricing

As I mentioned earlier, the Nissan Micra Active is priced at R159 900. It comes with a 3-year / 90 000 km service plan and a 6-year 150 000 km warranty. But there’s some pretty exciting news for those looking to buy one before year-end…
If you buy a Micra Active now, you’ll get a touch-screen navigation and infotainment system, which has been fitted as an added accessory at no additional cost to you! But you need to act fast, as this special offer is only available during its launch period, which Nissan says could be between one to three months. The system comes with TomTom mapping with live traffic, Bluetooth hands-free music streaming, USB input, a built-in music hard drive and is compatible with all iPhone/iPod models.

A Trendsetter Pack can be added as an optional extra for R8500 and adds smoky black alloy wheels, a chrome exhaust finish, a rear spoiler and mud guards.

Source: Nissan South Africa

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