Updated Nissan Micra gets fresh look, more tech and 'New' nameWed, 11 Sep 2013 18:40:00 EST
A few months ago, Nissan gave the Micra (which is not for US consumption) a substantial styling update that included new front and rear fascias, and stuffed more technology into the interior, such as USB ports and auxiliary inputs for audio and a new media touchscreen. Though it's still based on the same fourth-generation architecture, Nissan now calls it the New Micra.
Overall the New Micra - also known as March in some markets - looks similar to but more taut than the vehicle that launched in late 2010, thanks to more angular headlights, a new bumper, a sculpted hood and a revised grille with the Nissan logo sitting inside a chrome V, which establishes a stronger link to Nissan's "corporate look." The rear end receives less-drastic changes, such as a new bumper, LED taillamps and a new infill panel at the bottom of the tailgate.
For all of the details on Nissan's five-door city car, take a look at the press release below, and be sure to check out our live gallery from Frankfurt.
NEW LOOK AND MORE TECHNOLOGY FOR NEW MICRA
Substantial styling and quality improvements mean changes to New Micra go deeper than a mere makeover
Bold new look for New Micra
Completely new exterior styling front and rear
High quality interior
Innovative technical features including NissanConnect
Extensive personalisation options
Third best selling Nissan model in Europe
ROLLE, Switzerland (04 June, 2013) - Micra, one of the most significant models in Nissan's history and the bedrock on which the company's current success has been built, has undergone a series of improvements and enhancements.
The changes are so wide ranging that they go well beyond what usually constitutes a mid-term facelift. And although the revised model is based on the popular fourth generation 'K13' city car, Nissan is calling it 'New Micra'.
As well as a completely new look front and rear - complete with sheet metal changes - New Micra has been given a substantial interior makeover. There is new technology, a new centre console, new trim, and new finishing touches plus audio USB and Aux-in slots.
Depending on the version there's an all-new communication centre with a new radio and the latest state-of-the-art touchscreen navigation system now with a larger screen. On the exterior, additions include two bold new colours and new 16-inch and 15-inch alloy wheels.
Nissan has also expanded Micra's choice of personalisation options designed to allow an owner to create their own unique Micra. The changes, allied to the model's acclaimed performance and handling, boost and broaden the appeal of Nissan's smallest car.
At its heart, however, New Micra remains true to the design ethos that shaped the definitive small car when the original Micra was launched, 30 years and more than six million examples ago.
New Micra remains not just fun to drive and, thanks to its compact turning circle, easy to park but is also one of the most advanced small cars on the market.
Amongst its features are its highly efficient direct injection gasoline-supercharged (DIG-S) petrol engine, its innovative, accessible and genuinely helpful Parking Slot Measurement, which helps guide the driver into tight parking spaces, and I-Key which delivers not just keyless entry to the car but also keyless engine start.
With its new look, comprehensive improvements and quality upgrades, New Micra will build on the success of the current Micra, introduced to the European market three years ago. Underlining its importance to the company, it is the third best selling Nissan model in Europe behind Qashqai and Juke.
"New Micra boasts a huge number of significant changes over the current Micra and helps make our B-segment offering arguably the most complete in the industry. Together, New Micra, New Note - which will arrive later this year - and Juke ensure there's a Nissan for everyone in this vital segment of the market. Because each is dramatically different to each other, there's very little overlap between the ranges.
"With three decades of heritage behind it, New Micra is set to continue underpinning the entire Nissan range... it might be small, but we are hugely proud of Micra and all it represents," said Geraldine Ingham, Chief Marketing Manager - Small Cars for Europe.
Changes in detail
Micra, known as March in some countries, is built in four centres globally and sold in 56 countries worldwide. All cars destined for Europe are made in India, with the three other production sites being in Thailand, Mexico and China.
But despite the global reach of the car, many of the changes to New Micra, which is due to reach dealer showrooms across Europe in September, have been made specifically for the European market.
The result is a car that not only looks distinctively European, but also delivers against the demands of the discerning European car buyer who expects the highest levels of performance, handling, quality and technical innovation.
The most obvious changes to the car can be found on the exterior. New Micra's entire 'face' has changed with a new grille re-establishing a stronger link to Nissan's corporate look where the familiar circular badge is 'held' within a chromed extended V-shaped motif.
But it's not just the grille that has changed. In fact, the bonnet, wings, headlamps and front bumper are also all new. And where fitted, the front fog lamps have been given a distinctive new shape & chrome surround. The changes give New Micra a stronger, more assertive and dynamic look.
It's all change at the rear, too, with a new bumper, new LED tail lamps and a new infill panel at the bottom of the tailgate.
The new look is complemented by a new 15-inch alloy wheel design and the introduction of machine-finished 16-inch alloys. Together the styling changes make New Micra appear more purposeful and better 'planted' on the road.
An eye-catching palette includes two new colours: pearl metallic Pacific Blue, a predominantly turquoise shade, and metallic Platinum Sage. These join the eight existing colours.
A number of significant changes can be found inside New Micra, too. The instrument graphics ahead of the driver have been improved for greater clarity, while there's a totally new centre console with restyled air vents.
The interior has been enhanced with the use of gloss black finish on the centre console and a silver look to the gear selector finisher. The door armrests have been textured to give a higher quality appearance and there are new seat and door pad fabrics. Visia and Acenta grades have a durable tricot/tricot mesh woven fabric while top Tekna models have a suede-like fabric with double stitching.
The interior also now benefits from dash-mounted Aux-in and USB slots linked to all audio units while a 12v socket has been added, allowing mobile phones or MP3 players to be recharged on the move with ease.
All but entry-level Visia models benefit from audio equipment that has been better integrated into the centre console with matching gloss and matt black finishers as appropriate.
More significantly, New Micra benefits from the availability of the latest NissanConnect navigation and communication system, which has new features and a bigger 5.8-inch screen (up from 5-inches) with chromed controls.
Upgraded navigation now features eco-routing, which automatically calculates the route likely to use the least fuel. It is supplemented by an eco-scoring table that allows a driver to check how economically he or she has been driving.
The larger colour touchscreen not only means maps and directions are easier to read, but also that album cover art linked to the owner's music library can be displayed.
The new system also incorporates advanced features such as Google Send-To-Car technology, which allows an owner to plan a journey on their PC or tablet at home or in the office and then send the instructions to the car ahead of the journey.
Google's Point of Interest (POI) search-and-access to up-to-date weather forecasts, local fuel prices and flight information are also included. The navigation system now includes a motorway 'exit view' complete with lane guidance to help when leaving highways and the system also displays prevailing speed limits with a driver-set speed warning providing visual and audible alerts when the car hits a certain speed above the limit.
Another innovation is the availability of an advanced parking aid. Thanks to its electric power steering and one of the best turning circles in its class - just 4.65m - New Micra is instantly at home in the city... especially when equipped with Parking Slot Measurement.
PSM lives up to its name by measuring parking slots and alerting the driver via a dashboard read-out as to whether New Micra can be safely parked in the space or not: the system can even be adjusted to account for the driver's skill - amateur, normal or expert.
But perhaps the biggest innovation is under the bonnet where one of the most efficient petrol engines in the world can be found, Nissan's latest three-cylinder 1.2-litre direct injection gasoline supercharged (DIG-S) unit.
The range-topping DIG-S version introduces new technology to ensure the engine is one of the most advanced units in the class. The unit develops 98PS to provide exceptional performance and refinement with diesel economy (4.1 l/100km) and emissions from just 95 g/km. DIG-S engines also feature automatic stop/start when the car is stationary improving fuel economy by around 4 per cent.
All versions of New Micra DIG-S wear Nissan's PURE DRIVE badge, signifying cars that produce emissions of 120g/km or lower - the threshold is being reduced by 10g/km from 130g/km during the course of 2013.
The entry-level 1.2l unit develops 80PS for lively performance and emissions from 115 g/km. New Micra is front-wheel drive with a slick five-speed manual gearbox as standard or optionally the latest generation CVT.
There are three models in New Micra line-up starting with the entry level Visia. Standard equipment includes remote central locking, front power windows, electric power steering, 14-inch wheels and a full complement of safety equipment including driver and front passenger airbags, side airbags and curtain bags, ABS and ESP.
Mid-range Acenta adds chrome accents, body colour door mirrors and handles, 15-inch wheels, roof spoiler, manual air conditioning, driver's armrest, leather covered steering wheel and a CD player with Bluetooth connectivity.
Top Tekna versions add automatic air conditioning, NissanConnect, rear parking sensors, Parking Slot Measurement, 15-inch alloy wheels (16-inch alloys are available as an option), suede-like seat fabric, front fog lamps plus automatic control for the headlamps, wipers and folding door mirrors.
Optional features on Tekna versions also include a panoramic roof and Intelligent Key with start button.
A wide range of personalisation options are also being introduced from Acenta grade, so owners can now specify their preferred colour of wheel centre caps and door mirrors handles on the exterior, while inside they can personalise their gear knob, air-vent, gear stick surround and velour mats to make their car unique to them.
"New Micra benefits from all the attributes of the current K13 model such as strong performance, handling and advanced technology, but with enhanced quality and a dynamic new look. The next chapter of the Micra story has begun," said Helen Perry, Micra Product Manager for Europe.
About Nissan in Europe
Nissan has one of the most comprehensive European presences of any overseas manufacturer, employing more than 14,500 staff across locally-based design, research & development, manufacturing, logistics and sales & marketing operations. Last year Nissan plants in the UK, Spain and Russia produced more than 695,000 vehicles including mini-MPVs, award-winning crossovers, SUVs and commercial vehicles. Nissan now offers 24 diverse and innovative products for sale in Europe today, and is positioned to become the number one Asian brand in Europe.
By Damon Lowney
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