ROADTEST FACT FILE
Model...Acenta 1.2 petrol CVT (auto)
Mpg (comb cycle...52.3mpg
Loaned by Staddlestones Nissan, Ryde
"SURPRISINGLY spacious" was the unanimous first impression of a series of friends and family members invited to comment on the new, fourth-generation Micra.
I was surprised too — by how enjoyable this compact city car was to drive.
From the moment I sat in the pleasantly firm driving seat, gripped the leather steering wheel, engaged drive mode and pulled off, I had to admit this little car was great to drive. Easy, comfortable but not boring.
The first outing was Newport to Yarmouth, accompanied by a tall friend with a weakness for large luxury cars.
I was curious what he would make of a vehicle that — from the outside at least — is really not very big at all. And mildly astonished when he immediately enthused about the amount of interior space. He then recalled an even taller friend who had owned a previous generation Micra, driving with his knees pressed to his ears.
The twists and turns of the Forest Road showed off the Micra’s secure road-holding, effortless power steering and overall smooth ride.
The second outing was to Ventnor Botanic Garden, with a female friend, who helped assess the Micra’s appearance, both inside and out.
We pronounced the exterior styling cute but unremarkable. We liked the dashboard, with Nissan Connect music and Bluetooth system. The bagel-shaped climate control unit and smart, matte black finish got the nod, too.
From the botanic garden, we headed to Ventnor’s Bath Road, to test the power and transmission. The Micra barely seemed to notice the 1:5 gradient. The auto transmission was very responsive and the 1.2-litre petrol engine had plenty of power.
With all these attributes, I will not be the least surprised if the new Micra becomes a favourite with Island drivers.