In-depth reviews

Nissan Micra hatchback review

"The Micra has made a welcome return to form, shedding its dowdy image to become a fun, stylish and desirable supermini"

Carbuyer Rating

3.8 out of 5

Owners Rating

2.5 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Racy exterior design
  • Stylish interior
  • Easy to drive

Cons

  • Bumpy ride
  • Not particularly economical
  • Limited engine choices

A decade ago, it was likely that the Micra was Nissan’s best-known model. Now, it’d probably be the Nissan Qashqai SUV, but the often-overlooked Micra is still a decent supermini. It's the car that really established the Japanese carmaker's name in the UK, all thanks to its approachable, simple nature and reputation for reliability. Its easy-going character makes it a popular choice for driving schools, too – a Micra's steering wheel is the first that many motorists ever sat behind.

The latest version, though, excels in an area in which the Micra has always been found wanting – sophistication. After years of soft, friendly design, the latest model is far more attention grabbing, which is necessary to draw buyers away from the SEAT Ibiza, Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo, as well as the Peugeot 208 and Renault Clio.

One of the Micra’s major selling points used to be its low price compared to rivals. Nissan has now discontinued the entry-level Visia - few buyers even considered it anyway - but the Micra now does look more expensive. If you’re keeping a tight rein on your budget, more value-focused models like the Vauxhall Corsa, Hyundai i20, Kia Rio and Skoda Fabia will appeal. Yet, the Micra has a distinctive enough look to tempt buyers of the Peugeot 208 and Toyota Yaris.

More reviews

When embarking on the design of the latest Micra, Nissan started with a completely clean sheet. Out went the rather amorphous, rounded lines of previous models in favour of a sharp, energetic look, with more than a hint of sportiness. The designers have gone to town with details, too – there's a distinctive front grille and striking side-window treatment that ensures the Micra won't be lost in a car park full of other superminis. A floating roof, glass-covered rear pillars and concealed rear door handles put it 'on-trend', too – you could rarely say this about previous Micras.

The Micra's looks really come into their own if you pick a bright colour. There are a number of vibrant hues to choose from, as well as personalisation options, including body decals, to up its individuality. More than ever before, the Micra has a sense of fun, and this illusion isn't shattered when you take the wheel. In fact, it now runs the SEAT Ibiza and Ford Fiesta close for driver appeal, but it hasn't lost sight of its approachable nature, a virtue that inexperienced drivers appreciate.

If there’s one downside of its playful nature, it’s a slightly uncomfortable ride. The suspension is firm in order to keep the Micra on an even keel in corners, and this leads to occupants being jiggled and jostled on uneven roads. It’s never truly uncomfortable, but can’t come close to the unruffled calm you find inside a Volkswagen Polo. It also comes off worse against rivals, such as the Citroen C3, that have been engineered with comfort in mind.

Elsewhere, the Micra’s interior impresses. Nissan expects many buyers to be downsizing from more tech-laden cars in the class above, or even further upmarket, so there’s an impressive roster of standard equipment. This includes a bright, clear seven-inch screen, Siri voice-control via Apple CarPlay, and a powerful Bose stereo system on certain models. While top models in the Micra range look expensive, they are loaded with kit and still undercut many versions of the Ford Fiesta.

With autonomous emergency braking, lane-keeping assistance and auto-dipping headlights standard across the range, the Micra was awarded the full five stars in Euro NCAP crash testing. The Micra came an impressive 15th overall out of the top 75 models in our 2018 Driver Power satisfaction survey, with reliability rated as above average. However, in 2019 it dropped to 63rd out of 100 cars, and it didn't appear in our most recent results.

The latest Micra really is something of a breakthrough. Not only can it proudly compete with the best cars in the supermini class, but its good looks and engaging manners mean it’s genuinely desirable in its own right. It marks a creditable return to form for one of the most famous names in the business.

Recommended

MINI Electric hatchback review
MINI Electric
MINI Electric hatchback
24 May 2022

MINI Electric hatchback review

Peugeot 208 hatchback review
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Peugeot 208
17 May 2022

Peugeot 208 hatchback review

Skoda release sketches for 2025 electric supermini
2025 Skoda EV supermini sketch
Skoda
10 May 2022

Skoda release sketches for 2025 electric supermini

Audi A1 hatchback review
Audi A1 hatchback
Audi A1
9 May 2022

Audi A1 hatchback review

Most Popular

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?
Police car - open boot
Tips and advice
19 May 2022

Speed awareness course: how much does it cost, how long does it take and how do you do one online?

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?
Mazda3s at Bristol port
Car buying
17 May 2022

New car delivery times: how long will you have to wait?

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers
Fiat 500 deals
Deals
20 May 2022

Best new car deals 2022: this week’s top car offers

More on Micra

2024 Electric Nissan Micra to cost under £20,000
Hero
Nissan Micra
11 Feb 2022

2024 Electric Nissan Micra to cost under £20,000

The replacement for the Micra supermini will mix retro and futuristic with an electric powertrain and funky styling
Top 10 best used small cars 2022
Ford Fiesta Mk7
Best cars
14 Jan 2022

Top 10 best used small cars 2022

Looking for a small, sensible secondhand buy? We name 10 of the best small used cars
2020 Nissan Micra gets new engine and reduced price
Nissan Micra
17 Nov 2020

2020 Nissan Micra gets new engine and reduced price

The updated Ford Fiesta rival has more equipment and costs £500 less
Best insurance group 1 cars
Volkswagen Polo Best Group 1 Insurance
Best cars
12 Oct 2020

Best insurance group 1 cars

Car insurance can be one of the most costly motoring bills, but you can reduce it by choosing an insurance group one car.
Nissan N-Tec models arrive with styling and tech upgrades
Nissan Qashqai, Nissan Micra and Nissan X-Trail editions
Nissan Qashqai SUV
7 Jan 2020

Nissan N-Tec models arrive with styling and tech upgrades

Exclusive N-Tec versions of the Nissan Qashqai, X-Trail and Micra have been revealed
2019 Nissan Micra revealed with new engines and a sporty trim level
Nissan Micra hatchback
28 Jan 2019

2019 Nissan Micra revealed with new engines and a sporty trim level

Nissan Micra facelift brings Apple CarPlay, improved engines and an automatic gearbox
Mitsubishi supermini set to rival Ford Fiesta
Mitsubishi Mirage
8 Nov 2017

Mitsubishi supermini set to rival Ford Fiesta

Mitsubishi is set to capitalise on its Renault-Nissan alliance with a Clio-based supermini
Skoda Kodiaq tops latest Euro NCAP crash test results
Skoda Kodiaq SUV
31 May 2017

Skoda Kodiaq tops latest Euro NCAP crash test results

The Skoda Kodiaq and MINI Countryman Euro NCAP crash-test results are in, along with the Nissan Micra and Suzuki Swift
New Nissan Micra: prices, specs & release date
The all-new Nissan Micra has radically sharper styling and should be far better to drive too
Nissan Micra
1 Dec 2016

New Nissan Micra: prices, specs & release date

Prices confirmed for high-tech, charismatic new Nissan Micra supermini
Nissan Micra hatchback (2010-2016)
Nissan Micra hatchback
23 Mar 2016

Nissan Micra hatchback (2010-2016)

“The Nissan Micra is outclassed by most rivals, but its low price, spacious interior and easy driving experience still appeal.”
Nissan Micra Limited Edition on sale now
Nissan Micra hatchback
31 Jan 2014

Nissan Micra Limited Edition on sale now

Limited run Nissan Micra gets colour-coded paint and a cheaper price tag
New Datsun GO to rival Dacia Sandero
Datsun GO hatchback 2013 front quarter static
Nissan Micra hatchback
16 Jul 2013

New Datsun GO to rival Dacia Sandero

The Datsun GO has been revealed and will go on sale in India early next year
Car deal of the week: Nissan Micra
Nissan Micra hatchback
28 Jun 2013

Car deal of the week: Nissan Micra

You can now get up to £1,755 off the price of a new Nissan Micra supermini
Nissan Note 2013 release date and price revealed
News
24 Jun 2013

Nissan Note 2013 release date and price revealed

The new Nissan Note is available to order now, and prices start from £11,900
New Nissan Micra 2013 price revealed
Nissan Micra hatchback 2013 front quarter cornering
Nissan Micra hatchback
24 Jun 2013

New Nissan Micra 2013 price revealed

The new Nissan Micra will cost from £9,950 when it goes on sale in September
Nissan Micra recall involves 130,000 UK cars
Nissan Micra hatchback
23 May 2013

Nissan Micra recall involves 130,000 UK cars

Nissan recalls more than 800,000 cars worldwide for a steering fault on Micra and Cube

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
23 Mar 2022

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Electric car charging station
Tips and advice
5 Nov 2021

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?
PCP vs HP
Car buying
17 May 2022

PCP vs HP – which type of car finance is right for you?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
23 Jul 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Top 10 best car interiors 2022
Peugeot 208 hatchback
Best cars
25 Jun 2021

Top 10 best car interiors 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022
Ioniq 5
Best cars
25 Apr 2022

Top 10 best electric cars 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022
Nissan Leaf front
Best cars
3 May 2022

Top 10 best cheap-to-run cars 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022
Audi RS 3 driving - front view
Hot hatches
3 Feb 2022

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks 2022