By BRENWIN NAIDU
IT makes a whole lot of sense to buy a smaller car if you commute into the city on a daily basis. With those constant traffic jams ensuring that you’ll be moving very slowly most of the time, it would be a criminal waste of fuel to be tackling the congestion in something that guzzles the precious juice faster than you can put it in.
Moving in and around the tight streets and parking spaces would also be considerably easier in a car with compact dimensions. My personal chariot for the city is a Renault Modus. It’s a small car, with a small engine, and very big windows – which makes it easy to see out of, helping to safely execute tricky parking moves.
There are many choices out there for one seeking a small car ideal to city conditions – almost every manufacturer offers one in their stable. You could opt for Peugeot’s 107, Citroen’s C1 or the Toyota Aygo. There’s also the Spark, from Chevrolet, the Twingo from Renault and adding some Italian style to the party, is the Fiat 500. I am particularly enamoured by the new Kia Picanto – although I’m yet to drive one, it certainly looks like a striking little car.
Nissan is touting their Micra as a vehicle that’s in sync with the city. Aesthetically, one notices some maturity from the previous generation to the current. The old one was quirky, with a rounded shape – and traits like egg-shaped lights at the front, giving it a bit of a surprised expression. This one seems a tad grown-up, but you can still tell that’s it’s a Nissan Micra.
The Micra is significant for Nissan, because it’s the first model to make use of the automaker’s new “V-Platform”. According to the press release, “The key elements of the V-Platform are strength without adding unnecessary weight”. With the Micra, one can choose between a 1.2-litre petrol engine, a 1.5-litre diesel engine or a 1.5-litre petrol engine. The 1.2-litre engine has a power output of 56-kilowatts and 104 Newton-metres of torque. The 1.5-litre petrol version produces 73-kilowatts and 138 Newton-metres of torque. And finally, the diesel powerplant has an output of 47-kilowatts and 160 Newton-metres of torque.
Things in the Micra range start off with the Visia and Visia+ and they move up to the Acenta, then the Tekna – which is at the top of the chain. With the Visia, you’ll get steel wheels, black side mirrors and door handles – so it’s a bit less in terms of visual appeal. With the top-of-the-range Tekna, though, one gets goodies like 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lamps, curtain airbags, automatic aircon system, a front armrest , leather-covered steering wheel and gearshift knob as well as Bluetooth capability.
The addition of the Nissan Micra to the market means that those on the hunt for a city car have one more option to consider.