Currently, the smallest petrol-powered Nissan model sold in Malaysia is the Nissan Almera. With the unveiling of the all-new Nissan Micra supermini at the Paris Motor Show, we think Edaran Tan Chong Motor (ETCM) should contemplate expanding the product portfolio.
Known as the Nissan March in some markets, this fifth-generation supermini is designed primarily for Europeans. Built in Nissan’s Sunderland Plant, this will be another attempt for Nissan to fight in the ruthless supermini market in Europe. Competition is fierce as Nissan’s alliance partner, Renault, has a popular Clio already on sale. Not forgetting, its Japanese rivals such as the Toyota Yaris and Suzuki Swift will also pose a threat as well.
The Micra’s design falls in line with Nissan’s current design language with a new and distinctive V-motion grille. It also receives sharper headlights and arrow shaped tail lamps. As is the trend lately, the rear door handles are hidden within the C-pillars. It’s also relatively roomy for a B-Segment; with a 2,525mm wheelbase, Nissan claims it’s among the best in class.
Two powertrain options are being offered – a 1.5-litre Renault-sourced diesel and 0.9-litre turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine. Both engines generate 90 hp. Nissan will add a non-turbo three potter that outputs 73 hp as the entry-level variant.
Fitted to the Micra is the Nissan Intelligent Driving. The system consists of Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian recognition, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist and Blind Spot Warning. Without a doubt, this new Micra has the makings of a 5-Star Euro NCAP achiever.
This supermini will also share features from the X-Trail, such as the Active Ride Control and Active Trace Control. The former is to optimise ride comfort while the latter is to ensure that the car stays glued to the roads, especially when taking a corner, thereby reducing understeer.
The Nissan Micra is scheduled to go on sale in Europe by 2017, but whether or not it will reach Malaysia is another question altogether. According to our friends at CarList.my, ETCM won’t be introducing new Nissan models until 2018. With the Honda Jazz and Mazda2 flying off the shelves here, it’ll be a wasted opportunity if Nissan misses this bandwagon.