Nissan Micra 1.2 CVT Test Drive
13th May 2010 7:00 am
We drive the soon to be launched Nissan Micra 1.2 CVT
The Soon to be launched Micra from Nissan will be manufactured simultaneously in many countries such as Thailand, India, China and Mexico. This model will be sold in 160 countries globally including the Indian Market. The Micra is based on Nissan’s new V (‘Versatility’) platform, which will be used as the basis of some more future models in the pipeline.
Fuel Efficiency and low weight are among the strengths of the V-platform and both these crucial factors are intrinsically linked. The key here is an all new light weight and fuel efficient three cylinder 1.2 litre engine which is tuned for drivability and low end torque to suit the Micra’s urban focus. The Micra will also get a Renault sourced1.5 litre, 65bhp turbo-diesel which also powers the Logan.
Also, a newly engineered continuously Variable Transmission, which it says is not only notably co mpact, but also has the widest spread of ratios of any CVT, manual transmission variants will also be offered for Indian Market.
The CVT is smooth shifting and unobtrusive, but in typical CVT fashion it drones in a most unappealing way when under hard acceleration. The engine is fine for keeping up with brisk traffic, but one needs to rev the motor hard to accelerate.
Micra does feel light, nippy, refined and extremely easy to manoeuvre in tight spaces. The Micra’s friendly bubble styling inside and is cheerful. A cleverly conceived engineering concept by Nissan, which has seen the car’s individual parts count reduced by 18 per cent. Despite its lightness, it does feel very well screwed together and tightly constructed.
Cabin is impressively spacious for the front passengers, especially for shoulder room. Under normal driving conditions, it’s refined and the three-cylinder engine is impressively smooth thanks to the clever counterweight fitted to the crank pulley.
The tight 4.5m turning circle of Micra makes placing the car in tight situations very easy. The steering is light, but the driver can still sense the position of the front wheels.
According to Nissan, the Micra will be fine-tuned as per different market demands. The V- Platform has been primarily engineered for comfort on the demanding roads especially in emerging markets such as India. Nissan’s Micra will be squarely aimed against the segment leader Maruti Swift so we can expect a price south of Rs 4 lakh for the base version. This is going to be a tough fight.
Test conducted Autocar UK