Mini Micra offers maxi reliability
The fourth generation of the Nissan Micra has arrives and, although South Africans got to see only two of them, it seems to have crept into their hearts.
It is a worthy rival for cars such as the Toyota Yaris and VW's popular Polo.
I had the pleasure of spending quality time with the 1.2-litre version and, having had a short fling with the bigger, and better, 1.5-litre engine, I must confess I longed for that little bit of the extra oomph.
However, some kind of fondness grew between us - the Micra proved that it is indeed a loyal and reliable friend you can count on when you find yourself in a sticky situation - it will hold your hand throughout your journey.
When you get a Micra, you can be this will be a long-term relationship.
With years of proven performance, and a good name behind it, this little cutie will never disappoint you.
The Micra was first introduced to the world in 1982, at the time Nissan was rebranding after Datsun - and that brought an air of freshness to this Japanese brand.
In 1992, the next generation was born, but it was only in 2002 that we got introduced to the third generation Micra.
Ours being a big market for the AB segment, it didn't take long for the Nissan Micra to find a home in many driveways. The peculiar design of this little car got people talking, and there were those who felt it looked too much like the new VW Beetle.
The new Micra also seems to be flying off the shelves - as it were - and this is not by chance because, overall, it is a good car.
In between driving around, shopping, socialising, picking up siblings, taking impromptu road-trips and working, I put this little vehicle through all the tests it could possibly face from a city slicker - and the Micra passed most of those with flying colours.
It is just about the ultimate city car, and the horrors of learning how to parallel park for your license can finally be put to rest this le petit car seems to fit in everywhere.
Do not be fooled by its size. It has quite enough space inside. It is 2.4m long, 1.6m wide and 1.5m high, so it is quite compact, but the back seats can fold down to provide more space.
Isn't it great that the whole range comes standard with ABS, EBD power steering and airbags for both driver and passenger?
Inevitably, for serious car enthusiasts, the Micra will be a bit of a bore, because of its no-nonsense simplicity.
The Micra doesn't make use of various gimmicks to try and make it cool. It just promises reliability at all times.
Yes, I agree it turns out to be bland and a bit docile and, aesthetically speaking, it is not very fetching.
So it might not be a love-at- first-sight relationship, but trust me, it will grow on you.
The 1.2 petrol Micra starts at R108400 with the 1.5-litre petrol version coming in at R147000. A 60000km service plan is optional at the cost of about R5000.