Nissan Micra notches up six million global sales

June 23rd, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Nissan has just announced that global sales of its Micra/March has surpassed six million units.

The Micra has been around for many years now with the first-generation going on sale back in 1982. It quickly became known for its easy to drive nature and affordability. The second-generation was released in 1992 and used some of the latest tech for the time like a CVT transmission. The third-generation model, launched in 2002, featured the Intelligent Key for the first time in a Nissan model. The fourth-generation model got its release last year and achieves a high level of fuel economy through Nissan’s Idling Stop system and the next-generation Xtronic CVT box.

The latest Micra has proved a hit in emerging car markets due to its low price tag and reliability. It went on sale in Thailand in March 2010 and was then expanded to countries where it had not been available before, such as India and China. Continue reading “Nissan Micra notches up six million global sales” »

Nissan Micra Ti 2011 Review

April 29th, 2011 by Darren Cottingham

Chihuahuas are considered cute, even laughably so, right up till the moment they bite you. Once those pin-like teeth are nibbling on your leg, there is no doubt left in your mind that however harmless the Chihuahua looks it’s still an animal. What Chihuahuas are to the dog kingdom the Nissan Micra is the same for the automotive world, it’s compact, it’s cute but it still has the most of the same abilities and bite as any other car. The Micra story began back in 1982 when a boxy first-generation model was built to battle the Honda City. It would go on to have two more generations and become known for its budget price tag and quirky styling. Now, for its fourth generation this super-mini has toned down its radical design and is baring its teeth to its competitors in the light segment through strong equipment levels and improved practicality. Car and SUV took the new top-spec Micra Ti for a run to see if it has the bite to match its bark.

The new Micra is set to be a true global car for Nissan, with sales planned for 160 countries worldwide and production at four different factories. With this broad focus in mind, the Micra design is now much more conventional. The bug eyes remain but are better molded into the bonnet line and there’s a more discrete single-bar grille.  A wider lower air dam and fog lights on the Ti spec model give it a sporty, more purposeful face. Along the flanks it’s fairly tame with nice colour coding on the wing mirrors and door handles, with 15-inch 7-spoke alloys filling the guards. Out back there’s an integrated hatch spoiler with stop lamp, vertical taillights and a wide-opening hatch. The new styling slims the Micra down compared to its bulbous predecessor but a keen eye will notice that the new model is larger in wheelbase, width and length. Even with the more subdued styling the Micra won’t blend into the background, particularly when finished in ‘Spring Green’ like our extroverted test vehicle. Continue reading “Nissan Micra Ti 2011 Review” »

It’s back – all new Nissan Micra launched in NZ

November 26th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The new 2011 Nissan Micra has been launched into the NZ market at a special event held earlier this week.

This latest Micra is the fourth generation to wear the badge and represents an entirely new chapter in the history of Nissan’s compact city car. Set to appeal to loyal buyers, its distinctive looks have been restyled it also boasts improved quality and dynamic abilities.

Designed specifically to make day to day urban driving as simple as possible, it delivers good dynamic performance for a small hatch and has comfortable suspension tuning, light power-steering and confident braking. Those driving characteristics are backed up by high levels of convenience and good equipment levels.

Nissan NZ is marketing the Micra around simplicity: it’s simple to purchase, simple to own and simple to live with. The all-new Micra is a simple car to live with, with three-year scheduled servicing reducing the ongoing costs of ownership. Plus Micra is full of features that, combined with thoughtful engineering, make living with the car on a daily basis a simple exercise. From easy egress to a practical luggage compartment, and good levels of visibility from the cabin.

Since its global launch earlier in 2010 the all-new Micra has been a phenomenal sales success. In the Japanese domestic market alone, orders for the Micra totalled at over 20,000 vehicles after just six weeks.

It is Nissan’s first model to use the company’s new V-Platform and the first to be built not in Japan or Europe, but rather in four manufacturing plants in China, Thailand, India and Mexico. The Micra for New Zealand will be sourced from Nissan’s plant in Thailand.

Continue reading “It’s back – all new Nissan Micra launched in NZ” »

All-new Nissan Micra arriving in NZ soon

October 22nd, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

The all-new Nissan Micra is on its way, and after making its Australasian debut at the Australian International Motor Show in Sydney, its New Zealand launch is drawing closer.

With some innovative packaging and modern small-car engineering, the new Nissan Micra is set to be solid value for money vehicle and should have a good level of specification and safety equipment when it goes on sale in New Zealand.

The new Micra builds on the success of its predecessor, but aims to attract a wider audience with fresh styling, spacious and fashion-aware interior and a long list of standard safety and convenience features. In New Zealand, a single powertrain option will be available in two specification grades.

Standard will be a 1.5L four-cylinder petrol engine which produces 75kW of power. When mated to the four-speed automatic transmission, fuel consumption is 6.6L/100km and emissions only 156g/km. The all-new Nissan Micra comes standard with Vehicle Dynamic Control, Anti-Lock Brakes with Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Brake Assist, as well as dual front, front side and curtain airbags on both models.

Convenience features such as a multifunction Drive Computer and air conditioning are standard, along with a unique digital anniversary reminder, remote entry, CD player, auxiliary input jack and steering wheel-mounted controls for the audio system. The top-of-the-range Micra Ti model offers extras like keyless entry and push button engine start/stop, Climate Control air conditioning, 15-inch alloy wheels, front fog lights and a unique convenience feature for female drivers – handbag storage on the front passenger’s seat.

If the front passenger seat is unoccupied, the rear section of the seat squab can be flipped forward, providing a secure well in which a bag or other small items may be stowed, to stop them rolling around in the footwell, or skidding off the seat under braking or cornering.

Continue reading “All-new Nissan Micra arriving in NZ soon” »

Smart and Nissan to partner up on new four-door model

October 11th, 2010 by Darren Cottingham

Smart recently announced that it will partner up with Nissan to build a new small vehicle to go on sale firstly in the States and then possibly global markets after. Details are fairly scarce at this stage, but Smart has revealed a couple of sketches to let everyone know whats in development. The new machine will be a five-door, B-segment entry powered by a conventional petrol engine, and it will reach the American market in late 2011.

With this short development time in mind, it’s likely the car will be heavily based on the Nissan Micra. The sketches don’t reveal too much, but they do show that Smart still has an eye for sharp design.

The new Nissan-based Smart model is part of a broader strategic cooperation between Daimler AG and the Renault-Nissan Group that was revealed in April. Under the agreement, the two groups also plan to co-develop a new platform that will be used on the successors to the Smart Fortwo and the Renault Twingo. Stay tuned to see what else comes from this burgeoning partnership.

Nissan Micra Commercial – Australia “City Life”

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Cities love Micra

Nissan Micra commercial whale wash

December 22nd, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

A whale wash the supermini Nissan Micra

Mitsuoka reveals retro-styled Viewt

October 16th, 2009 by Darren Cottingham

Mitsuoka Viewt fq

Quirky Japanese carmaker Mitsuoka has once again created a Japanese homage to a classic British automobile. This time around Mitsuoka has a unique take on a compact sedan whose styling has been influenced by what looks like the Jaguar Mk2.

The car is called the Viewt and while it looks luxurious, its underpinnings are based around a very humble Nissan Micra. There are three different versions available, with engines ranging from the 1.2 base model to the high-spec 1.5-liter unit and outputs ranging from 90- to 109-horsepower.

Little else is known about the car except that this is surprisingly the third generation of the Viewt and it is ready to make its global debut at the upcoming 2009 Tokyo Motor Show.

If the Viewt is a little too small for your needs, then Mitsuoka will also be happy to sell you a Rolls Royce-esque limousine or if the Viewt is too large then you can check out the company’s tiny city car that resembles a 1930’s racer.

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