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Nissan Micra

The Nissan Micra, known in Latin America and in most of Asia as the Nissan , is a supermini produced by the Japanese automaker Nissan since 1982.

Contents


First generation (1982 1992)

Micra K10

The original Micra (chassis name K10) was introduced in October 1982 as a challenger to the highly successful Honda City. It was intended to replace the Nissan Cherry as the company's competitor in the supermini sector, as the Cherry model itself had progressively become larger with each successive generation. It was introduced in the European market in 1983, and in the Canadian market in 1984. Although Nissan was slowly phasing out the Datsun name, a small appeared on the tailgate for the first two years, and in some European markets, the car was known as the "Datsun-Nissan Micra". The Datsun badges had disappeared completely by the end of 1984. The Micra was initially available with an extremely refined all-aluminium MA10S SOHC engine.

The model was revised in June 1985, identifiable by the slightly larger rear lamp clusters. The Japanese market saw the debut of the first Micra Turbo/MA10ET, where Nissan grafted a turbocharger to the small 1.0 L engine. Another facelift came in March 1989, which consisted of some minor upgrades such as deeper bumpers, a new front grille, minor interior details, and headlight changes. It also saw the introduction of an electronically controlled carburettor, the larger MA12 1.2 L engine with 60 PS (44 kW/59 hp) and a 5-door hatchback version.

In 1988, Nissan launched a limited 10,000 unit run of its homologated Nissan 1989 Micra Superturbo (EK10GFR/GAR). Both this and the 1988 Micra R (EK10FR) featured the same highly advanced sequential compound charged (supercharger plus turbocharger) engine in an all-aluminium straight-4 930 cc 8-valve 4-cylinder Nissan MA MA09ERT unit that produced 110 PS JIS (81 kW/108 hp) at 6400 rpm. This car came with either a 3-speed automatic or 5-speed manual gearbox with viscous limited slip differential, as well as options such as air conditioning and electric mirrors. The Micra Superturbo still holds the crown for the fastest production Micra in Nissan's history, with factory performance figures of 7.7 seconds to go from 0 to 100 km/h (62 mph) and 15.5 seconds to run a quarter mile. It has a top speed of 180 km/h (112 mph).

The Micra's chassis spawned a number of variations. The Be-1 (BK10), launched at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1985 (but not sold until 1987), was a limited edition model with a more rounded bodyshape, and only 10,000 were sold. In 1987, the canvas-topped, retro looking hatchback Pao ( ) (PK10) was launched (also at the Tokyo Motorshow) and sold to the public in 1989; 51,657 models were sold. The canvas-topped Figaro ( ) (FK10) coup was unveiled at the same show in 1989, but not released until 1991. Because demand for the Figaro exceeded the 20,000 vehicles built, Nissan sold the car by lottery: winners could place orders for the car. Despite being a JDM-only model, the Figaro is one of the most imported models of the K10 derivatives; its popularity among numerous celebrity owners helped it earn cult status. The K10 ceased production on 21 December 1992.

During its lifetime, the Micra gained a good reputation for reliability and economy. In 1995, it topped the small car class in a reliability survey of four to six-year-old cars undertaken by the German Automobile Association (ADAC), with 7.5 recorded breakdowns per 1,000 vehicles for four-year-old Micras and 11.5 for six-year-old cars: this compared with 8.0 breakdowns per 1,000 cars for four-year-old Volkswagen Polos and 15.3 for six-year-old Polos.[1] (The class loser was the Fiat Uno with 20.7 breakdowns per 1,000 for four-year-old cars and 37.3 for six-year-old Unos.[1]

Second generation (1992 2003)

Micra K11 (1992 1997)

The second-generation K11 was built and launched in Japan in early 1992, and released in Europe in the fourth quarter of the year. It was powered by brand new all-aluminium 1.0 L (CG10DE) and 1.3 L (CG13DE) DOHC 16-valve engines, with 55 PS DIN (40 kW/54 hp) and 75 PS (55 kW/75 bhp) respectively (higher outputs in Japan), both with ECCS (Electronic Concentrated Control System) fuel injection. A diesel version was offered with the 1.5 L PSA TUD market in Europe as Micra 1.5D. Power steering was an option on some models, and the equipment list included security features not usually available in this market segment: a toughened safety-cage and side-impact door beams were standard and pre-tensioning seat-belts and a driver's air-bag were optional. However, the MK2 Micra scored only a modest two stars in Euro NCAP testing in 1997.[2] Airbags, antilock brakes, electric windows, central locking and air conditioning were available as options on some of the Micra range as it developed in its life cycle. The car soon won the European Car of the Year award for 1993 (the first Japanese car to do so) and the Good Design Award (a Trade and Industry Design award in Japan) along with the Car of the Year Japan award in 1993. This would spawn the V3 Award edition.

After minor changes in 1996, in 1998, six years after its launch, the Micra received a facelift which saw the whole range get power steering as standard.

There was a Cabriolet (FHK11) unveiled at the Tokyo Motor Show in 1995, but it was not sold until August 1997, with an electric top. These were produced in limited numbers for the Japanese Domestic Market (JDM) only. However, much like the Nissan Figaro, some have been imported into the UK unofficially. There was also an estate version called the Box (WK11), which was unveiled on November 1999, with a double folding rear seat, along with an automatic transmission four-wheel drive model.

K11C (facelift)

In late 1997, a facelift version was introduced, and was built from late 1997 until early 2003. Different engine models included the S and SE. Only a few units were produced in 1997, as most of them started in 1998.

The cumulative visual changes from the first models included a revised front grille and headlights, redesigned front and rear bumpers, oval instead of round side repeater indicators, minor changes to internal controls, slightly desaturated colours on the rear light lenses, a redesigned rear wiper which rested horizontally instead of vertically, the centre high level brake lamp being reduced in size and mounted at the top of the rear window, instead of on the parcel shelf, and a radio aerial repositioned from the top of the right-hand A-pillar to the middle of the roof, towards the front or rear depending on specification.

In late 2000, the original facelift was replaced by a second version, technically being quite similar. Changes included new lights on the bumper, an altered lower body, orange turn signals and a completely redesigned interior.

By late 2002, the new K12 was introduced (although the S and SE models were still being built). They were fully replaced by K12 in early 2003.

File:Nissan Micra (K11) Facelift.jpg|1997 2000 Nissan Micra K11C File:Nissan Micra front 20081017.jpg|2000 2003 Nissan Micra K11C (second facelift), front File:Nissan Micra rear 20081017.jpg|2000 2003 Nissan Micra K11C (second facelift), rear

Bolero

Micra Bolero

The Bolero was a luxury model available in certain markets from 1999 to 2003. It featured a redesigned exterior and an interior, which now had leather seats.

SR

Micra SR

SR trim was available in 1993 1997, similar to Nissan Almera GTi (N15), which featured sn almost identical trim spec as the model below, the Super S; only options like electric windows came standard. The only engine available for the SR was the 75 bhp CG13DE/ 1.3 twin cam 16v engine. The Micra SR 1.3 facing competition along with Toyota Starlet Glanza V 1.3, Subaru Justy 1.3 4x4, both have similar specs and performance.

Third generation (2002 2010)

Micra K12 (2002 2007)

The next version of the Micra, the K12, was unveiled in 2002 Paris Motor Show as the Nissan mm Concept. It was introduced to the Japanese market in early 2002 and to Europe in late 2002. The car was radically redesigned: it featured a new, 70 mm longer wheelbase (developed with Renault) and an even more curvy exterior that was taller and slightly wider. Its most distinctive feature was a pair of prominent headlamps that extended to the wing-tops. Other additions included a sliding rear seat and the option of keyless ignition on higher specification models.[3] The range of engines included improved 1.2 (CR12DE) and 1.4 (CR14DE) petrol models, and a Renault-sourced 1.5 diesel unit (K9K).[4] The automatic CVT transmission of the previous model was replaced by a conventional automatic transmission. Nissan Micra Rafeet

The K12 was well received by the motor industry and set a new standard for the superminis that followed it.[5][6]

In 2005, Nissan Europe released a performance model of the K12. Dubbed the 160 SR, it was released as a direct competitor to the Mazda 2 Genki (DY), Toyota Yaris RS 1.5 (XP90), Suzuki Swift Sport (ZC31S), with a 1.6 L HR16DE engine, giving 113 PS (83 kW/111 hp) and uprated sports suspension. In 2006, Nissan renamed the 160 SR to the Sport SR in line with name changes across the board for the K12. However, this rebranding was short-lived: the performance model reverted to the 160 SR name in late 2007.[7]

The launch of the 160 SR coincided with a revision of the K12. The radiator grilles were given a chrome strip through the centre and the original amber indicators were replaced with clear ones. The rear bumper was restyled and made more robust (apparently in response to French parking habits). The interior was also given a makeover, with more supportive seats, thicker glass and better soundproofing.[8]

There were originally six trim levels of the K12, but in 2006 they were simplified to just three: Initia, Spirita and Sport. In addition, the launch line-up of six engines was reduced to the most popular four.[9]

Autech, a Nissan-owned company, unveiled alternative models called the Bolero and the Rafeet. The Bolero, like Autech's versions of the K11, has the usual retro front end (which with the standard Micra headlights makes the car resemble the Lancia Ypsilon); the Rafeet has a more modern approach, resembling a BMW MINI, with either a black or white leather interior,[10] whereas the Bolero has partial wood panelling and exclusive seating.[11]

In 2003, Nissan UK, inspired by the Andros Trophy K11, unveiled the Micra-R, a one-off mid-engined K12. Shown at the Geneva Motor Show without running gear and engine, being only a display car, it was later given the go-ahead and Nissan commissioned Ray Mallock Ltd to insert a mid-mounted BTCC-derived Primera QG20DE engine for show and press demonstration purposes.[12] In 2005, Nissan UK decided to replace the Primera engine with a VQ35DE from a 350Z with a modified Altima SE-R gearbox for user-friendliness on the road. This model was baptized 350SR, although it was not offered for sale. It was taken on to EVO magazine's "fast fleet" for a period of time where it became a favourite of many of the writers.[13] Other modifications to this car include a vented rear arch and a set of Rays Engineering wheels. To date, Nissan has no plans to put this model into production.

Micra C+C

Micra C+C

June 15, 2005, the K12 chassis spawned the coup convertible model called the Nissan Micra C+C. It was designed at the new London-based Nissan Design Europe studio, developed at the Nissan Technical Centre Europe at Cranfield, Bedfordshire and built, as with its predecessor, at the Sunderland plant. It is built as a modern interpretation of the 1991 Micra based Nissan Figaro with a convertible hardtop instead of the canvass top the Figaro had. The electric folding glass roof is made by Karmann coachworks and has a 2+2 seating layout. The car is powered by an 1.4 or 1.6 L gasoline engine, or a 1.5 L diesel available on European versions only.[14] It was originally available only in Europe but sales in Japan began Micra 2007 after the introduction at the Tokyo Auto Show. There were originally four trim levels: Urbis, Sport, Essenza and Active Luxury.[15]

Micra K12C (2007 2010)

Nissan Micra K12C Nissan Micra K12C rear Nissan Micra K12C (Australia). Note: absence of indicator lamps in grille

In late 2007, the Nissan Micra was facelifted again.[16] It had several cosmetic tweaks: every model featured the standard racing grille taken from the K12 160 SR; the front headlights were tidied up (incorporating light blue-tinted sidelights) and the grilles housing the indicators were edged in chrome. In addition, the B-pillar trims were no longer colour-coded. Inside, there were new seat fabric designs, and the dashboard featured parts taken from other Nissans. New equipment included an audible speed warning, bluetooth connectivity with the vehicle and reversing sensors.[15][17] All models (save for entry-level) were fitted with sport bumpers and spoilers on the sides and rear.[18]

K12C models in Europe:

  • Visia: old K12 model with facelift
  • Acenta/Acenta +: luxury models
  • Tekna: sportive model
  • 160 SR: sportive/performance model
  • Active Luxury: luxury/sportive model

The 1.2-litre engine for the entry-level Visia was a unit, as opposed to the version on other grades. In addition, the Visia did not have the option of a 1.4 L engine. The 1.6 L engine was reserved for the 160 SR and as an option on the Active Luxury grade.[18]

Starting from 2007, Nissan began selling the K12 in Australia. Imported from the United Kingdom, there was only one specification level: a five-door hatchback with the 1.4-litre petrol engine and automatic transmission. Compared the facelifted European models, the Australian specification did not feature indicator lamps in grille; these were instead integrated into the headlamps.

In 2009, it was reported that a total of 31,600 units were sold in Japan and nearly 122,000 worldwide.[19]

Fourth generation (2010 present)

Micra K13

The first sketches of the latest generation Nissan Micra were unveiled on 1 October 2009, referred to as W02A,[20] later referred to in Nissan press releases as K13.[21][22] Nissan has stated that the model will be built in five countries, but only four are confirmed so far: Thailand for the Japanese, Hong Kong, Macau, South-East Asian and Australian markets; India for the Indian, European, Middle Eastern and African markets; China for the Mainland China market; Mexico for Mexican, Central American, South American and Caribbean markets.[19][23][24] Nissan launched the new Nissan Micra globally on 2 March 2010 at the 80th Geneva Auto Show in Switzerland. It will be sold in more than 160 countries, including Thailand in March 2010, India in July 2010, and Europe in November 2010. Nissan Micra inside (Japan spec)

It is based on the new Type-V platform with a new 1.2-litre HR12DE[21][25] (XH5) , 3-cylinder engine. In the end of 2011 Nissan introduce the supercharged version of 1.2 (HR12DDR) called in Europe as Micra 1.2 DIG-S[26] and the other engine 1.5 (HR15DE) and 1.6 (HR16DE) for South American, Asian and Australian country. The car is expected to be fuel efficient, delivering 18 km to a litre of petrol. The new Idling Stop System is reported to improve fuel economy by 2.0 km/L. It features variable control of voltage for power generation with alternator (including regenerative charging function with braking energy). Micra's coefficient of drag is just 0.32 achieved in part by the sleek roofline, with a raised rear end, which optimally adjusts airflow to the rear sides and other elements of the body designed to reduce air resistance such as door mirrors, a large front spoiler and the underbody configuration. A lightweight roof panel helps to keep weight to . The car was designed to appeal to a unisex crowd, yet look stylish and elegant to face the tough competition. Micra's new-generation Xtronic CVT features a new structure combining a belt-operated CVT with an auxiliary two-speed transmission. The CVT raises the transmission ratio by more than 20% compared to other CVTs in its class, providing enhanced responsiveness on starting and acceleration and improved quietness during high-speed driving. With the auxiliary transmission, the size and weight of the CVT unit is significantly reduced. Friction is reduced by about 30% compared to other CVTs in its class, achieved by the increased transmission ratio, reduced pulley size and weight, and reduced oil agitating resistance helping improve fuel economy. An electric oil pump is adopted in vehicles equipped with Idling Stop. Quicker oil pressure response improves startup performance and thus contributes to an improvement in fuel economy. While Idling Stop is in operation, pulley rotation is temporarily locked inside the CVT and is slowly unlocked when the engine starts again. This prevents reverse movement during a hill start and enables smooth startup. In India the Micra was offered with a diesel unit: the classic 1.5 dCI K9K produced by Renault with 65 hp.

Renault Pulse

The Renault Pulse is an entry level small car launched at the 11th Auto Expo in 2012 by Renault India and is sold only in India. It is based on the Micra K13, and is built at Nissan India's factory in Chennai, but with a slightly altered front and rear treatment.[27] It comes in a variety of models including the range-topping RxZ which includes front dual airbags, automatic climate control, engine start/stop button, lock/unlock sensing folding outside rear view mirrors etc. The diesel is powered by 1.5 litre K9K diesel engines mated to a 5-speed transmission that churns out 62PS of power @ 4000rpm and 160Nm of torque @ 2000rmp and delivers fuel efficiency of 23 kmpl as claimed by ARAI.

Safety

EuroNCAP tested this model of the Nissan Micra as a standard equipment LHD, 5-door hatchback, registered in 2010. They scored it accordingly:

  • Overall
  • Adult Occupant , 30 points.
  • Child Occupant , 39 points.
  • Pedestrian , 21 points.
  • Safety Assist , 4 points.

The Micra scored well in the test and received 4 stars from a possible 5, although the car was penalised for "loading the dummy in an unrealistic way" and increasing chest damage to the driver and passenger. Despite this the results were decent for a hatchback and the car offers good protection for side and front end impacts.[28]

Nissan Micra/March by country

Australia

The UK-built Micra K11 was briefly exported to the Australian market beginning in 1995 with a three model line up, base 3-door LX, 5-door SLX and 3-door Super S (of which only 303 were ever sold in Australia and demand a hefty price premium over the other models). Class leading performance, a surprisingly dynamic chassis with well sorted suspension, roomy interior and above average build quality were the Micra's strengths in comparison to its Korean competitors like the Hyundai Excel, Daewoo Cielo and Ford Festiva. A poor exchange rate between the UK and Australia meant the Micra's pricing was rather steep and Australian buyers saw the cheaper Koreans and more established Japanese-sourced superminis, such as the Suzuki Swift and Daihatsu Charade, as offering better value for money. Also, the Micra received the lowest possible rating (one star) in Australian crash tests. The Micra was dropped from Nissan Australia's line-up in 1997.

Nissan re-introduced the Micra to Australia in 2007,[29] being sold only as a 5-door hatchback, and coming from Japan and not the UK.

Canada

Canadian version of the Micra K10 In Canada, the K10-J was sold and branded as the Nissan Micra. It came standard with the larger MA12S inline 4-cylinder OHC 1.2 L (1235 cc) engine. The Nissan Micra was finally discontinued in Canada in 1991, replaced by the Nissan Sentra Classic, but many K10s are still running on Canadian roads today.

Nissan ceased selling subcompact cars (less than length) in Canada after 2007, when the substantially larger Versa was added to the lineup.

China

In China, Dongfeng Nissan released the Micra K13 on August 30, 2010.[30] Four trims with 1.5-liter engines (HR15DE) are available, priced between 69,900 and 92,900 yuan.[31]

India

One of the four factories which produce the Nissan Micra K13 is located in India.

Nissan Micra is available in India with four petrol and two diesel variants. The four petrol variants of Nissan Micra are: Nissan Micra XE, Nissan Micra XE Plus, Nissan Micra XL and Nissan Micra XV. All the four variants are powered by the 1.2 L, 1198 cc, petrol engine with five-speed manual transmission that delivers of maximum power at 6000 rpmwith of maximum torque at 4000 rpm. These variants are differed from each other by the interior comfort, luxury and safety features. Notable feature includes a standard air bag across the range although ABS is available only on the top variant.

The diesel variants of Nissan Micra are Nissan Micra Diesel XV and Nissan Micra Diesel XV Premium. The Nissan Micra diesel is loaded with a 1.5-litre, 4-cylinder, 8-valve, SOHC, 1461 cc, common rail powertrain that is capable of developing maximum power of 64 PS at 4000 rpm and 160 nm of highest torque at 2000 rpm with the same 5-speed.

A rebranded variant of Micra named "Pulse" is sold by Renault in India. It has the same interiors as the Micra though the styling on the exterior is slightly modified. Having same specifications, features and engines as the Micra it's similarly priced.

Mexico

One of the four factories which produce the Nissan Micra K13 is located in Mexico.

The Nissan Micra K13 is called the Nissan March in Mexico and went on sale in late March 2011, it began production at the Aguascalientes plant in early March. The Nissan March is sold in 4 trim levels: Drive, Sense, Advance and SR. The base Drive trim level does not have air conditioning and rear window wipers and has black mirrors; this trim level also lacks a radio and comes with 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. The Sense trim level adds air conditioning, Mp3 radio player, colour coded mirrors and a rear window wiper. This model also comes with 14-inch steel wheels with wheel covers. The Advance trim level adds 15-inch alloy wheels an optional CVT transmission and also adds 2 front airbags for the driver and passenger. The SR trim adds side skirts and a rear spoiler for a more sporty appearance and has the same alloy wheels only with a darker color. All trim levels come standard with a 5-speed manual transmission and with the 1.6-litre engine with 106 hp.

Taiwan

Taiwanese K11 variant from 1998 to 2004 In Taiwan, the K11 March was sold from 1993 to 2007.[32] It was sold in three generations. The last generation was a facelifted and improved version called the Super March. It had a digital instrument cluster, LED rear light clusters, side mirror indicators, and an updated front end with crystal headlights. It also came with a semi leather interior with rear headrests. Another more upscale K11 variant, known as the Nissan Verita, was produced. This featured retro styling inside and out. Notable differences included rounded headlights and taillights, a distinctive front end, along with a chrome and faux wood trimmed interior. All Taiwan K11s came with the CG13DE engine.

At the end of 2011, the Nissan March returned to the Taiwanese market as the K13. The HR15DE is currently the only engine available. A 4-speed automatic is the only transmission option as well.[33]

Thailand

One of the four factories which produce the Nissan Micra K13 is located in Thailand.

In Thailand, the Micra K13 was launched, as Nissan March, at the Bangkok motor show on 26 March 2010, priced from 375,000 baht ($11,600) to 537,000 baht.[34] By early July 2010, the company has received about 8,000 sales order and said new buyers would have to wait for five months. The company expects to produce 90,000 units in 2010.[35]

Republic of Ireland

In the Republic of Ireland, the Micra K11 was a popular car. The trim levels were aligned with mainland Europe. However, there was no diesel option.

UK

From 1992 Micras were built in the UK at the NMUK plant in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear, where a total of 2,368,704 were built at its close in July 2010.[36]

K10

The Micra K10 first went on sale the UK over the summer of 1983, and it was an instant sales success. In its best year, 1990, it was the eleventh most popular new car in the UK with just under 50,000 sales. It was a popular choice with driving instructors and undemanding motorists thanks to its ease of driving, solid build and durable mechanical components. 343,411 were sold in nearly a decade. As recently as early 2007, almost 15 years after the last examples were sold, 96,421 examples were still reported to be in circulation,[37] and four years on, as the 20th anniversary of its demise approaches, the number remaining on Britain's roads is likely to be still well into five figures. It compares particularly well to many other popular small cars in Britain of its era, particularly the British-built Austin Metro and Italian Fiat Uno.

K11

The second incarnation of the Micra, the K11, was launched in the UK at the end of 1992, with production taking place in Britain at the Sunderland plant rather than in Japan. It was available with a limited range of engines: 1.0 and 1.3 petrol units. A facelift over the summer of 2000 saw the 1.3 shelved and replaced with a 1.4 unit. This upgrade, after a previous makeover in 1998, enhanced the Micra's appeal and it was still fairly popular on the launch of its successor in December 2002.

The Micra K11 (as it is known in Europe), was the second model after the Primera built in Nissan's NMUK plant in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear.

In 1998, the Sunderland, plant produced its millionth Micra, becoming the first Japanese manufacturer in Europe to achieve the milestone.[38]

K12

Like the previous version of the Micra, the third generation model, the K12, was made at the Sunderland plant. It had a wider range of engines, including 1.2 petrol and Renault-sourced 1.5 direct-injection diesel powerplants, and offered an improved driving experience. Its chassis would form the basis of the next Renault Clio, launched in 2005 but still built in France. This stylish, all-new Micra helped Nissan bolster its market share of the supermini sector, which had been declining in the final year or two of its predecessor's life. Although it has never featured in the SMMT's official top 10 best-selling cars in the UK, it has been among the best-selling 10 cars in Britain among private buyers for virtually all of its production life.

In 2003, the BBC's Top Gear programme featured a segment on cars that gave value for money, highlighting specification that could be purchased for 9,000. The Micra K12 was selected and tested by presenter Richard Hammond, who gave it a positive review. This was despite comparing its qualities to those of a Boeing 737, concluding that the Micra "had all the toys".[39] However, when Hammond tested the Micra C+C in 2006, he was less than enthusiastic. This was because his model was coloured pink and as a result, he spent most of the segment driving it with a paper bag over his head.[40]

The pink C+C was one of only five, made specifically for Nissan's sponsorship of the C+C TLC Tour in 2005 06, in support of the Breakthrough Breast Cancer charity.[41] Such was the public's response that Nissan subsequently announced the launch of the Micra C+C Pink, limited to 100 models.[42] These quickly sold out and another production run was announced in August 2006, this time limited to 175 cars.[43]

In July 2004, Nissan announced that a Coral Blue K12 Micra had become NMUK's one millionth car for the UK market, and that its Sunderland, plant had produced over 250,000 K12s since the model's launch, for sale in up to 45 markets.[44]

In August 2006, the K10 was still receiving credit for its impressive durability. An Auto Express survey revealed that of the 340,000 K10 Micras registered in the UK between 1983 and 1992, 96,000 were still on the road nearly 30%, an impressive figure for a car which had been out of production for 14 years. This gave it a far higher rating than the Fiat Uno and the Austin Metro, both of which had dwindled away to less than 3%.

In 2007, with the Micra K12C, the model grades were brought into line with the rest of the Nissan UK range, namely Visia, Acenta, Tekna, 160 SR and Active Luxury.[7]

The Micra C+C convertible was available in Visia, Acenta, Tekna and Active Luxury grades.[45] However, the 1.6-litre engine is available for all models, save the Visia.[46]

Reputation and popularity

A Micra model at Basel The K10/K11 generations of Micra were known for reliability, excellent build quality, and user friendliness. The K12 model has received consistently good reviews, with the main criticisms being the lack of head room and luggage space in the rear.[6][47][48][49]

There are numerous tuning parts available for the car. Engine transplants are not new for the Micra, as many owners with mechanical skills have installed the SR20DE and more commonly, the GA16DE into their K11s. Turbocharger kits are a popular choice for the K11 and K12s.

The insurance company Folksam rated it as a dangerous car in the event of a crash for the models produced between 1988 and 1995.[50] However, safety specification has improved with successive models. The Micra's Euro NCAP ratings are two stars for the K11[2] and four for the K12.[51]

The K12 Micra came top of its class in What Car? magazine's Security Supertest in 2003, passing both entry and driveaway tests and achieving a maximum score for its locking system and immobiliser.[52]

In 2005, the UK motor insurance research expert Thatcham introduced a standard for keyless go, requiring the device to be inoperable at a distance of more than 10 cm from the vehicle. In an independent test, the Micra was found to be the most secure, while certain BMW and Mercedes models failed, being theoretically capable of allowing cars to be driven away while their owners were refuelling.[53]

In What Car?s Reliability Supertest in 2007, Nissan was ranked 6th out of 26 manufacturers overall, with the K11 Micra (1998 2002) being its most reliable model.[54]

Micra in motorsports

Nissan first entered the Micra in motorsports with the March Superturbo R. Introduced in 1987, this rare pre-facelift K10 weighed in at 740 kg (1630 lb) with half interior, roll cage and tool kit. It was built for the new sub-1600 cc Group A class, and shortly after in 1988 Nissan released the March Superturbo as a road car.

While the March was a favourite with the drivers in the Japanese Rally Championship, veteran Swedish rally driver Per Eklund finished the 1988 RAC Rally in 21st position and the 1989 Acropolis Rally Greece in 10th place. A Micra K11C at the German Saxony Rally

During the K11's production life, there was a series of national rally championship trophies held all over Europe called the Micra Challenge. This was intended as a cheap introduction to rallying, as the cars all had identical 1.3 L race-prepared engines. The UK series ran between 1995 and 1999. This model is still used in club and national rallies. In France, the 1.3 L model was used as the basis for a circuit racing one-make cup for celebrity drivers, the Nissan Stars Cup. In Portugal, the Micra spawned a one-make trophy alongside the National Rally Championship for Beginners.

In 2005 a K11 model nicknamed Little Bandit, was built with a tuned SR20DET, producing approximately 400 bhp, which competed at several motorsport events.

In the late 1990s, a K11 was adapted into a VQ30 mid-engined 4WD configuration to race in the Troph e Andros, the French ice racing series. Drivers who raced this car include rik Comas, Philippe Gache, St phane Peterhansel and Emmanuel Collard.

Nissan sponsors a one-make series in Japan called the March Cup, which has been running since the introduction of the K10. Usually a JGTC support race, it is held in two separate five-round championships called West Japan Series and East Japan Series, and a ladies series running simultaneously. At the end of the season, the best performing cars from both sides meet up for the Champions Cup final at the end the season.

References

External links

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