The Nissan Micra is an interesting, tiny little thing that in an alternate universe (maybe a late-2010s gas crunch?) might have made it to American shores as a gas-saving, subcompact commuter car. After all, it’s loaded with more character than a Versa, and our close Canadian neighbors had been able to buy Micras from their introduction in the early 1980s right up until this year, when it was finally discontinued. And in Mexico, the previous-generation Micra is still available as the Nissan March. But over in Europe, the Micra is still going strong, and it’s been updated for the 2021 model year.
The biggest news for the refreshed model—it was all-new in 2017, looking a bit like a tinier Nissan Leaf—is a change in powertrains. A new 1.0-liter, turbocharged gasoline engine is now the only option. It replaces two older engine options, one gas and one diesel. Nissan’s mum on output figures right now, although for a car like this they’re surely less important than fuel consumption figures. Transmission options aren’t known as of yet, but previously the Micra used a five-speed manual or an optional CVT, and it’s likely these will carry over.
There are also two new trim levels. N-Sport originated as a special trim, but now it’s a standard trim level. It gets gloss black exterior accents and 17-inch alloy wheels, also finished in gloss black. Front lamps are full LED. Alcantara on the dashboard and utilized in seat inserts give a sense of sportiness, but there are no performance or handling upgrades.
The Tekna trim is essentially a technology package, featuring Intelligent Around View Monitor cameras, blind spot warning, and some fancy Bose speakers—including some built into the driver’s headrest. Built in navigation is also standard.
Given Nissan’s alliance with Renault, you might be surprised to discover that this is the first Nissan model to be built in a Renault manufacturing facility. Many Nissans and Renaults share powertrains and/or platforms, and have for a while now, so the surprising part is that it’s taken this long for this to be the case.
The 2021 Micra will hit dealers in the U.K. this month, and will start at £13,995 (roughly $18,600 at today’s exchange rates).