First Drive: Nissan Micra Diesel
Drive and handling
One of the best power to weight ratios in its class means, the Micra dCi feels pretty sprightly off the mark. Keep shifting in the power band and the Micra hits the ton in 16.2 seconds which is pretty much in the same vein as the Swift diesel. Drivability is also pretty good and there is no turbo lag whatsoever. Push it harder though and the Micra takes on a gruff note. The sweet spot lies in the 1500 – 3500 rpm range where this baby is the happiest. The gear shift has a nice positive throw as well and going up and down the box is hardly a chore. But thanks to the amazing drivability even that is barely needed.
Shooting through traffic is an absolute joy thanks to all that power at hand and coupled with an extremely plush suspension setup the Micra simply gobbles up the roads no matter what the condition. On the highways though things change quite a bit. While the car can cruise pretty effortlessly at ton up speeds, it’s not really in its element when fast corners are brought into the picture. And then we come to the braking. Though adequate around town, braking hard results in immediate locking of the wheels. The culprit here are the non-ABS brakes. Why Nissan decided to omit a necessary safety feature like ABS is simply beyond us.
Diet bodywork, zilch turbo lag and well matched gearing means the Micra performed extremely well on the fuel efficiency front. Driven around town, the Micra returned a very economical 13.6 kmpl. Veering onto the open highways the little car churned out an even better 17.4 kmpl which give the Micra dCi an overall figure of 14.55 kmpl. A 41 litre tank then gives it a maximum range of 596.5 km which is simply outstanding.
Priced at Rs. 5.63 lakh for the XV variant and Rs. 6.10 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) for the XV Premium variant the Micra dCi is slightly more expensive than the Figo but pretty much in the same range as the VW Polo and Fiat Punto. With more pros than cons, the Micra dCi is definitely a very good buy if you are in the market for a cute, comfortable and efficient diesel hatch. That said, I’m off for a drive around Fergusson college road again!