The Micra is affordable transportation with amiable drivability, an easy-on-the eyes interior and overall a bubbly personality…

Montreal, QC.

Even though the days of roll down windows, no air conditioning or fancy features aren’t that far behind us it’s tough to find a back-to-basics car in today’s market.

Enter the 2015 Nissan Micra with a price tag under $10k.

As its name suggests, it’s not a full-size SUV. What it is is a front engine, front-wheel drive, five-door vehicle. It’s diminutive in size but not lacking in the personality department. Not at all.

You’d think that with a starting MSRP of $9,998 for the Micra S (with the manual transmission) you might get short-changed on the fun factor. Again, not the case.

In fact, of the four models I drove (there are eight models available) it happened to be my favourite.

The 5-speed manual transmission has a springy clutch, a gearbox that shifts up and down smoothly, and a personality that is waiting to be unleashed.

It might not have air conditioning, Bluetooth or a rearview camera (on this trim, but they are available on other models), but those aren’t deal breakers for me, nor are they for people looking to buy a great car at a great price.

What’s more, each Micra model comes with the same peppy powerplant. Okay, I realize that “peppy” is a relative term here. There’s 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque generated from its 1.6L, 4-cylinder engine. But in the city and on the highway, it’s still a decent amount.

Three trims of Micra are available: S, SV, and SR. Each can be paired with either the aforementioned 5-speed manual or an available 4-speed automatic. The mid-grade SV trim can also be paired with a Convenience package (available both on the MT and AT).

Looking at it, I’m extremely tempted to use the word “cute.” But I won’t. It’s small, which definitely contributes to its c-word factor, and comes it some bubbly colours, as well as accent colours. For example, the SV with the automatic I drove had a white exterior with purple accents.

Inside, you and your four passengers will we greeted with cushy cloth seats. The driver will then have access to a centre stack that is easy to use and organized ergonomically.

Describing its aura could best be defined as “welcoming.” And despite its size, even taller individuals shouldn’t feel claustrophobic. With a drive partner that stands 6’2”, he still had headroom and some room to stretch out either piloting or co-piloting the Micra.

Under hard acceleration, primarily from the 4-speed automatic, the Micra is quite vocal. You can really hear the engine noise intrude the cabin.

It’s not a performance machine like the Nissan GT-R, where you want to hear as much ruckus as you can. However, when cruising at highway speeds – without the lead foot acceleration – my driving partner and I noticed how quiet the cabin is. Wind noise is kept at bay and it’s serene.

Furthermore, it was an incredibly blustery day when we took these pint-sized four-doors out. Needless to say, you could feel the swagger of the car at highway speeds. But in its defense, larger vehicles felt the wrath of Mother Nature’s blow, too.

While very affordable, the Micra isn’t “cheap” in execution. Even the knobs on the roll down windows have a soft touch to them. And there are metallic accents to break up the otherwise bland black interior.

I certainly wasn’t disappointed when captaining the Micra. Even though that might sound like a backhanded compliment, it’s not. As far as small cars go, it’s functional, funky and has great value. Whether you’re looking for a vehicle that gets you from point A to B – minus all the options – or said vehicle with a few extras, the 2015 Micra might be the car for you.

Summed up, the Micra is affordable transportation with amiable drivability, an easy-on-the eyes interior and overall a bubbly personality.

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Contact: alexandra [dot] straub [at] drivewaybc [dot] ca

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