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The fifth generation Nissan Micra is a big step up from the current model. While abroad (and in India), the Micra was Nissan’s answer for the budget end of the small hatchback segment, this new Micra has been designed to go head to head with the premium small hatchbacks, like the Volkswagen Polo.


It certainly looks nothing like the current model, with a very aggressive face, sharp edges, the contrasting shoulder line and the roofline giving the impression of the longer, but a lower car (which it is) and a stunning pair of boomerang shaped tail lamps.


There is the old design trick of hiding the rear door handles in the window trim, but with the ‘floating roof’ and sharp cuts in the side profile, the design looks certainly fresh and much more interesting than safe, round shapes of the current model. The length of the new Micra is 3995mm, which conveniently allows it to take advantage of the our sub-4m tax breaks.


Unlike the exterior, the interior is a bit more conventional, but because of the new technology and the visible improvement of the materials used, it is a big jump from the present cabin design.


Higher spec models gets a huge swathe of the dashboard leather wrapped, with a 7-inch central infotainment system and a six speaker Bose system.


Initially, for the European market, two engines are offered. A 900cc three-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine and a 1.5-litre diesel engine, both making 89 bhp. Although there is no information on what gearboxes are on offer, a five-speed manual is the one available at launch, with an automatic/CVT variant joining it soon. Since its first market is Europe, the new Micra is available with a huge suite of driving and safety aids, like lane departure warning, pedestrian collision warning, braking assist, traffic sign recognition, blind spot warning, along with Active Ride Control which controls the pitch and dive during braking.


While European sales start from March 2017, it is not yet known when and more importantly whether India will be getting this exact model to replace the current Micra. Or whether Nissan might opt to bring this model with a new name and sell it at a premium, alongside the present Micra.