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Nissan Micra C+C 1.6 Sport Car Review | November 24, 2005

Driven November 2005

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Call the Micra C+C a girls' car and Nissan will happily agree with you. Mainly because 65 percent of small convertibles are sold to women, and Nissan's aiming its latest small cabrio straight at them.

The company has taken the Micra and used it to come up with a droptop that has the measure of all but a couple of its rivals. For starters, it has the all-important folding metal-and glass roof and a nominal four-seater cabin.

Then there's the patriotic spin of the Micra being British in all but badge, as it was conceived in London and is built in Sunderland.

Taking things a little further, Nissan has endowed the C+C's folding roof with a first-class glass upper panel as standard to create the C-View roof. Roof up, there's a more airy feel to the interior than in the 206CC or Mini Cabriolet, which are the Micra's key combatants.

Popping the roof down for some high-street posing simply means pushing the button between the front seats, and there's no need to fiddle with any latches or catches as the roof's securing system works electrically.

Twenty-two seconds later, you're basking in sunshine. As part of the 130kg of extra weight in the C+C over a Micra hatch, the drop-top uses a 'dynamic damper' that is a 12kg weight rubber-mounted at the rear right-hand side of the car.

Some clever physics comes into play at certain frequencies, but the dynamic damper basically acts like a big counterweight to smooth out the shakes over bumpy roads. The proof of this comes when you encounter heavily pitted roads at anything above traffic jam pace.

If you prefer to drive out of town, the Micra is still a great companion as the shallowly angled windscreen sends most of the wind blast over your head to leave the front cabin bluster-free. But watch that windscreen when climbing in, as its upper corners can catch an unwary forehead.

If someone does manage to squeeze into the minuscule rear seats, they'll have a more windswept time, so best to view the rear seats as added storage space. Drive with the roof up and you'll be unaware that the C+C is a convertible as it seals out noise as effectively as a standard Micra hatch.

The 1.6-litre engine of our test car was unobtrusive and its 108bhp felt willing up to motorway speeds. With so much going for it, the Micra C+C is a worthy contender for your cash.

The 1.4 Urbis model will start at £13,150 when it goes on sale in November, while the 1.6 Sport weighs in at £13,995 and the Essenza will cost another £1k on top of that. If this is a girl's car, I'm a lady.

Alisdair Suttie

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