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Road Test: Nissan Micra 1.2 DiG-S Acenta 5dr (2011-2013)

ÂŁ12,425 when new
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We’ve never really liked the Nissan Micra, but you’ve never really listened to us. Two extremes of the car-purchasing public - the young and the old - keep buying it, and the Indian-built Micra is Nissan’s third best-selling model in the UK (11,500 sales in 2013), behind the all-conquering Juke (35,000)and Qashqai (37,000).

In an ongoing attempt to distance itself from the divisive bug-eyed monster first seen in 2003, the new generation gets an all-new bonnet, front wings, headlights, rear LEDs and split grille. It’s now more bland than distinctive.

A more mature-looking package, then, for the 1.2 litre 3cyl s’charged unit that is still the only engine available. It’s not the most thrilling, but at 99 g/km CO2 and 65.7mpg, you do get diesel practicality with petrol response. The perennial pluses of the Micra also remain: visibility, build quality, rear legroom and the calming knowledge that your newly passed 17-year-old will be driving a deeply uncool car.

Still, at £10,050 for the very cheapest model - and £14,500 for the top of the range Tekna - it’s now up against the likes of the Ford Fiesta EcoBoost, Hyundai i20 and entire Volkswagen Up family. We’d have any of those over a Micra. Not that you’ll listen.

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