Nissan SA to launch refreshed, better-value Micra

Nissan SA to launch refreshed, better-value Micra
 New look Micra on the way

New look Nissan Micra on the way

NISSAN has issued a rather cryptic press release about a new version of its Micra called the Active, which it plans to launch in South Africa on September 22.

While Nissan’s all-new Clio-based Micra is what immediately springs to mind, a little digging reveals that Nissan actually sells a car called the Micra Active in India, and it’s a facelifted but de-frilled version of the current-generation Micra.

While the local press release had no accompanying pictures, and nor did it confirm that this is the same Micra Active that we’re getting, it certainly implies this with phrases like “great value for money” and “competitively priced” while also harping on the low running costs.

While no local pricing has been disclosed, the Micra is certainly a cut-price contender in its home market, where it costs 460 779 Rupees (R96 029) versus 599 000 Rupees (R124 865) for the normal Micra, which has also been facelifted. While Import duties will ensure that the Micra Active won’t be as cheap on local soil, based on a comparison of Indian prices we would deduce that it should undercut cars like the Toyota Etios and Suzuki Swift by a reasonable margin, while (logically) still costing more than the Datsun Go.

A downside is that the Micra Active’s 1.2-litre normally aspirated engine has been detuned to 50kW (from the current car’s 56kW) although maximum torque remains at 104Nm.

All Indian-market versions are fitted with air conditioning, power steering and a driver’s airbag. There are three grade levels, in which the fancier ones add audio systems, remote central locking and ABS brakes. Local specifications have yet to be confirmed, but Nissan SA’s release did state that it will come standard with a three-year/90 000km service plan and six-year/150 000km warranty.

The Micra Active also has a new interior that appears to be shared with the facelifted Micra that was never released in South Africa.

Yet where does the ‘Active’ leave the all-new (and very pretty we must add),Clio-based Micra that’s built in France? Yes, the one pictured below:

Although no local on-sale dates have been disclosed as yet, Nissan SA has expressed interest in bringing it here, and if it did the funky looking newcomer would certainly be positioned at a much higher level than the Indian-built Micra Active. If anything the latter is more likely to step on Datsun’s toes…

IOL Motoring

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