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Flair with fun

CAR OF THE WEEK: Nissan Micra IG-T 90 Tekna. Price: £18,310.

I MUST admit that I was not overly excited with the prospect of test driving a Nissan Micra!

Nevertheless, after seven days with the Micra I was totally hooked and overwhelmed with its performance and looks.

When accelerating this nimble city car gives out a faint motorbike-like rumble as it bursts into life.

Nissan’s new offering boasts a com- pletely rejuvenated exterior design, a new bespoke and booming Bose sound system, body decals, 125 colour combi- nations, an official car sharing scheme and it’s a 2017 Car of the Year finalist.

Nissan have been selling bucket loads on the basis of it being affordable and easy to drive. The new Micra, with Tekna trim, gets a rear-view camera, parking sensors keyless start and a third rear head restraint as standard.

The latest version of this popular car is smooth, spacious and upmarket; with the promise of a sportier drive posher interior in an effort to attract people downsizing from larger cars.

The Micra phenomenon is massive with an impressive 3.5 million sales to its name in Europe, 1.1 million of which were in the UK.

For most people, driving life starts in a small car with the Nissan Micra, of the most popular choices over the past three decades.

Buyers can choose from a naturally aspirated 1.0-litre petrol, a turbocharged 0.9-litre petrol and a 1.5-litre diesel.

It’s a simple line-up that should take and some ambiguity out of the buying process.

The turbocharged three-cylinder petrol engine delivers lively performance, right up to motorway speeds.

Nissan claims an official combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg, which is rather impressive, but CO2 emissions of 103g/km are higher than that of the more powerful turbocharged 0.9-litre petrol engine (which emits 99g/km).

The Micra’s suspension is fairly stiffly sprung, so it stops the car bouncing around over undulating roads. The Ford Fiesta, Skoda Fabia and Volkswagen Polo are all smoother riding. At least most of the Micra’s jitters smooth out once the speed rises, so it’s a comfortable motorway cruiser too.

The Japanese manufacturer has given us a terrific new model. It is a very good supermini which has flair and is fun. It is well made and doesn’t forget the practical stuff.

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