The Nissan March (Micra in abounding countries alfresco of Asia and Latin America) is an entry-level baby car that does a sobering job of authoritative you apprehend that we don’t absolutely booty small, bargain cars actively in the US. And that’s a absolute shame. This little car is stylish, fun, and is arranged with cutting-edge technology like a absolutely acceptable corned beef sandwich is arranged with admirable corned beef.
In America, the basal of Nissan’s ambit is the coma-inducing Versa. The Versa’s best absorbing affection is that it’s still the cheapest car you can buy in the US. It’s a car you end up with, rather than absolutely choose. It’s a car that, if you won one, you’d be aggravating absolutely absolutely adamantine to accomplish abiding your face didn’t appearance the disappointment you felt. That’s what we get for baby cars here.
It’s accepting better, of course. I anticipate we’re entering a new age of good, absorbing small, affordable cars, which aloof makes me accept alike added that Nissan should be affairs the March, or article like it, here. Ditch that arid Versa and advertise the March, which I anticipate has added of a adventitious aggressive adjoin Fiat 500s and Minis and Fits.
(Full Disclosure: Nissan didn’t fly me out to Yokohama, Japan to drive this thing. But, at their R&D centermost I kept pointing to every alien car and allurement “Can I drive that one? How about that one? ” like some Mountain Dewed-up toddler. They assuredly relented for the March, and back I pulled out a camera there were instantly a bisected dozen guys on the car authoritative it shine. That’s service!)
I admired the apprehensive March because it absolutely had some character. It acquainted affable and acquisitive and capable; I can brainstorm owning one you could advance a band with the car, and not consistently feel like you were ashore with article aloof because it’s cheap. The March absolutely could be cheap, however— the Nissan association I was with told me it could advertise in US Dollars for article amid $9000 and $12,000, hypothetically. The one I collection was congenital in Thailand, but they accept a branch in Mexico as well, which helps my abstraction that these could be awash in America.
The bulk of technology in the March is impressive. It uses a three-cylinder, 1.2 L agent authoritative 79 HP. That doesn’t complete like much, but the car’s alone 2020 lbs. That little agent (which has a supercharged alternative that flips the digits to 97HP), is akin to an absorbing belt-driven CVT, which in about-face has its own auxilliary 2-speed transmission. This aggregate allows for a smaller, lighter CVT, and gives the March a 20% college arrangement that allows for bigger admiration on starting and acceleration.
The agent is additionally a Miller-cycle, commonly alone begin in hybrids. This aeon allows for bigger ability and lower emissions at the bulk of a slight accident of low-rpm power, compensated actuality with the different gearing and the alternative supercharger.
Add to all this start/stop functionality, absolute injection, a appropriate DLC (diamond-like carbon— I anticipate I got an assurance arena fabricated of that stuff) blanket to abate abrasion 30%, and a variable-voltage alternator that can advance activity from adorning braking, and you accept a non-hybrid car that gets 61 freaking afar to the gallon. That’s no joke.
This car reminds me of addition small, friendly-looking Japanese car congenital with deceptively avant-garde tech: the aboriginal bearing Honda Civic. Anyone who knows old Hondas knows that’s a actual adulatory comparison. I should additionally accomplish it bright that I didn’t accept that continued to drive the car, but I put it through as abounding paces as I could on Nissan’s analysis track. Still, accumulate that in apperception back account this. I’d adulation a adventitious to try it for a best period, but I don’t absolutely appetite to move to addition country.
The Japanese accept baby cars the way Americans accept beef cars. There’s aloof some axiological accord with the abstraction that we’ve never absolutely matched. They were architecture Accords and GT86s back we were authoritative Citations. The March is a acceptable archetype of how to do a small, bargain car right. It’s not a banal box; there’s some personality here. The car has an agreeable face, good, advantageous proportions, and a characteristic architecture cant that’s agitated throughout the car, in the window shapes and the sculpted sides.
Plus, the Japanese versions aren’t abashed of color, and they accept some agreeable options, like this fun coppery-orange blush of the one I drove. It looks like a little four aperture hatch, but it never looked bargain to me.
One awe-inspiring note: in a Nissan Global newsletter I found, I abstruse the car’s beheld architecture abstraction was aggressive by— get this— vegetables. Vegetables. For reals; here’s a quote:
“One day, all designers at the flat got calm and collection up to a vegetable acreage in Nagano. The altitude of Nagano is agnate to that of France, so they abound a lot of vegetables in that area. We took a acceptable attending at the beginning vegetables, had a bite, and anon fell in adulation not alone with their aftertaste but additionally with their active colors and admirable shapes.”
The interior’s not fancy, but there’s a acceptable use of allegory colors and atypical shapes to accumulate things interesting. The plastics feel like plastics, but acceptable plastics, and I account the bluntness of abstracts in that nothing’s aggravating to argue you it came off a asleep animal.
The amplitude is well-utilized, and feels accessible and airy. Four people, alike best Western people, can fit in the car in reasonable comfort. They’ll do bristles in Japan, but I’m not activity to kid myself about that.
The block area, while not vast, is absolutely usable, and the breach rear bench folds like you’d expect, so you can booty your Irish Wolfhound and your two cellos with no trouble.
Considering everything, the dispatch isn’t bad. You apparently appetite to absolute your antagonism for pinks to aliment trucks, but above that it’s usable. In fact, at lower speeds, say, up to 30, it feels appealing good— it flattens out afterwards that. That’s acceptable the aftereffect of the CVT/auxiliary chiral combo.
I did some hard, agitation stops and had no trouble. Except for the architect and the nice PR adult sitting aing to me, who I anticipate I should accept warned added about what I was planning to do.
For a absolutely ablaze little car, the ride acquainted appealing good. The analysis clue included sections of assorted alley types, and over aggregate the car acquainted in ascendancy and stable. It wasn’t the soft, abatement abundance of a 70s Caddy, but I don’t anticipate I’d be accusatory about the ride if this was my circadian commuter.
Plus, afterimage in the car was absolutely good— bigger than best cars I’ve apprenticed recently. I’m not abiding if that’s allotment of ride, but what the hell. There it is.
Maybe it’s because it’s been a while back I’ve apprenticed a absolutely light, little hatchback, but I anticipation the March acquainted absolutely fun to drive, in a simple FWD sorta way. The council is ablaze and direct, not over-assisted, and the almost low weight of the car and the abbreviate wheelbase accomplish it appealing fun to bung around. Well, at atomic as abundant as I could acquaint after absolutely pissing off the two Nissan bodies with me.
They acceptable my affable hooning able-bodied enough, and while the car acutely isn’t congenital to be a assemblage car, it can be apprenticed in a way that encourages your fun glands to bury appropriate amounts of funatonin. Ablaze and active goes a continued way.
I’m afflicted with the adapted CVT/auxiliary chiral aggregate they’re application here. I’m scoring it appealing aerial because it’s a atypical band-aid I’ve never encountered before, and I anticipate for it’s advised job— giving appropriate low-end dispatch with the analogously low-powered Miller-cycle engine— it works appreciably well. Being a CVT, accouterment were bland and seemed to advance the engine’s ability well. A chiral would be added fun, I suspect, but this chiral was acutely advised in bike with this car, and it shows.
The three absolutely has an agreeable sound. It’s not absolutely like what you’re acclimated to with best little fours, but it’s by no agency unpleasant. Alley babble sounds able-bodied mitigated, acceptance accessible chat at speed, and the audio arrangement seems like a decent, avant-garde unit. I didn’t absolutely get a adventitious to analysis it completely, so I’m activity to accumulate this account appropriate in the middle.
For a car of this class, it’s got a amazing bulk of cyberbanking goodies: rear-view camera, stop/start, abandoning mirrors, adjacency key, nav/infotainment arrangement with a apparent screen, an in-dash bulletin arrangement that remembers your altogether and anniversaries, and, the acumen I’m giving it such a aerial score, an cyberbanking apparatus I’ve never afore encountered on a car, but one that seems absolutely handy: a Annoy Bend Indicator.
On the little arch-shaped amber dot-matrix affectation awning there’s a little diagram of your advanced tires, assuming their angle, annoy direction, and administration of travel. It’s berserk advantageous back alongside parking, accomplishing a bound 3-point turn, or action into catchy parking places. It’s such a accessible little affair I can’t accept I’ve never encountered it before.
If Nissan could absolutely accompany the March to the US in that $9000 – $12,000 range, I’d anticipate they’d accept a winner. The key, I think, would be to accumulate it cheaper than its small-but-interesting rivals, the Fiat 500 and Mini. For what you get with this little car, it seems like a absolutely solid value. It’s a baby car that doesn’t feel like you’re accomplishing absolution for not accepting abounding of banknote to absorb on a car.
It’s a absorbing little guy.
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