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Spec shootout: New 2013 Nissan Micra vs Micra Active

Lijo Mathai Updated: July 06, 2013, 08:13 PM IST

At the launch of the new Micra, Nissan pulled a proverbial rabbit out of its hat by announcing the Micra Active at an aggressive base price of Rs 3.5 lakh. The first thing that popped into our heads was "wow!", followed by a "what is the difference between the new Micra and the Micra Active?" So OVERDRIVE took a closer look at their specs and here is what we discovered.

The Micra Active comes in four trims at a base price of Rs 3.5 lakh and the top-end trim is priced at Rs 4.71 lakh. While the new Micra has seven models with the base price of Rs 4.79, and an automatic CVT model in its XV petrol variant priced at Rs 6.39 lakh. To compare the two models, let us use the most commonly used yardstick: Pricing.

At Rs 4.71 lakh, the Micra Active XV safety is only Rs 8,000 less than the base model of the new Micra - the XL.

Exterior

In the Nissan Active the company has more-or-less stuck to the outgoing Micra's design, whereas the new Micra comes with a massive styling overhaul.

New Nissan Micra

2013 Nissan MIcra CVT2013 Nissan Micra adopts a bolder design

Nissan has changed the cute appearance of the outgoing Micra to a more aggressive stance like the badge-engineered Renault Pulse. There is a new bonnet, contoured front bumper, new fenders and new headlamps. There are surrounds for the fog lamps and a liberal amount of chrome has been applied to the lower grille. The fog lamp casings also have a chrome surround. There are smart alloy wheels on offer as well, again a leaf taken out of partner Renault's book. The tail lamps now comprise LED units and Nissan has added a lip at the bottom for an added appeal.

Micra Active

The Micra Active has the older Micra's facade, but with a new bumperThe Micra Active has the older Micra's facade, but a new bumper

With the Micra Active, Nissan has retained the basic facade and wheelbase of the outgoing car but added splashes of chrome on the radiator grille and full wheel cover (only on the top two XV and XV S trims). Contrary to the rumours of cost cutting, the standard body-coloured bumper has been retained.

Conclusion: Buyers in this segment look for a bit of panache in their rides and the new Micra fits the bill. The smart move by Nissan to badge the lower priced variant as Active helps with the sense that neighbours or friends wouldn't complain about you essentially buying what's an old car either. So it's entirely up to your taste.

Interior

The Rs 4.71 lakh Micra Active XV Safety comes with plain interiors and even features such as climate control and steering-mounted audio control present in the outgoing version have been stripped off. But if safety is of the highest priority, one stands to save a minimum of Rs 2 lakh by opting for the Active!

New Micra

2013 Nissan Micra CVT interiors2013 Nissan Micra CVT interiors have a black piano finish to the console

For the new Micra, Nissan has revised the dashboard design. Plus to enhance the appeal, have loaded it with equipment. The top-end XV Premium available only with the diesel engine, comes with a rear wiper with defroster, rear-view camera with the display on an auto anti-dazzling mirror, automatic AC, hands-free Bluetooth, steering wheel with audio controls, four airbags with a side airbag included. Some of these features can also be found in the petrol-only XV CVT trim. Nissan has across the range changed the seat fabric and added chrome finish to the instrument console. The seats have also been worked to offer better support. Boot space remains untouched at 251 litres .

Micra Active XV Safety

2013 Nissan Micra Active on the inside2013 Nissan on the inside

The Micra Active, even in the top-end XV Safety trim doesn't have climate control unlike the outgoing car. However, Nissan has added follow-me-home lamps, key headlamp on warning, door ajar indicator and Brake Assist to the existing ABS and EBD. If you liked the outgoing car's interiors, you won't have a cause for complaint with the Active.

Conclusion: In terms of looks, the new Micra makes more sense. But even that is subjective. But the Active XV Safety scores heavily in safety department. To get the same safety features in the new Micra, customers will have to either buy new Micra XV (diesel) - priced at Rs 6.8 lakh - or the new Micra XV Premium priced at Rs 7.14 lakh. Only the new Micra XV Premium has better features than the Micra Active XV Safety. But at almost Rs 7.2 lakh, you can buy two Micra Actives. So choose wisely.

Engines

New Micra

The new Micra comes with a choice of two engines and two transmissions. The new transmission is the Xtronic CVT from the Sunny automatic. Currently, Nissan is using this transmission only in the 76PS 3-cylinder 1.2-litre petrol engine. The company says that if there is a demand for a diesel CVT, they are ready to do it. While the manual petrol model claims a fuel efficiency of 18.44kmpl, the Xtronic, as we have seen in the Sunny, claims almost a kmpl more than the manual. The diesel (64PS, 1.5 4-cyl) model claims 23.08kmpl. Both the engines haven't undergone any mechanical changes in the facelift though. We have driven the Micra CVT and here are our first impressions.

Micra Active

For starters, the Active is offered only in one engine and transmission combo – petrol and manual. Nissan claims to have reduced 30kg in the transition of outgoing Micra to the Active. They have also detuned the engine now to make 68PS. In the process, the Micra Active, Nissan claims, delivers 19.49kmpl – something which entry-level car buyers will certainly appreciate. Nissan also says that the maintenance costs for this car will be far lower than the competition. How and by how much, they didn't mention in the press conference.

Conclusion: Unless you really wanted an automatic runabout or a diesel-engined car, there is no reason to shy away from the Active, especially since it promises to offer more fuel efficiency than the new Micra.

Micra Active XV Safety offers great value

Nissan officials with the new Micra ActiveNissan officials with the new Micra Active

While the exteriors and interiors of the new Micra have been significantly upgraded, it still has the same old engines, but now with a CVT option for the petrol. The Active in the meanwhile makes sense since even at its highest price point of Rs 4.71 lakh, it is still cheaper than the base new Micra by about Rs 7000. At this price, you get twin airbags, ABS, EBD and Brake Assist. The base new Micra gets a driver airbag, which the base Active doesn't. Braking assists are missing in both the lower variants.

The best part is that the Active delivers a higher fuel efficiency of 19.49kmpl, which is better than the new Micra's claimed figure of 18.44kmpl. Buyers in this segment, according to Nissan's research, don't want to go for a diesel engine and always look at petrol cars with high fuel efficiency. On that note, buying the top-end Micra Active with all the safety dragnets makes sense. The interior and boot space also remain the same. Perfect for someone who loves Nissan products and the Micra in particular.

Prices for the Active range start from Rs 3.50 lakh while the new Micra starts from Rs 4.79 lakh ex-Delhi.

In specs: New Nissan Micra vs Micra Active


  
Name New Micra
Engine(s) 1.2l petrol/ 1.5l diesel
Power in PS 76/77(automatic)/64
Transmission(s) 5-speed MT/CVT
Torque in Nm 104/160
Fuel efficiency in kmpl 18.44/19.34/23.08
Minimum turning radius (m) 4.65
Brakes (Front/rear) Ventilated disc/drum
Ground clearance (mm) 154/150
Boot space in litres 251
Airbags Driver airbag is standard Passenger airbag in XV CVT, XV and XV P. Side airbag standard in XV P
ABS+EBD+BA Petrol: XL (O), XV CVT Diesel: XL (O), XV and XV P
Number of variants Petrol (3): XL, XL(O) and XV CVT Diesel (4): XL, XL(O), XV and XV P
Price (ex-Delhi) Petrol: Rs 4.79-6.39 lakh Diesel: Rs 5.99-7.14 lakh
  
Name Micra Active
Engine(s) 1.2l petrol
Power in PS 68
Transmission(s) 5-speed MT
Torque in Nm 104
Fuel efficiency in kmpl 19.49
Minimum turning radius (m) 4.65
Brakes (Front/rear) Ventilated disc/drum
Ground clearance (mm) 154
Boot space in litres 251
Airbags Driver and passenger only in XV Safety trim
ABS+EBD+BA Only in XV Safety trim
Number of variants XE, XL, XV and XV S
Price (ex-Delhi) Rs 3.50-4.71 lakh
  

Keep watching this page for the road tests and comparisons of the Micra family.

Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 5.99 Lakhs
Displacement
1461cc
Transmission
Manual
Max Power(ps)
64
Max Torque(Nm)
160
Mileage
23.08 Kmpl
Price (Ex-Delhi)
Starts Rs 4.68 Lakhs
Displacement
1198cc
Transmission
Manual
Max Power(ps)
68
Max Torque(Nm)
104
Mileage
18.97 Kmpl
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