In a survey that was done recently, it emerged that other than brand perception, it’s the looks of the car that influences a buyer’s decision to a great extent, and it is in fact the most important factor for some. Most buyers these days aren’t as conservative as buyers of the past and if one is sold on the looks, there are fewer things that can convince a person otherwise about the car.
Some of the cars in this particular article divide opinions, just because of the way they look. Micra is one of them and Nissan has just updated it. It will take on the competitors like the Hyundai Grand i10, Maruti Suzuki Ignis etc. So has it got a trick up its sleeve? Let’s take a look.
Design and Exterior
Micra divided opinions when it was launched the first time, Nissan updated it shortly afterwards and offered more rakish looking headlamps and bumper at the front. The rear was redesigned too, but the overall silhouette remained the same, and somewhat controversial which splits opinion to this day. Nothing has changed much aesthetically and you basically get the same car with few redesigned bits and more features.
|Design & Exterior||Nissan Micra||Hyundai Grand i10||Maruti Ignis|
|Length||3825 mm||3765 mm||3700 mm|
|Width||1665 mm||1660 mm||1690 mm|
|Wheelbase||2450 mm||2425 mm||2435 mm|
|Height||1530 mm||1520 mm||1595 mm|
|Ground Clearance||163 mm||170 mm||180 mm|
|Bootspace||251 litres||256 litres||260 litres|
|Wheels||175/60 R15 (Alloy)||165/65 R14 (Alloy)||175/65 R15 (Alloy)|
The Grand i10 was recently updated and now in terms of equipment it’s at par with the rest of the competitors. Few features common among all three cars include DRLs at the front, side mirrors with integrated turn indicators and diamond cut alloy wheels. Maruti Ignis is another car that divides opinions and some describe it as boxy. We rather find the somewhat odd styling quite pleasing. It’s the only car among the three that offer a tall-boy design, it's also the tallest at 1595mm which makes ingress and egress quite easier.
You also get best ground clearance (180mm) with the Ignis which makes it hard to scrape its belly. While Micra is longest (3825mm) and has the best wheelbase (2450mm), it should therefore offer best space inside and better straight-line stability.
Interior and Features
It’s good to see that even without the presence of government regulations, most car manufacturers have started offering many active and passive safety features as standard. This Ignis is the best in this regard since it offers two airbags, seat belt pre-tensioners with load limiters, ABS, EBD and ISOFIX as standard. So basically, you don’t need to compromise on safety in case of Ignis which offers identical safety equipment on the top and base variants of the car. Ignis offer a touch screen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Other comfort features include parking assistance with reverse parking camera, steering mounted control, electrically foldable and adjustable ORVMs etc.
|Features||Nissan Micra||Hyundai Grand i10||Maruti Ignis|
|Infotainment System||2 DIN music system with Bluetooth and USB||Touchscreen + Bluetooth + USB & SD card + Navigation + Android Auto + Apple CarPlay||Touchscreen + Bluetooth + USB & SD card + Navigation + Android Auto + Apple CarPlay|
With the Hyundai Grand i10 you only get one airbag as standard. ABS is available but only with the top variant and you would not get two airbags unless you go with Sportz or higher variant. Features like EBD, ISOFIX etc. are not available even with the top variant of the car. Even the Grand i10 offers a really rich cabin and you get all the comfort features that Maruti Ignis has to offer.
The newly launched Micra isn’t ground breaking either, and you only get front airbag for the driver as standard safety feature other than seat belts for all passengers and child-safety lock. Airbags for front passenger, ABS, EBD and Brake assist is reserved for XV CVT and higher variants of the Micra. Updated equipment list of the Nissan Micra includes, follow me home headlamps, rain-sensing wipers and automatic headlamps. Other features include a start-stop button, automatic AC, ORVMs with adjustment and folding function etc. however it’s the absence of a touch screen system and rear-view camera for park assistance that’s conspicuous.
Engine and Transmission
The Micra offers a comparatively larger 1.5-litre diesel motor and 1.2-litre petrol motor. The diesel despite its larger size does not offer better power figures. You also get only CVT transmission in case of the petrol, while diesel offers only manual.
Ignis offers two engine options - 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel. Both motors develop respectable power figures and offer a choice of manual and an AMT transmission. With the Grand i10, you get to choose from a 1.2 litre petrol and 1.2 litre diesel, however only petrol has an option of automatic, with diesel you only get the manual transmission.
All motors use four cylinder geometry expect Grand i10 diesel and Nissan Micra petrol which use three cylinders.
|Engine and Transmission||Nissan Micra||Hyundai Grand i10||Maruti Ignis|
|Displacement (cc)||1.2 (P) / 1.5(D)||1.2 (P) / 1.2 (D)||1.2 (P) / 1.3 (D)|
|Gearbox||CVT / 5 MT||5 MT and 4 AT / 5 MT||5 MT & AMT / 5 MT & AMT|
|Cylinders||3 / 4||4 / 3||4 / 4|
|Power (PS)||77 / 64||83 / 75||83 / 75|
|Torque (Nm)||104 / 160||114 / 190||113 / 190|
|Fuel tank capacity (litres)||41||43||32|
It's hard to give a verdict, harder still to convice people that one has arrived at it purely through objective means, which is the intent of this article. In our opinion, the Ignis offers tremendous value. Combined with standard safety features, set of frugal engines and choice of automatic with petrol as well as diesel motors, makes it a well rounded package.