The new Nissan Micra Active was launched at Gold Reef City last Thursday, and Wired to the Web was in attendance. If I’m being completely honest, I didn’t realise there was a Micra Active and Micra on the Nissan lineup. 

The Micra Active falls in the lower B segment, aimed at people looking for affordable cars that are bigger than the A segment, according to Nissan. So their line up of hatchbacks looks like this now: Datsun GO, Micra Active, and Micra. The Micra Active goes up against the likes of the Polo Vivo, or Toyota Etios.

The most important thing to know about the Micra Active is that it comes in only one variant – a 1.2L manual (petrol) with 56kW and 104Nm of torque. It’s ideal for zipping around in a city, which is why the launch event took place at Gold Reef, and we got to drive to Soweto for lunch.

The outside changes on the Micra Active are the headlight redesign; V-shaped chrome grille; the front bumper; the rear light cluster; and the rear bumper. The insides have a new seat fabric; centre instrument cluster; a 7” touchscreen infotainment system; and six speakers. This is the same system found on the Nissan Navara. It also has manual air conditioning; front power windows; 12V power socket; steering wheel adjustment; and foldable rear-seats.

Usually, in smaller and cheaper cars, things like safety get compromised. The Micra Active has ABS, EBD and Brake Assist; both driver and passenger airbags; ISOfix child seat anchorage in the back; rear headrests; rear fog lights; remote central locking; speed sensitive auto door locking; and immobiliser.

For those who asked, the system has Bluetooth, so it pairs with your handset but it does not support Car Play or Android Auto. You can use it for hands-free calls, listening to music, etc. It also has navigation, and TomTom live traffic on the system. Not bad for a small city car.

During the launch drive, I did not pair my handset to the vehicle as we drove with partners and was paying attention to the route map. I can’t tell you much about this specifically, but the navigation came in handy on our way back when we left Soweto.

It is what you’d expect from a 1.2L car for quick running around the city, so nothing too fancy. I mean, it doesn’t have mirrors on the sun visor – I haven’t seen this feature lacking on a car before; odd. It’s ideal for students or elderly who don’t want to take their big cars around for little errands. Maybe even a branded company car.

We had a gymkhana setup at the Gold Reef City parking lot to test the car, which included slalom through traffic cones, doing a complete 360-degree turn, alley docking, and parallel parking. The car is really good for manoeuvring in tight spaces and it was really so easy to carry out the above. There was a leaderboard with timings for each of us, and lets just say it got competitive (with one person – LOL).

I personally love seeing such affordable cars, especially the Micra Active priced at R159 900 featuring a 7” touchscreen WITH navigation and live traffic. This is an optional extra that costs more, however, Nissan South Africa are throwing it for free during the launch window of the vehicle. This means if you purchase the car within 3 months, it will be free.

The Micra Active comes with a 3 year/90 000km service plan and 6 year/150 000km warranty.