Certain mysteries of life will never be unravelled. For instance, why do people watch cooking shows on television?
It is worldwide phenomenon that I will never understand. Cooking, by its very nature, relies overwhelmingly on the senses of smell and taste.
Both are utterly absent on a television show.
That fact renders watching it as nonsensical as drinking nonalcoholic beer or watching soft porn. I have resigned myself to the fact that I will never understand.
Like I will never understand why some scumbag of doubtful parentage found it necessary to rip the front spoiler off my Nissan Micra test vehicle.
I left the Micra standing, totally inoffensively, in the OR Tambo International Airport covered parking garage on a Friday afternoon.
When I returned on the Sunday morning, the car was missing its front mini-spoiler, which had been pried off using some sharp instrument. Why, on God’s green earth, would anybody want a plastic car part so desperately?
It was a sad note during an otherwise enjoyable week with the little Nissan.
The Micra, long a favourite in Nissan’s local passenger car range, has undergone drastic exterior changes. Nissan’s press blurb uses phrases like “poised silhouette”, “expressive character” and “floating roof effect”, all stuff too complicated for us to understand.
What we can say is that the car is pretty, with clean lines, What we lack in expressive descriptions, we can thankfully make up for with photographs so take a look herewith.
The car sits on 16-inch alloy spoked wheels in 195/55R16 tyres.
Inside, it will seat four adults in comfortable two-tone cloth-covered seats, with ample space for knees, elbows and really tall people.
The rear seat back is able to fold forward in a 60/40 split, to expand 300 litres of luggage space to 1 004 litres, when required.
A rake and reach-adjustable steering wheel is standard, as are daytime running lights, front power windows, cruise control and automatic headlights.
A Bluetooth and MP3 compatible audio system are operated via a 17-inch touch-screen colour display.
The car is also available with a wide range of personalisation options, whereby you could modify the exterior and interior with premium components in a variety of colours.
The car was fun to drive. It’s powered by a turbocharged three-cylinder, 898cc petrol engine that produces 66 kW of power at 5 500 rpm and 140 Nm of torque at 2 250 rpm.
Hooked up to a five-speed manual gearbox and weighing in at 1 530kg, the Nissan Micra was zippy in traffic and it would happily cruise at 120km/h on the highway with around 2 400 rpm on the clock.
It handled neutrally, even during spirited cornering, all, say Nissan, thanks to high body stiffness and advanced suspension. It boasts disc brakes front and drums rear, with ABS, EBD and Hill Start Assist.
Passive safety additions include six airbags, seat belt warnings, seat belt height adjustment front and rear plus Isofix child seats, including in the front passenger seat.
We did not try to drive the Micra economically and were pleasantly surprised with an average fuel consumption figure of 6.2 l/100km.
In all, at an asking price of R257 400, the new Nissan Micra should find favour with many local car buyers.
The Nissan Micra is covered by Nissan Assured and comes with a six-year/150 000km warranty; a three-year/90 000km service plan; and 24/7 roadside assistance.