Nissan launches Micra facelift, repositions existing model as Micra Active

The Nissan Micra, that was launched in India with much fanfare as the Renault-Nissan Alliance's first model in the country, might not have been a big success in our market. But, the Micra has been a huge success internationally, which meant that the Chennai plant was busy churning out export variants of the premium hatchback. Three years have since passed, and the time has come for a mid-cycle nip and tuck.

There are mid-cycle facelifts that would just make us strain our eyes trying to spot the differences. And there are facelifts that genuinely raises the appeal of a car that is just starting to look outdated. Thankfully, the Micra facelift adopts the latter. Nissan has done a fabulous job of redesigning the front-end of the Micra that was often criticized for looking too curvy and feminine. The new Micra's sharp, peeled-out headlights, the split grille with thick chrome strips, the bigger air-dam with large hexagonal slots and the fog-light surrounds that protrude towards the edges of the front bumper have really transformed the character of the car. Though the profile and rear remains largely unchanged except for the new alloy wheels, LED taillights and a redesigned rear bumper, the Micra now looks a whole lot better than the outgoing version.

The same theme has been carried forward inside as well. The top half of the center console is all-new, with rectangular air-conditioner vents replacing the circular vents of the pre-facelift model. The interiors are refreshing with a mix of brushed metal inserts, surfaces finished in glossy black and chrome touches. The 3-cylinder 1.2-liter petrol and the 4-cylinder 1.5-liter dCi diesel engines are carried over from the old Micra, while the CVT automatic transmission makes its debut in the Micra facelift. While most of its competitors are soldiering on with old-school auto-boxes, Nissan's initiative to bring the advanced continuously variable transmission in the Micra is commendable. The top-end Micra XV Premium comes fully loaded with features that include climate control system, keyless entry and go, Bluetooth connectivity with USB and Aux-input and reversing camera with display in the rear view mirror.

While the three petrol variants - XL, XL(O) and XV CVT are priced at INR 4.79, 5.42 and 6.39 Lakhs respectively, the four diesel variants - XL, XL(O), XV and XV Premium are priced at INR 5.9, 6.43, 6.9 and 7.14 Lakhs respectively.

In what is slowly becoming a norm in India, the previous Micra is not going to be discontinued. Instead, Nissan has given the old Micra a 'blink-and-you-miss' redesign, stripped off as much features as possible and repositioned it as the Micra Active. A basic headlight cluster, a redesigned front bumper, black door handles and mirrors and plastic wheel-caps make the intentions clear. With the exception of the top-end XL (Safety) variant that comes with central locking, EBD and Airbags, the interiors of the other Micra Active variants are stripped down to just the essentials. Targeted squarely at big-sellers like the Hyundai i10 and Maruti-Suzuki Wagon-R that come with petrol engines only, the Micra Active is also available with just the 1.2-liter petrol engine under the hood. What has not changed is the abundant space inside the cabin.

The Micra Active is available in 4 variants - XE, XL, XV and XV (Safety). At INR 3.5, 4.01, 4.3 and 4.71 Lakhs respectively, the Micra Active is tremendous value for money. By doing so, the Nissan Micra is now straddling a whopping two and half segments, hoping to attract buyers from all these segments. Good luck Nissan!


  1. I think car Manufactures are realizing that old models should not be discontinued. But you were wrong when you said it it is becoming a trait. It started with the Octavia/Laura.

    1. It's the same with the Safari/Storme, Sumo/Grande, Indica/Vista, Indigo/Manza, 800/Alto/Zen/A-Star, Fiesta Classic/New Fiesta and the Accent/Verna. Even the new i10 slated for launch later this year is rumored to be positioned above the existing i10 and not going to replace it. This is definitely becoming a norm these days.