2016 Paris - Nissan says 'Bonjour' with the flashy new Micra

Perfectly utilizing the glamorous floor space of the 2016 Paris Motor Show, Nissan made quite a style statement by unveiling its fifth-generation Micra. Squarely targeted at the popular and highly-demanding B-segment in Europe, the new Micra is all set to continue the nameplate's 30-year legacy in the continent when it goes on sale early next year.

When Nissan unveiled the Sway Concept at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, few expected the car to make it to production unchanged. Nissan, being who they are, did just that with the new Micra. That was an exaggeration, of course, but you get the point.

Ditching its swoopy lines and feminine image for good, the new Micra looks sharp and flashy. Nissan's signature V-motion grille takes the center stage up front flanked by large headlights with boomerang-shaped detailing inside. But the profile is where the real drama is. Prominent character lines that originate from the edges of the grille flow through the fenders, change course midway through the front doors to form a V-shaped crease before running the full length of the car. Other interesting design touches include the floating roof - another Nissan signature, C-pillar mounted rear door handles and sharp boomerang-shaped taillights.

While opinions on the new Micra's styling have been polarizing so far, we don't remember the last time a B-segment hatchback's design was debated as much. That's good news, Nissan has got the new Micra rolling!

In total contrast to the exterior styling, the new Micra's cabin is subtle and lacks flair. Occupying prime position inside is the multi-function flat-bottom steering wheel, the wing-shaped dashboard and the 7-inch full-colour display that incorporates the infotainment and navigation systems. Entertainment duties are taken care of by the new 6-speaker 'Bose' personal sound system.

The new Micra is loaded with advanced safety kit including segment-first Lane Departure Prevention, Intelligent Emergency Braking with pedestrian detection, Intelligent Around View Monitor, Traffic Sign Recognition, High Beam Assist and Blind Spot Warning apart from ABS and airbags that we know. Impressively, Nissan is planning to have these features as standard across the range.

Powertrain options at launch include a 0.9-liter turbocharged 3-cylinder petrol engine and a 1.5-liter diesel engine, both developing 90 horsepower. A 1.0-liter naturally aspirated petrol engine will join the lineup later as the base engine option.

While the current Micra is produced in Renault-Nissan's alliance plant in Chennai and exported worldwide, Nissan is reportedly moving the production back to Europe for the next-generation model. That puts a huge question mark on the new Micra's launch prospects for India though the funky hatchback would be a fabulous addition to Nissan's aging lineup here. Will Nissan spring us a surprise? Let's wait and watch.

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