Nissan Micra C+C review (2005-2008) – MSN Cars UK

24 May 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Nissan Micra C+C review (2005-2008) – MSN Cars UK
Nissan Micra C+C

Nissan Micra C+C review (2005-2008)

The recent explosion of the supermini-based coupe/cabriolet has undoubtedly been a female led one. So it’s hardly surprising that Nissan is aiming the Micra C+C at them, suggesting at least 65% of Micra C+C customers will be female.

I’d suggest a figure closer to 95% though, particularly having witnessed how odd chaps looked behind the wheel on the launch event. It’ll enter a market already offered the hugely successful Peugeot 206 CC and Vauxhall Tigra, with the promise of more ‘coupe cabriolet’ competition soon from Mitsubishi among others, and, of course the Mini Cabriolet with its more conventional canvas roof.

So I’m perhaps not the best person to comment on the Micra C+C being in the possession of a Y chromosome. Sure, I may not be the target customer, but haven driven all the competition so at least I can give you a comparison of how the Micra C+C stacks up against them on the road. What I cannot do is comment on the styling with any authority, as along with its chief 206 CC rival I think the styling falls into the challenging category, and if I were being entirely truthful I’d even say ugly.

Still, that’s just my opinion, and the huge sales success of the 206 CC underlines that I clearly know nothing in this department.

I can comment on the way it drives though and the Micra C+C is easily the most competent and rounded performer in this category. Admittedly, with the additional weight that complex folding roof over its hatchback relative it’s never going to be a fireball in regards to performance, but the 1.6-litre, 110PS petrol engine does a decent enough job and isn’t too noisy when it’s revved.

Do so and it’ll cover the 0-62mph sprint in 10.6 seconds, almost 2 seconds faster than the smaller 1.4-litre engine. With just 88PS the smaller 1.4 should struggle in comparison, but as the 1.6-litre model only adds £845 and includes manual air conditioning (a £500 option on the 1.4-litre car) and larger alloy wheels the arguments for the 1.4-litre car are scant.

Even the difference in official combined consumption is minor, the 1.4-litre managing 42.8mpg compared to the 42.2mpg of the 1.6-litre car. The performance might not be electrifying but the composed ride and handling make the C+C one of the most enjoyable drives in its class. Even pushed hard through the bends the body roll is well contained, the ride retaining its composure on all but the most badly surfaced roads.

Inevitably there’s a loss of rigidity due to the loss of the roof with the C+C, but the tell tale body shake is less obvious compared to its rivals. Helping ensure that the Micra C+C feels stiffer than its opposition Nissan has incorporated a ‘dynamic damper’ to C+C’s structure under the rear bumper.

Nissan Micra C+C

Inevitably though there are some areas where the C+C is hindered by the need to stow a large roof panel in its boot. The rear seats are comedy sized and best considered as additional luggage space. And that’s something that really the C+C doesn’t need – at least when the roof is up. With it in position, as it’s likely to be for most of the year in the UK, the boot is absolutely vast and even with the roof stowed it’s generously proportioned – if a touch awkward to access.

The roof itself stows simply, just push a button and it disappears in 22 seconds. Unlike its rivals it’s glass too, meaning the cabin feels airy even when the sun is not hot enough to enjoy top-down.

It may be bright inside but there’s not a great deal of space for taller drivers. I found the seats too high and rather short on leg support and bolstering. They hardly live up to the ‘sports’ seat specification that Nissan claim. I’d have liked to be able to move them further back, too, particularly as your head seems perilously close to the header of the windscreen.

Smaller drivers, like the women it’s aimed at aren’t likely to find it such a problem and it’s a complaint familiar to most of the C+C’s competition. Otherwise, the interior both feels and looks good; it’s certainly more appealing than its rivals in build quality and style.

Add in decent practicality and prices starting at £13,150 and the Micra C+C looks like a tempting new contender in the coupe convertible market. But, what do I know? I’m just a man after all.

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