By Dominic Parkes

Do you have a good wedge of cash in your pocket and the desire for a new set of wheels?  Then it should be easy to quench that thirst…you would think.

There are just so many good cars on the market that the introduction of the 2017 Micra from Nissan only complicates the issue further.

The new Micra really does raise the game yet again. After many years producing frankly dull Micras, it now genuinely challenges the VW Polo and Ford Fiesta market. Build-quality is very good and it’s both practical and good-looking, too. It’s fun to drive and has a range of efficient engines. The range-topping Tekna looks a bit pricey, but in a cheaper trim the new model is now a serious proposition for anyone after a supermini.

The styling is unlike any Micra before it. With it’s sweeping lines, vibrant paint colour schemes and air of sportiness it is clearly aimed at increasing its younger market.

Launched 35 years ago the Micra model was what could only be referred to as a tin box with a limited life span. I remember hearing many years ago, that the 80s cars were only designed to last seven years. I am not sure if this was true but to me there was no way it would last that long – I would have purposely crashed it, left it unlocked with the keys in or swapped it for a push-bike. Scroll forward to 2017 and things are certainly very different.  It’s a keeper.

The interior of the Tekna model I drove was not dissimilar to a BMW or Mercedes for fit and quality, with its supple leather, soft-touch materials and superb clear layout – I even had a loudspeaker in my headrest. I did hear a cry from the back seat on the initial journey asking what the ‘winder thingy’ is for.  Manual windows in the back seem like a pointless cost-saving exercise to me – amusing and almost quaint though.

Moving on… It is a delight to drive as the steering is light for town manoeuvres and well-weighted for the open road. Yes, you will find smiles on the open road because it may only have a sub one-litre three-cylinder petrol engine but it thinks it is bigger. The seats are supportive and the handling is well-fettled too, which all adds up to fun.

You will not be short of toys either as there’s lots of kit available – with lane-departure prevention, autonomous braking with pedestrian detection and Nissan’s Around View Monitor all standard. The latter really does help make driving in the city easier and for some buyers could prove invaluable. The Tekna specification also boasts a rear-view camera, 17-inch alloys, a seven-inch touchscreen, two-tone upholstery and automatic air-con. If you like your tunes then you are catered for with a Bose speaker system that’s one of the better systems available in this class.

The supermini field is a big one but be sure to include the new Nissan Micra.

Car Tested:  Nissan Micra IG-T 90 Tekna. Price as tested £17,435.00 Range starts at £14,315.00. CO2  104 CO2/km

With Thanks to Westover Nissan. Brunel Road. Salisbury 01722 448851

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