The Nissan Micra has grown. From citycar to segment B challenger in Europe, the fifth generation marks a completely fresh start: not just in terms of dimensions, but in design language too. Shiro Nakamura, head of design for the Japanese company, says: “Ours is exciting, very modern geometry. We wanted to make the car more dynamic and alluring and this we did not through a bionic shape but with a mechanical, geometric input”.

This said, the new car – barely a millimetre shorter than four metres, 1.74 wide and 1.45 tall – reveals its European ambitions right from the start. Remaining faithful to the Sway concept (Geneva 2015), the new Micra presents styling features and sculpted forms aimed at creating emotion. Sharp lines extend to the rear from the hallmark V-motion grille. The boomerang-shaped headlights and sloping roof incorporating a spoiler complete an expressively dynamic image. The curve of the front wing that continues along the side adds to the aesthetics but also – they say in Nissan – to aerodynamic performance (Cx is 0.29, excellent for a car in this segment).

Cabin space is at the top of the segment and targets driver comfort. The gliding-wing shaped dashboard lends a feeling of lightness, elegance and roominess. At the Paris Show the Micra, recently voted among the “magnificent seven” competing at Geneva for the title of “Car of the Year”, was presented with three engines: a turbocharged petrol-driven 900 cc, 90 bhp unit, the same power output as the four-cylinder 1500 cc diesel, and a naturally aspirated petrol-driven engine (1000 cc, 73 bhp). The die is cast.