1986 Nissan Micra K10J 1.2
Decidedly Retro - but right for anti-warming campaign
Fastidiously maintained by an older gent. Original owner who never drove much. Body - all oiled underneath. No rust at all. Everything shiny. New tires, brakes, master cylinder, exhaust. All new before it was put away. Not a fault. Clean as a whistle in and out. Incredible for a 21 year old.
The car is my Mr Bean special. Gets a smile from everyone, except those who are following and want to speed. You've heard of a Lincoln Town Car. Well, this is my Nissan Clown Car.
It could really use a tune-up. The carb is set to run too high on the fast idle. When I try to kick it down, everyone thinks I'm trying to race, but I'm certainly not. It's impossible to drive furiously in this car. Not passionately either. It can manage earnestness. It should be call the Nissan Introvert.
No power steering. No power brakes. No power of any kind. It's a puddle-jumper. A jam jar. My son, who's the same age, says it's a cross between a shopping cart and a sewing machine.
I like it. It was cheap. And, the first 500km used just 28 liters of gas. That's 40 miles/ gal US or 48 miles/ gal Imp. Should get even better with the idle adjusted.
It seems incredibly small on North American roads. It's the shortest, narrowest, most diminutive thing on four wheels in the year 2007. You would think the ride would be horrible, but it's just bad. Twelve inch wheels. Hobbit springs and hobbit struts. The steering wheel is a liquorish whip. Surprising thing. It sails over bumps much better than most large cars. Look up kinetic energy to find out why.
I could afford a much better car, but I want this one. Micras should rise again to fight global warming.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 12th March, 2007
I've a 1990 Micra. The Hitachi carburetors on them are a nightmare to set right, took me ages to get the idle speed right on it, and even at that, the fuel mixture is still too rich, leading too bad fuel economy (about 35-40mpg). Nevertheless, they are a great car once serviced regularly, hasn't let me down on cold mornings yet. However, they are known to have poor quality oil valve seals and piston rings, and they wear quickly. Mine has nearly 109,000 miles on it already, and yet it burns oil like no tomorrow (about 1 litre of oil per 500 miles).
Many thanks for the observations about Hitachi Carburetors. That useful advice is the best thing about this website. Wish it had a simple cable choke like my old Honda. I really hope I can get it to perform cold weather starts with a bit more facile. We in the True White North (aka Canada) often have to face 30-below-zero mornings, sometimes more than a month at a time. Remind me again why I worried about global warming? Anyway, I think the car is right for the times and won't mind spending whatever it takes to make it right. I was ready to buy a 2007 Nissan Versa, but found this old turd before penning the deal. Many a ride in BMC products with my motor mechanic father has prepared me for anything Nissan of the 80s can throw my way. Tally-ho!