2000 Nissan Micra GX 1.0 petrol from UK and Ireland
Lovely to drive, CVT box has its upsides and downsides
Electromagnetic clutch brushes needed replacing at 51k miles - soldered in similar-sized brushes for a 12V alternator (€7 plus a few hours of head-scratching, but Nissan wanted €250 or so, no thanks).
One of the rear brake cylinders was leaking at 51k miles - replaced both rears, a bit expensive (~€200!).
Passenger side electric window switch failed, which seemed to stop central locking on that side from working properly - rewired around it so at least the other switch on the driver's side works, which fixed both problems.
The CVT gearbox feels very nice, giving smooth acceleration with no jerky gear changes, but the 1.0L engine unsurprisingly doesn't give a whole lot of power.
The power steering is nice and light, although the wheel rubs slightly against the dashboard cowl on the right side.
Suspension feels a bit sloppy, so fast cornering isn't very comfortable. Apart from that and the lack of power, it's extremely relaxing to drive!
A lot of the problems people report with the CVT are due to the brushes which supply power to the electromagnetic clutch. These carbon brushes wear down over time due to constant friction against the slip ring of the clutch. When the CVT warning light comes on, remove the brush assembly and see if they're worn down to stubs. Nissan wanted €220 EX VAT for a replacement brush assembly. Instead, I soldered in similar-sized brushes for an alternator (the shop charged €7) and they've been working fine for 3 months now!
However, if and when the clutch or CVT gearbox really fail, the repair cost would be beyond the value of the car.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 30th May, 2010