2002 Nissan Micra 1.4 petrol from Australia and New Zealand
Cute, well designed city car. Escapes class distinction, which is a rarity
Needed a temporary second car, and bought the car off an absolutely stunning Ukrainian girl who was about 24... she was so stunning (shallow narcissism 10/10)... that I didn't check a single thing. 10 km down the road I was kicking myself... blown head gasket... ABS light coming on... vibration when pressing the brakes.... not good.
Got home after 3 stops to refill the radiator and proceeded to work out how to fix it as cheaply as possible.
ABS light was due to the front tyres being bald; the rear ones being brand new. New tyres fixed that one... no more ABS light.
Replaced head gasket on the original 1.2 motor and did a good job, but it blew again about 100 km later... obtained a very good second hand 1.4 motor and replaced the 1.2 motor over a weekend. Fantastic... what a transformation. The 1.4 is nice and peppy, and doesn't hate the hills like the 1.2, even if it's only a little bigger, plus it's good on gas... get about 37 MPG around town... 40 on a trip outside the city.
Good comfortable seats, and also good suspension for a small car... very practical body with good storage spaces, and nice, easy to read instruments.
Would like to change the gearbox though to a manual, not because the gearbox is bad or anything, but I think the 1.4 would shine even more with a manual 5 speed... may do it if I find an inexpensive wreck.
Brakes eventually stopped vibrating... may have had spots on them from sitting around... seem to be fine now.
Was going to move it on, but like the car so much I think I will keep it...
Well packaged car with class leading design for its time period... the newer car may be "improved" in some ways, but this has character, whereas the new model Micra doesn't make me want to own it.
Love driving it around the city. Small tank thou... another 5 litres or more in the gas tank and it would be almost the perfect small modern car.
Escapes that class distinction which only a small percentage of small cars manage to do... e.g. Citroen 2CV, VW Beetle, Nissan S Cargo, Renault 5 and Twingo, Toyota Echo... etc etc... Civics etc etc.
Parts are cheap and plentiful... and it's also fairly easy to work on after you buy a Haynes manual.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 15th November, 2015
27th Apr 2016, 09:32
A year later and am still enjoying this great little Town Car.
Replaced the stereo as the original factory one is extra, extra wimpy... Speakers are OK, but installed tweeters into the front door pillars and now it sings... Original bass drivers in the front, I may change soon to something of good quality, but they sound OK as it is.
Had a further ABS problem due to the front sensor ring on RH wheel bearing disintegrating so the computer thought hmmm... faulty. Second hand wheel bearing/hub cost $40 NZ from a wrecker. Problem solved.
A few plastic rattles easily fixed with glue/damping material. Am going to keep it for a while yet. It's good for my elderly mother to get into and out of... can't sell it as she calls it her car.
An easy to repair car... if you have problems fixing this car yourself, then you shouldn't be fixing cars at all.