Introducing the New Micra / March – How Nissan Plans to Aim Upmarket in 2014

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, June 6th, 2013

As we discussed a couple months ago, the Nissan March (called Micra outside Japan) is a car in need of some love. At the time, we had just seen a preview of the 2014 Micra intended for the Thailand market, but we couldn’t confirm very much for other countries. This time, Nissan is officially pulling the veil. While it’s completely unavailable in the United States, the Nissan Micra (or March, depending where you’re at) sells well in over 50 countries, so it’s about time for a refresh. This week, we saw exactly what that refresh will look like.

So, without further ado, let me introduce you to Nissan’s New Micra. And yes, “New Micra” IS what they’re calling it, at least for now.

New Nissan Micra / March side view

Even if you’re one of our US readers, hopefully you’ll still find this article interesting as it’s not totally out of the question that the New Micra could someday make it onto American shores. It’s certainly been rumored before. But, if you wanted to step out for this one, I would understand. Me and our non-US readers will have a jolly good time without you.

Still here? Great. Let’s talk superminis.

Nissan’s Intention for the New March?

The last time the Nissan Micra got a significant update was in 2010, but it continues to be a very important car in the second-largest Japanese brand’s international lineup. It’s the third best-selling Nissan model in Europe, according to the press release.

Before we get into the specific upgrades you can expect in the New Micra, you need to understand what Nissan is trying to accomplish with this makeover. Long story short, it’s trying (A) to create a more appealing car for the European market, and (B) to boost the supermini out of the “budget-friendly” sector that it’s in today.

While Nissan certainly made exterior changes to the New Micra (which you can see in the images), the changes with the highest impact are probably the interior and technology upgrades in the revised supermini. I confess that I’m still not a huge fan of the exterior – a bit too bubbly and soft for my tastes – but I can get pretty excited about what’s going on inside.

NissanConnect and More in the New March

The biggest improvement by far is the sleek new center console. Complete with an updated NissanConnect infotainment system displayed on a beautiful 5.8-inch touchscreen, it can now tell you exactly how efficiently you’ve been driving. The navigation system has also been upgraded, and now automatically calculates the route that offers the least gas consumption. You can even send Google Maps from your computer to the New Micra’s navigation using Google Send-to-Car.

Another cool new feature in the facelifted Micra is Parking Slot Measurement. Basically, the New Micra will tell you whether or not you can fit into a parking spot before you try and park in it. Of course, since the car is tiny and has an incredibly tight turning radius – 4.65m according to the press release – there probably aren’t too many spots the Micra can’t park in. None the less, PSM is a neat and useful feature, especially when you hear that it adjusts to your parking skill.

There’s more tech shown off in this video:

Aesthetic Improvements in the New March

Since we already covered some of these improvements when we saw the Thailand commercial, I won’t spend too much time going over them here. Again, the interior is really where all the juicy upgrades are at. The materials, textures and stitching have all been improved, the color-scheme has been refined and modernized, the dash has been restyled, and even the vents have been altered. For a full run down, you can find the press release here: http://www.autoblog.com/2013/06/05/nissan-micra-gets-big-refresh/

So, after all of these changes, the question is whether or not the 2014 Nissan Micra has accomplished its goal. Do you think that a new interior with more technology is enough to justify a higher price tag? What about the facelifted exterior? Is it a hit or a miss? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and stay tuned for more Japanese auto news coming tomorrow.

If you’re looking for any of the previous Nissan Marches, you’ll be able to find just the one you want in the Japanese car auctions. There are 330 being auctioned today alone!

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