Posts Tagged ‘march’

New Nissan Hatchback Making Its Sway to Geneva

Posted by Stephen On Monday, March 2nd, 2015

We officially have a hot new car to look out for at the 2015 Geneva Motor Show, which is less than a week away. That car is the Nissan Sway Concept, which you can see in our first official preview below.

Nissan Sway Concept

The Sway is a new hatchback concept from the world’s second-largest Japanese automaker. Nissan barely hit 100 words in their press release that came with this image, but they did offer a couple juicy tidbits about what we can expect from this new concept car.

First, Nissan says that the “Sway is a glimpse at how a future generation of small Nissan models could look if the company’s striking new design language was applied to a European hatchback.” Apparently, Nissan is looking to apply the same out-of-the-box thinking and next-level quality standards to the small hatch segment as they have to the crossover segment.

In other words, the Sway concept will be Nissan’s next status quo challenging vehicle, just like the Juke and the Qashqai before it.

The teaser image on its own doesn’t offer too much information. However, there are a few key design elements we can see in this new concept, such as Nissan’s hallmark V-motion grille, some angry looking daytime running lights and relatively thin fog lights, which may outline some sort of front vent design. We can also see an aggressively sculpted body that honestly doesn’t look like it’s all that far from production.

Unfortunately, we probably won’t learn anything more about the Nissan Sway Concept until it makes its official debut next week at the Geneva Motor Show. However, we have a highly relevant Japanese car auction find for you to tide you over ‘til then:

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2013 Nissan March 12X

2013 Nissan March 12X

Nissan already has a small hatchback available in Europe, and that car is the Nissan Micra, aka. the Nissan March. We’re guessing that the Nissan Sway Concept previews the next generation of Nissan’s already-existing hatchback offering.

2013 Nissan March rear

You can see here that the current Nissan March is a great looking car, but not one that really breaks any boundaries the way Nissan has with the Qashqai and Juke. As a Nissan March 12X model, this car comes fitted with a 1.2L straight-three engine that produces 79 hp and 80 lb-ft of torque. It’s the same engine used in the Nissan Note.

The current Nissan March has been on the market since 2010, so if the Sway Concept previews a new version of that car, it would certainly make sense as a 2016MY.

For more information about this Japanese car auction find, keep reading below the auction sheet:

2013 Nissan March 12X auction sheet

“Interior A, first registered October 2013, 12X model, FAT, AC, power steering, power windows, service book,, airbag, intelligent key, CD, idling stop, marks as per map”

Japanese Car Auction Find – 2012 Nissan March 12S V Package

Posted by Stephen On Friday, October 24th, 2014

Today’s Japanese car auction find is homage to Nissan’s new budget-friendly Micra Cup that they’re launching in Canada next year. Today we’re going to see just how affordable a Nissan Micra can be when you use the Integrity Exports car auction database.

Note that the Nissan Micra is known as the Nissan March in Japan and other markets. Today’s Japanese car auction find is a 2012 Nissan March 12S V Pack:

2012 Nissan March 12S V Package

The Nissan March 12S V Package was a special trim manufactured to commemorate a two-year facelift of the fourth-generation March which launched in 2010. There aren’t any groundbreaking extra features though; just a regular March 12S with an electric remote to control the door mirror and power socket, as well as special UV-reducing green glass in the front of the car.

The current generation of the Nissan Micra/March is built on the newly developed Type-V platform, which is a big contributor to the hatchback’s smooth handling. Of course, you also have to thank the hatch’s 1.2L three-cylinder engine, which was the first of its kind in a Nissan at the time of its launch. The engine provides just enough power for the lightweight Micra at 79hp and 80 lb-ft of torque, while also offering incredible fuel economy of 18 km/L, or about 43 mpg.

2012 Nissan March 12S V Package rear

This particular March 12S V is clearly in great condition with an overall rating of 5. While the Micra may not be the coolest looking hatchback on the market, it still manages to bring a bit of flair to car that’s really meant for mass appeal.

A cool little fact about the fourth-generation March’s exterior is that Nissan was able to reduce the drag coefficient to just 0.32, which is near unheard of in this class of vehicles.

2012 Nissan March 12S V Package interior

Inside, you’ll find that this economical hatchback features all of the conventional amenities you’d look for in today’s entry-level vehicle: air-conditioning, power steering, power windows, plenty of little cubbies for phones and knick-knacks, and built-in navigation and infotainment. All of that in a clean A-rated interior with comfy cross-stitched fabric seating and a neutral black and grey color-scheme.

All in all, this Japanese car auction find has only gotten us more excited for next year’s Micra NISMO and the inaugural Micra Cup. This is a car that’s reliable and fun to drive even without sport tuning… We can’t wait to see what the geniuses over at NISMO can whip up for us. Until then, keep reading below the auction sheet for a full translation of today’s auction find:

2012 Nissan March 12S V Package auction sheet

Here is the translation:

“Interior A, first registered March 2012, DBA emissions code 12S-V Package model, AT, AC, service book, 9237 km, power steering, power windows, original navigation system and TV, airbag, reversing rearview camera, keyless entry, spare key, minor scratches, other marks as per map”

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:

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!

2014 Nissan March / Micra Debuts in Thailand

Posted by Stephen On Tuesday, March 26th, 2013

I know that we’re all waiting on the edge of our seats for the 2013 New York Auto Show later this week. Don’t worry, we’ll be discussing what Japanese cars you can expect in New York tomorrow. For now, we have a small treat to tide you over. Below you’re going to learn about the changes to the redesigned 2014 Nissan March just released in Thailand. FYI, the March is also known as the Nissan Micra in European and Japanese markets.

For those of you keeping tally, the last time the Nissan March got any attention was at the 2010 Geneva Motor Show when the new generation was unveiled for sale starting in Thailand, and gradually moving through India, Europe and Japan. It looks like Nissan is repeating that pattern again, as our news of the facelifted March comes from Nissan’s Thailand page. The car will, again, start sales in Thailand and become available in Europe, India and Japan over the rest of 2013.

To be fair, we unofficially saw spyshots of the new Nissan Micra hatchback a couple weeks ago. The photos were taken during the filming of a TV commercial in Thailand. Perhaps the spyshot commercial is the very same one we are now seeing on YouTube? You’ll have to watch it to find out.

Other than an action-packed commercial, what’s new with the 2014 Nissan March?

First and foremost, the exterior design gets the biggest change. The Nissan March hasn’t been selling very well, and critics often point to a “cute” or “bubbly” appearance as the reason why. The new facelift should change that. Nissan has added new bumpers, a sleeker front grille, and even some of those LEDs that are all the rage these days. Plus, buyers now have the choice to upgrade to 15-inch alloy wheels with new hubcaps. All in all, the exterior looks much more interesting, but does it work? To me, it seems like the old March … uglified.

New Nissan March 2014 model

As for the interior, critics again had something to say, and Nissan listened. The previous Nissan March was seen as simultaneously cheap and dated on the inside, even though it got a major overhaul just three years ago in 2010. The 2014 Nissan March aims to fix that with higher quality materials, a brand-new center console, redone graphical controls and a more stylish color scheme throughout.

Mechanically speaking, this is the one area where Nissan didn’t listen, and everything is staying the same for 2014. Even though Europeans have been calling for a diesel engine, the only option buyers will get is the same 79hp three cylinder 1.2L engine paired with a CVT that’s been available in previous versions. At least, as far as we know.

Truth be told, we actually don’t know if the changes made to the Nissan March will carry over to the Nissan Micra, but I’m sure that prospective Micra-buyers would like them to. Either way, I hope that this new car from Nissan has satiated your automotive appetite until later this week when we get to see the goodies from New York. Stay tuned!

Sources: Nissan, Carscoops

Japanese Car Industry Reaches Tipping Point

Posted by Stephen On Thursday, April 7th, 2011

The sales of  Japanese manufacturer cars imported into Japan are on the up and up.  A good example of this is Nissan’s March (Micra), which is now producing in Thailand for sale in Japan. In fact, the numbers of Japanese cars being produced overseas for sale back in Japan has jumped a whopping 235.9% in the last year.

I think we will look back on this year as the tipping point for the hollowing out of the Japanese car industry. The strong Yen has something to do with this, but I believe the reason is largely psychological: The Japanese have very definite ways of doing things and it has taken them a long time to really be convinced that non-Japanese people can build their cars to the same standards. Although these car giants have been having cars built overseas since the late 70s, it has taken until now for them to gain the confidence that these cars really match up to the same locally-produced item in terms of quality.

With costs in Japan being so high, and facing a rapidly declining base of young people to bring into the workforce, I believe that this change of attitude among the car makers will see an increasing shift to production outside Japan for both the overseas and internal Japanese markets. It may well be in the future that only the very high end premium models are produced in Japan anymore.

Source: Response (Japanese-language)