Nissan launched the Micra facelift in India earlier this week. Mind you, this isn’t the Europe-spec car which is based on a new platform. Nevertheless, armed with a slew of creature comforts, the new Micra is now a better value-for-money proposition than the outgoing model. There is hardly any change in the prices of petrol variants, although the top-of-the-line oil burner is now pricier by Rs 14,000. We take a look at the Nissan Micra’s competition.
But before that, here is a brief about the Nissan Micra. This hatchback is being offered with two engine options - a 1.2-litre three-pot petrol and a 1.5-litre four-pot diesel. The petrol engine delivers 75bhp and 104Nm of torque and is available only with a CVT transmission. The top-spec XV petrol retails at Rs 6.95 lakh. The diesel on the other hand produces 65bhp and 160Nm of torque and gets a five-speed manual transmission. The top-of-the-line XL Comfort diesel will set you back by Rs 7.23 lakh (all prices ex-showroom, Delhi).
The XV petrol variant of the Nissan Micra takes on the Maruti Suzuki Swift ZXi, although the latter is available only with a five-speed manual gearbox. But this also means that the Swift ZXi is more affordable at Rs 6.39 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It also gets a more powerful powertrain - a 1.2-litre unit that develops 83bhp and 115Nm of torque. It is the same story for the diesel variant – the Swift ZDi’s 1.3-litre mill is more powerful at 74bhp and 190Nm of torque. However, it is also pricier at Rs 7.46 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi).
The Swift is also more involving to drive than the Micra, and is a better option for an enthusiast. The Micra, on the other hand, offers slightly better space for the passengers. Even inside, the Swift gets a sporty black trim while the Micra gives a sense of elegance with its beige interior. The rear passengers get an armrest and cup holders. The driver is pampered with automatic headlamps and rain sensing wipers. The boot is also bigger at 251 litres as opposed to Swift's 205 litre boot.
Also, the Swift, gets a six-speaker audio system in place of a four-speaker system in the Micra. As for safety, both the Swift and the Micra get two airbags up front and ABS with EBD. The Micra gets seven colour options as opposed to five for the Swift.
The current Swift has been due for an update, and we expect the new generation car to make its debut at the 2018 Auto Expo. The updates will be in line with the new Dzire and we can expect a slight bump in sticker price.
The Hyundai Grand i10 was recently updated for the Indian market. Unlike Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai does offer the petrol Grand i10 with an automatic gearbox, an ageing four-speed unit. The top-of-the-line Grand i10 Sportz (O) is marginally more affordable at Rs 6.84 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). It is also more powerful at 81bhp and 114Nm of torque. The most premium diesel variant is the Asta U2, is priced at Rs 7.34 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi), which makes it pricier than the Micra. Under the hood is a 1.2-litre mill delivering 74bhp and 190Nm of torque, which is again relatively higher than the Micra.
However like the Micra, the Grand i10 is biased towards comfort rather than sportiness. The Grand i10 in fact, is the segment leader when it comes to comfort and features. Features like the 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, climate control system and rear AC vents make it a more comfortable car to be in. Dual airbags are standard.