It’s the battle of budget heroes and this time around, our arena is the entry-level B-segment. For a long time, the only major player was the Wagon R but it has now expanded to include a variety of players like the Maruti Celerio and more recently the Tata Tiago. However, now, one of the older players, the Nissan Micra Active has undergone a major update, bringing it back into the game. How does it stack up against the rivals? Here is our perspective.
Where size and budget is small, looks are king. This argument is quite strong as all three of our contenders have quirky design, bright shades and wheels right at the edges to give that maxed out appearance. There is a modern feel to the design of the Tiago with forward sloping lines, black chrome grille and wrap around tail lamps. The Micra Active with this latest design update has brought itself back in the game thanks to its quirky appearance. The Micra Active is in essence the pre-facelift Micra which managed to carve out a niche for itself in the B-segment in terms of looks. The Celerio comes in third in the fray due to it having the most subtle looks of the three.
Given their close pricing and positioning, the Micra Active, Tiago and the Celerio on basic level also sport the same features. We have compared the Tiago XZ to the Celerio ZXi and the Micra XV safety pack. All three get a double-din music system, AC, fabric seats, height adjustment for the driver’s seat and ABS. They are evenly matched in terms of dimensions right down to the capacity of the fuel tank. On the safety front, despite the name, the Micra Active is on par with the other two in terms of safety options.
The Tata Tiago is powered by a 1.2-litre engine producing 84bhp/114Nm while the Micra’s 1.2-litre unit produces 67bhp/104Nm. Finally the Celerio’s 1.0-litre unit produces 67bhp/90Nm of torque. A five-speed manual is common throughout. Clearly the Tiago is the most powerful of the lot both in terms of power and torque but the Micra’s engine peak power comes in a full 1000rpm earlier than the rest.
The Micra Active is priced at Rs 5.39 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi) while the Tiago and the Celerio have been priced at Rs 5.09 lakh and Rs 5.11 lakh. It is considerably higher and in this part of the market, which is sensitive to price, an increase of over Rs 20,000 is quite a hike. The car was once a competitor to the Swift but it has now come down a notch and for this extra price, you get a marginally larger car.