There’s an athletic flair that permeates the N-Sport Micra’s cabin – one that is well judged in relation to its status as a moderately sporting performance derivative. The seats are trimmed primarily in dark Alcantara, which is complemented by contrasting dual white stripes.

The dashboard facing is finished in the same material, complete with further contrasting white stitching. Meanwhile, the soft-touch synthetic material covering the top of the dash is inoffensive to prodding fingers, and the white surrounds of the outer air vents are juxtaposed smartly against the cabin’s darker palette.

Richard Lane

Road tester
Instruments are one part of the interior untouched by the N-Sport uplift – so no red needles or go-faster fonts. At least the clocks are clear and easily readable

Of course, the N-Sport isn’t free from the sorts of tougher, more industrial plastics common to members of the supermini genre, but their use is subtle enough to prevent the Nissan from being singled out among its peers. It’s just a shame that the range of colourful interior personalisation packs available throughout the wider Micra range can’t be optioned at the N-Sport grade – orange seat bolsters would inject the place with a touch more character.

Elsewhere, the Micra continues to exhibit an impressively low hip point, while generous reach in the telescopic steering column mitigates the need for taller drivers to hunch themselves over the well-spaced pedals. That same ergonomic sensibility is also present in the location of controls for the HVAC and infotainment systems.

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The NissanConnect touchscreen infotainment set-up in the updated Micra is all new, adding voice recognition, a customisable home screen and a single-line search function to the previous system’s functionality.

It has a 7.0in screen, which is not particularly large compared with what is offered by the likes of Ford, PSA and VW. However, it integrates mirroring for Apple and Android smartphones on all Micra grades above entry level and optionally adopts a navigation system provided by TomTom that offers live traffic information and ‘door-to-door’ navigation routing by which you can plot a destination before getting in your car via an app. Our test car didn’t have the optional nav.

The overall system has slightly less latency than its predecessor, although it remains relatively slow to respond to inputs. Nissan’s changes to the menu structure make it easier to hop between CarPlay and the car’s proprietary menus, though. Audio quality is adequate but not particularly powerful or crisp.

Where the Micra’s interior packaging begins to come unstuck is the second row. Rear leg room is miserly compared with the VW Polo’s, but it is the shortage of head room that proved most troublesome for our road testers. Measured at 860mm, it is some 90mm less generous than what you’ll experience in the Polo. We can accept that the occasions where taller adults find themselves sitting on the rear bench of a Micra may be few and far between, but the need to bend your neck uncomfortably forward when doing so is a significant ergonomic flaw – supermini or not.

Small children will fit just fine, but this oversight undermines what is otherwise a convincingly conceived cabin. As for boot space, the 300-litre capacity is enough to see it outshine the comparatively stingy Ford Fiesta (292 litres). However, with 355 litres apiece, the Seat Ibiza and VW Polo take class honours.

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