A perceptible feeling of missed opportunity seems to trail in the Micra N-Sport’s wake.
The distinctively sporting aesthetic and renewed sense of motive purpose that characterised the fifth-generation Micra at launch suggested there was a genuinely interesting, and entertaining, warmed-up supermini waiting in the wings.
Despite the foundation being all but there, the reality is much less convincing. An engine short on character is arguably its greatest shortcoming; particularly when the Ford Fiesta ST-Line and Seat Ibiza FR so successfully place their charming, zesty motors at the forefront of their driving experiences. At times stilted low-speed manners and unengaging steering, meanwhile, detract from a chassis that otherwise grips with convincing tenacity and has a fairly rounded, if occasionally wooden-feeling, ride.
These concerns, and others, ultimately deny this Micra our full endorsement. It’s a frustrating reality: N-Sport should have been an opportunity for Nissan to further elevate its supermini, to give it a compelling new USP. As it stands, however, the argument that this represents a worthy improvement over the regular model is a particularly thin one.