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Old 05-07-2014, 05:26 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Playing car reviewer for a day, 2015 Nissan Micra: ecodriving results; Q&A.



The "starting at $9998" 2015 Micra has just become available in Canada, and the media introduction event is happening next week in Montreal.

I got an invitation from Nissan for a one-on-one overview of the car with their chief marketing guy, plus test drives (manual & automatic).

U.S. version? They keep saying "no", but...

The company on both sides of the border has repeatedly said it has no plans to offer the Micra on the warmer side of the 49th. (Which does not explain why a partly-camoflauged Micra has been spotted twice this year -- once with instrumentation attached to its wheel hubs -- testing in California.)

My wild guess is they're testing the 1.2L, 3-cylinder drivetrain (supercharged) for U.S. certification. But what do I know?

MPG ratings / Ecodriving abilities

EcoModders might be disappointed by the car's official fuel economy ratings: 27/36/31 mpg US for the 5MT, or 8.6/6.6/7.7 L/100 km. But what about the real world numbers?

Keep in mind Nissan is not marketing this car as an efficiency machine - despite its small size, its mission not best fuel economy. They're marketing it as a fun, affordable car.

That's because it's got the same 1.6 L, 109 hp drivetrain as the Versa Note/sedan (except the automatic is a 4AT instead of CVT), which means esentially the same fuel consumption as those larger cars. In the "city car" class, that means it's above average for power to weight, but below average for MPG. (Possibly only the Mini is thirstier in the small car class).

Despite its ratings, I suspect the real world numbers will be better. I'll be practising basic ecodriving during my test drives to see what kind of numbers it can deliver.

Ecodriving UPDATE: decent ecodriving results in post #17, further down this thread, or read my full writeup on Micra-Forum, here:

Anything else you want to know?

Post below and I'll put it on my list to find out.

I don't pretend (or aspire) to be a car reviewer, but I'm looking forward to this!

Update: Micra for a week

July 2014: Nissan has loaned me a top spec Micra for a week. See thread: Micra notes, impressions, fuel economy info & photos.

Update #2: driving the "$9998" base trim Micra

June 2015: I also got a chance to try the $10k car. See: http://micra-forum.com/showthread.ph...rin-s-thoughts

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Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 05-07-2014, 08:28 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Are those crescents embossed into the sheet metal? If so, they might have an aerodynamic function?

All the practical stuff: does it fit four adults, does it rev above 3K at highway speeds, does it have a lean burn ... etc.
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Old 05-07-2014, 09:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Id be interested in how the variable valve technology works and if its on both the intake and exhaust or just one? What is the switch over point if its rpms/load related?

If its drive by wire throttle does it over work the throttle so at lower rpms it feels like a can of whup ass, but as need rises it reduces the throttle opening?

Is the cruse control aggressive or lax?
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:20 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NeilBlanchard View Post
Are those crescents embossed into the sheet metal? If so, they might have an aerodynamic function?

All the practical stuff: does it fit four adults, does it rev above 3K at highway speeds, does it have a lean burn ... etc.
I already had the roof feature on my list of questions. I've read that they're an aero feature, but I'm doubtful (mostly because the car is missing a lot of otherwise common aero tweaks like partial grille blocking -- it's wide open --, wheel spats/deflectors, or an air dam. But I shall find out.

They may be there just to prevent "oilcanning".

It's got 5 seatbelts. I've "sat behind myself" in the back seat (I'm average height, 5'10") and it was cozy but fine.

No lean burn. I can look up gearing/RPM.
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:25 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cobb View Post
Id be interested in how the variable valve technology works and if its on both the intake and exhaust or just one? What is the switch over point if its rpms/load related?
Continuously variable valve timing on both sides. I actually researched this one already: Nissan states a 4% improvement in efficiency with this setup in combination with twin fuel injectors per cylinder. They even say they use an Atkinson mode at idle to reduce pumping losses.

Continuously variable valve timing (CVTC) on Micra 1.6L HR16DE - Micra-Forum.com

Quote:
Is the cruse control aggressive or lax?
Will try this too, and ask about the throttle setup.

Thanks for the questions, guys.
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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Old 05-07-2014, 11:29 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Here's the manual gearing (not showing 4AT because not many EcoModders would order the 4 speed autobox...)



So, it's a little bit taller than, say, a Honda Fit (2900 RPM @ 60 mph). But that's not saying much!
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



EcoModder
has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 05-07-2014, 11:42 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Last 3: 70.09 mpg (US)

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One weird thing I learned about the car that I don't fully understand:

Its rear track is slightly (5mm) wider than the front track. Every other car in its class (and most in general) have a narrower rear track. To accomodate tapering bodywork toward the rear, is my guess.

Wider rear track advantage is what? I dunno.
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Latest mods test: 15 mods = 15% MPG improvement: A-B test, 2007 Honda Civic 1.8L, 5-speed
Ecodriving test:
Manual vs. automatic transmission MPG showdown: Nissan Micra 1.6L



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has launched a forum for the efficient new Mitsubishi Mirage
www.MetroMPG.com - fuel efficiency info for Geo Metro owners
www.ForkenSwift.com - electric car conversion on a beer budget
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:48 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I think the independent variable valve timing on my Fiesta is one of the key ingredients to its mileage. Opening the intake valve early would provide "atkinson" type advantages.

http://www.animatedengines.com/atkinson.html

An ancient idea whose benefits were not realized until a century after the first design.

regards
Mech
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:52 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroMPG View Post
One weird thing I learned about the car that I don't fully understand:

Its rear track is slightly (5mm) wider than the front track. Every other car in its class (and most in general) have a narrower rear track. To accomodate tapering bodywork toward the rear, is my guess.

Wider rear track advantage is what? I dunno.
Wider track at the rear could be for rollover prevention or at least a reduction in the rollover "point of no return".

regards
Mech

Last edited by user removed; 05-08-2014 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 05-08-2014, 09:00 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I appreciate you are excited about it, but being "discriminated" against for being a US citizen is pretty much a turn off for me. It is obvious their price is not a function of their costs, but where they sell 'em, and they will "homer" them up before bringing them here. It isn't a sub 10k car to me, never will be.


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