The French-made Nissan Micra – which is not yet on sale in Australia – has achieved the maximum five-star ANCAP rating, albeit with a 2017 date stamp reflecting when it commenced production.
The crash tester awarded the Micra 91 per cent for Adult Occupant Protection, 79 per cent for Child Occupant Protection and Pedestrian Protection, and 72 per cent for Safety Assist. Report here, based on Euro NCAP physical test.
Standard equipment includes dual frontal, side chest-protecting and side head-protecting (curtain) airbags, autonomous emergency braking (city, interurban and pedestrian/cycle), and lane-keep assist with lane-departure warning.
The chic little Nissan was tested because it has just been put on sale in New Zealand, a market sometimes offered vehicles not available in Australia. However, that might change in the Micra's case.
Nissan Australia has been open about its need for a greater range of cars, and the Micra – which shares much with the Renault Clio, including its 900cc turbo engine – is right on its radar. The company sold the previous two generations here, remember.
On the record, Nissan played a straight bat.
“We are constantly evaluating new Nissan product globally to secure vehicles to meet the needs of our Australian customers,” the company said.
“The Micra is a great vehicle, which we think would work well in Australia, however there are no current confirmed plans to (re) introduce the Micra in Australia.”
The main issue at present appears to be the lack of an automatic transmission (Europe is still a manual market in the B segment), but we understand that an automatic will launch overseas in early 2019.
Beyond this, a mid-cycle upgrade is due in late 2019. This mid cycle updated Micra is understood to be on the cards for an Australian launch in 2020.