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Thread: Some Random Stuff (observations about my base Micra S)

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    Senior Member aftica's Avatar
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    Some Random Stuff (observations about my base Micra S)

    Hey, just p/u mine yesterday. I've only a few KM on it and done just a little poking around here and there, but thought I would share some stuff that I noticed so far. This is my seventh new car purchase, but have not had anything comparable in a long time... ( since 2x CRX, original Micra), so some stuff I notice may be old news to owners of this type of car.

    Not a comprehensive review, good, bad or indifferent... just random stuff I noticed and in no particular order.

    I have the base model 5 speed with ZERO options, the Ten Grand Tin Can so some of this won't apply to most owners.

    Handling, power, general driving:
    Handling and general driving is excellent, just about the perfect balance. Boy racers will not be happy and soccer mums will think they're driving a Go-Kart. For normal driving around the city i'm very pleased with the tight, quick, easy manners of this car. No excessive body roll. No excessive brake dive. Steering feels a just little ''vague'' at very low speeds, due to the increased power assist. There is no ''torque steer'' feeling during normal driving, but i'll assume that all FWD cars have this sorted now?
    Power is peppy. You will not feel that you are straining to keep up in city traffic.
    Exhaust noise is fairly loud at highway speeds, but there is no wind noise. The car needs different gearing (or an extra gear) to drop the RPM's to ~ 2.5K @ 100kph. The 3K revs @ 100kph seems a common theme with a lot of small cars and I'm not sure why. It is a dumb philosophy and leads to extra engine wear.

    INTERIOR:
    Brake pedal - gas pedal relationship is perfect! Throttle blipping boy racers will approve. Normal people will notice it facilitates easy no roll uphill starts.

    Foot rest for clutch foot.

    Shifter feels toyish but works well, except reverse can be hard to find at times. (even after multiple tries at neutral and or 1st gear)(Jun 17)this has not happened since that first day!

    Window cranks: These actually work great. The smoothest and quickest I've tried, and I'm not even joking. 4.5 turns lock-2-lock... an important spec most reviewers overlook

    Front seats: very nice feel, but cheaply covered. They should offer vinyl. I already have grease smears on the passenger seat lol! Seats are high off the floor, much like a pick up. Maybe this is the new normal? I like it just fine. Honda Gangstas will not be happy though...you gonna be in full view G. Ten years from now it is going to be hard to hide your shame, driving around in a rusty Micra rolling on $3.5K worth of custom wheels.

    Rear Seats: Same great feel and position, same crappy upholstery. Quite comfortable in the back, not that you as the driver is going care...passengers can be happy they not walking.

    Heating vents for rear passengers: Again, who cares if you're feet are cold back there? Would you rather be outside? The much vaunted engineering that went into this is completely LOL. I reached under there and the freaking plastic tube fell off in my hands. Don't fiddle with these or cram anything under seats.

    Good access to fuel pump from under back seat. I noticed this while trying to see if I could get the seat to fold flatter or how hard it would be to remove it altogether. (was hoping a quick release seat might be a hidden design feature, but no luck)

    Lane change signal: This really bugs me... Three automatic flashes every time. Nonchalant one flash lane changes are impossible in the Micra. WTF?

    Door Locks: The design of the chrome door locks makes it hard to tell at a glance if they're locked or not. A quick but daily reminder of how cheap you were when you optioned your new Tin Can.

    EXTERIOR:
    Rear hatch: must remember to re lock after opening hatch. I would have preferred a pop up upon turning key,and no lever. Note to Nissan: you could have saved a few bucks here! Imagine the positive press at $9990 price point

    Rear wheel wells are a shaped with a flat bend bead (not sure the proper term) as opposed to 90 bend. Not as strong or stiff, but I guess the idea is to discourage road crap build up and the resulting rust? We'll see how that works out.

    Tire clearance: Height of fender above the tire is about 70mm rear and 80mm front, when viewed from the side. It looks a little much and I think some lowering is in order. Boy Racers and Homies are gonna want to hit the spring shop pronto before doing any serious hangin'

    Even more random:

    Oil changes look like they will be easy. In a pinch, no jack will be required for oil and filter change. Good for those quick Canadian Tire parking lot changes or just ''dropping it hot'' down the sewer grate in the 'hood.

    Shared clutch and brake fluid? Seems odd to me, but this is what the manual suggests. A quick look under the hood shows what looks like a normal brake reservoir, will have to check that more closely.

    Timing chain engine: this is good for long term reliability. Belts can perform better, quieter, but no one likes changing that crap. Are most new cars using chains these days?

    Event data recorder: 30 second loop records speed, seat belt,gas pedal,brake pedal status. I guess you're ok to lie about not using that left hand signal.

    Well that's about it for now. If I notice anything else that is quirky I will edit in.

    Feel free to ask any questions!

    EDIT: Some more small things.

    Interior: I forgot to mention that I really like ''hard plastic'' interior that most reviewers complain about. It is simple, neat and utilitarian, perfect for this car.I also like the plain black colour. Too bad the roof liner and all pillars are in off white though.
    There are many spaces here and there to collect stuff like change, phones, drinks etc. Just beware the space in centre console...trying to fish out spare change or keys, it is easy to lose items down the P-brake cavity. Being a butter fingered clumsy bugger, I had to pluck out a loose key today.

    Oddabll pet peeve:The passenger side wiper is stored at an odd angle and in view of the driver. For some reason this really irks me, although probably necessary to in order for the wiper to have a broader swipe across windshield.

    Driving: Many have mentioned it, but It bears repeating... the turning radius is ridiculous! Nothing short of a unicycle is going to outperform the Micra, if you ever find yourself navigating a cornfield maze. It really feels like a bumper car
    Note to soccer mums: be gentle when turning this sharp as it is really hard on the front end and tires.

    Important note for 4 percenters: I'm sure you cheap buggers have driven many a car with extreme buffeting or resonance while using the old 260 AC. I am glad to report that the airflow is smooth and quiet with the drivers window at any AC setting.

    Speedo error? I have yet to verify this, but it feels like the speedo may be reading high. That's obviously subjective, but my commute to work did take an extra 4KM, even though a short cut just opened up a couple days ago. Will find a way to test this.

    Fuel economy: First tank I got 46.31 mpg (imp). This is mixed hwy/city and will improve. I'm driving for break-in, and I doubt the dealer squeezed as much fuel in the tank as I did.


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    Last edited by aftica; 06-17-2014 at 10:44 AM.
    Ten Grand Tin Can

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.2 mpg (Imp) ... 18.8 km/L ... 44.3 mpg (US) ...


  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to aftica For This Useful Post:

    Charb (06-23-2014),Daox (05-29-2014),MetroMPG (05-29-2014),Ustauk (05-29-2014)

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    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Congrats on getting the car.

    Excellent (and funny) observations. (I particularly appreciate the homie angle on things, because, well that's how I roll.)

    Best line about the seat height: "Ten years from now it is going to be hard to hide your shame, driving around in a rusty Micra rolling on $3.5K worth of custom wheels."

    No excessive brake dive.
    Did you try some moderately hard stops? (Imagine getting an amber light from 60 kph with a cop sitting first in line at the cross street. That kind of stop.)

    Rear wheel wells are a shaped with a flat bend bead
    VW's been doing this for years. I think it's a good thing for living in the rust belt. (And for VW owners, it means at least they won't be cursed with rusty wheel arches AND electrical glitches!)

    What colour did you get? A few pics please!

    (PS: hope you don't mind I added a few words to your thread title.)

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.0 L/100 km ... 56.5 mpg (Imp) ... 20.0 km/L ... 47.0 mpg (US) ...


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    Congrats on getting the rarer then hens teeth base manual Micra!

    Thanks for the info about the brake and gas pedal separation; my old Ford Aspire's pedal separation sucked; that plus the fact it was so gutless it would stall on releasing the clutch if no gas was applied on level ground, let alone uphill, and I had no working parking brake to use on hill starts meant my missus got turned off manuals from almost rolling back into freaking Edmonton tailgaters too many times (everyone seems to like to ride up your arse here, especially the mothertruckers ) I might be able to convince her to go with the manual now If I can do some good hill starts ont he test drive. Thanks again, aftica

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    Senior Member aftica's Avatar
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    Thanks guys.

    Ustauk, your girl will love this car. The brake pedal comes down to the perfect height and spacing to allow you to cover the gas at the same time.

    And for Darin, When I said there is not much brake dive, I am coming from the perspective of normal type driving. It's got a good solid feel as long as you stay sane. My experience with this type of car may be out dated... I always remember really squishy suspensions whether braking, accelerating, or turning... even during regular type driving.

    Step on the brake a little hard and it will dive and get a little rumble, someone talked about earlier (feels like the anti lock kicking in too early?)
    Ten Grand Tin Can

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.2 mpg (Imp) ... 18.8 km/L ... 44.3 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member AlphaMicra's Avatar
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    I expect to get more than 10 years out of mine, sans blingy wheels...

    In our culture obsessed with absurd excess, the Nissan Micra is my counterculture car of choice.
    Be sure to visit my blog at mymicra.com!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SV manual: 6.4 L/100 km ... 44.3 mpg (Imp) ... 15.7 km/L ... 36.9 mpg (US) ...


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    Member caspiansea's Avatar
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    Nice review best yet better than the bloggers and so called pros. I am one of those cheap buggers I am getting a S model this Saturday 29th looking forward to the Micra experience lol. How does it handle pot hole filled roads?

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    Senior Member Howie's Avatar
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    Shared clutch and brake fluid is pretty common in a lot of imports. Saves from having to put two DOT3 tanks in a small space. Some VW's had it.. Mazda/Ford used it religiously in the 626/Probe/MX-6 line. A few BMW's have it too. I once saw a Kawasaki 1800 motorcycle with it, but im pretty sure it was aftermarket.

    As for the 3k on highway.. Well a bit of experience with the tractor trailer's here is going to play into this.

    On the highway, the frontal area of the car that is smacked with the wind causes drag on the car. The car has to work harder to cut through the wind. This consumes engine power.

    Each engine develops different amounts of power at different rpms.



    This is for the versa, but the same basic engine as what we have.

    So at 3000rpm, the engine produces 58hp. Which is sufficient to move the car along through the wind resistance at 100kph granted its frontal area, powertrain losses, a/c etc.

    If the engine is revved higher, say 6000rpm, the engine will either propel the car faster, or if restricted by gearing, burn fuel at roughly (very roughly, lots of computer stuff here) at twice the rate at 3000. Basically the engine will produce its full power but because of the gear ratio, not convert all that power efficiently and waste fuel.

    So to lower the amount of fuel, your 5th gear (or overdrive) is lower to drop the rpm to slow the engine speed while maintaining the same road speed.

    But. If you lower the engine rpm, the amount of power is also lowered. If the engine cant produce enough power to keep the car cutting through the wind at 100kph, it will loose speed. Most people will press down on the pedal and dump more fuel into the engine to compensate and make the go faster, lugging the engine. This also wastes fuel.

    So engineers have to pick the correct gear ratio to keep the car moving at highway speeds and nail that gear ratio so the engine doesnt rev too high and burn more fuel, and not too low and waste fuel.

    For smaller cars with tiny engines that dont produce a lot of power at lower rpms (like ours), they tend to have a 'sweet' spot much higher then cars with more powerful engines. But because the engine is smaller to begin with, they wont consume as much fuel as a larger engine.

    As for wear, that's not necessarily true. Yes. The running at 3000rpm does mean that the engine is spinning quicker to produce the 58hp. A larger engine may make more power at a lower rpm, but the components are also larger or built to higher compression ratios. Its all about engineering and the quality of the components.

    As a side note. I had a honda cbr125r that would produce 13hp at 10500rpm and would do that all day, every day because the engine was engineered to run that way, on another part, my Western Star tractor produces 462hp and 1200lb/ft of torque and will produce that all day for ten years. But its all how they put it together.
    Last edited by Howie; 06-26-2014 at 11:43 PM.

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S automatic: 7.9 L/100 km ... 35.7 mpg (Imp) ... 12.6 km/L ... 29.7 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member aftica's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info Howie. Trust me though... no need to dyno the Micra: My highly tuned right foot tells me that it's got gobs of power and torque for regular commuting!
    At 100kph this thing is barely working and would benefit from gearing that put the rpm somewhat lower (pulling a # out of my arse I'll say 2.5K rpm). Less engine wear and better fuel consumption.
    Ten Grand Tin Can

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.2 mpg (Imp) ... 18.8 km/L ... 44.3 mpg (US) ...


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    Senior Member AlphaMicra's Avatar
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    The power does drop off significantly below 3.5krpm, though. I've hit the gas to WOT while the engine was running at a little below that in lower gears, and it was like, where'd all the power go? I don't think the Micra would hold its speed going up hills at 100km/h at 2.5kRPM, and I don't think a few hundred RPM would make that significant of a difference in engine wear and fuel economy.

    In our culture obsessed with absurd excess, the Nissan Micra is my counterculture car of choice.
    Be sure to visit my blog at mymicra.com!

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra SV manual: 6.4 L/100 km ... 44.3 mpg (Imp) ... 15.7 km/L ... 36.9 mpg (US) ...


  12. #10
    Senior Member aftica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlphaMicra View Post
    The power does drop off significantly below 3.5krpm, though. I've hit the gas to WOT while the engine was running at a little below that in lower gears, and it was like, where'd all the power go? I don't think the Micra would hold its speed going up hills at 100km/h at 2.5kRPM, and I don't think a few hundred RPM would make that significant of a difference in engine wear and fuel economy.
    Depends what you mean by significant, and of course what you want out of the car. I'm already getting 10 more mpg than yourself, so we obviously have different driving styles!
    As for engine wear, it's more of a long term thing...your last car went 215K before you moved on...so you don't need to worry so much about engine wear. I like to budget for 400K, so those extra 500 revolutions every minute the car is running at hwy speed really add up!


    Ten Grand Tin Can

        __________________________________________

        click to view fuel log View my fuel log 2015 Micra S manual: 5.3 L/100 km ... 53.2 mpg (Imp) ... 18.8 km/L ... 44.3 mpg (US) ...


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