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Thread: Estimating the Micra's fuel economy (before the official numbers were published)

  1. #1
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Estimating the Micra's fuel economy (before the official numbers were published)

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    -----------------------------


    NOTE: the discussion below shows the calculations we used to estimate the Micra's fuel economy before it was officially published.

    Turns out we were very close to the official numbers, which you can see here: 2015 Nissan Micra fuel economy / mileage / mpg (NRCAN, EPA)


    -----------------------------

    The short version:


    The 2015 Micra should have essentially the same fuel economy rating as the cancelled Versa sedan with the same 1.6L, 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic drivetrain. The Micra may get slightly better mileage in the city due to its lighter weight, and slightly worse mileage on the highway due to the sedan's better aerodynamics. So the combined figure will be about the same.

    NOTE:

    If you're used to optimistic (some would say unrealistic) Canadian fuel economy ratings may find these numbers much "worse" than expected. They're NOT directly comparable to 2014 NRCAN ratings for other cars. That's because for the 2015 model year, NRCAN is changing its testing approach (to 5-cycle) to make it more like "real world" results (bringing them in line with post-2008 EPA ratings). To compare against pre-2015 models, you can now search on the NRCAN site to find the "updated" ratings for 2014 and older cars. (The initial search results currently show the old ratings; to see the updated ones, click the vehicle make/model name in the search results.)

    The long version:

    NRCAN / EPA (2015+ model year 5-cycle testing), estimated:

    2015 Micra
    1.6L, 5-speed manual
    2015 Micra
    1.6L, 4-speed automatic
    City 8.7 L/100 km
    27 mpg (US)
    32 mpg (Imp)
    9.1 L/100 km
    26 mpg (US)
    31 mpg (Imp)
    Highway 6.5 L/100 km
    36 mpg (US)
    43 mpg (Imp)
    6.7 L/100 km
    35 mpg (US)
    42 mpg (Imp)
    Combined 7.8 L/100 km
    30 mpg (US)
    36 mpg (Imp)
    7.8 L/100 km
    30 mpg (US)
    36 mpg (Imp)

    Here's how we got those numbers...

    Nissan hasn't released official fuel economy ratings yet, but we can predict the numbers by comparing ratings in the Mexican market for the Micra (sold there as the March) and Versa which use the same 1.6 L engine and transmissions that the Micra and Versa will use here. We can also compare those results against the U.S. market Versa sedan and Versa Note hatchback, which also share the same 1.6L drivetrain.

    Mexico first...

    5MT = 5-speed manual transmission
    4AT = 4-speed automatic transmission
    Mexican figures are given in km/L, and converted below (with rounding)

    Mexican fuel
    economy ratings
    Micra (March)
    1.6L, 5MT
    Micra (March)
    1.6L, 4AT

    Versa sedan
    1.6L, 5MT

    Versa sedan
    1.6L, 4AT

    City 15.0 km/L
    6.7 L/100 km
    42 mpg (Imp)
    35 mpg (US)
    14.9 km/L
    6.7 L/100 km
    42 mpg (Imp)
    35 mpg (US)
    15.0 km/L
    6.7 L/100 km
    42 mpg (Imp)
    35 mpg (US)
    14.6 km/L
    6.9 L/100 km
    41 mpg (Imp)
    34 mpg (US)
    Highway 20.9 km/L
    4.8 L/100 km
    59 mpg (Imp)
    49 mpg (US)
    20.7 km/L
    4.8 L/100 km
    59 mpg (Imp)
    49 mpg (US)
    21.1 km/L
    4.7 L/100 km
    60 mpg (Imp)
    50 mpg (US)
    20.9 km/L
    4.8 L/100 km
    59 mpg (Imp)
    49 mpg (US)
    Combined 17.7 km/L
    5.7 L/100 km
    50 mpg (Imp)
    42 mpg (US)
    17.5 km/L
    5.7 L/100 km
    49 mpg (Imp)
    41 mpg (US)
    17.7 km/L
    5.7 L/100 km
    50 mpg (Imp)
    42 mpg (US)
    17.4 km/L
    5.8 L/100 km
    49 mpg (Imp)
    41 mpg (US)

    (Source: Nissan Mexico, Micra/March & Versa)

    The first thing to note is the Mexican ratings are much more optimistic than the EPA/NRCAN 5-cycle testing.

    The Micra beats the Versa in city driving by a hair -- no surprise, given its lighter weight (see weights below).

    On the highway the Micra slightly lags the Versa -- again no surprise, given the Versa's slightly better aerodynamics. Nissan gives a drag coefficient as low as 0.288 for the U.S. 2014 Versa sedan vs. 0.315 for the Canadian Micra. Frontal areas are similar, with the Micra being slightly narrower (1665 mm) but taller (1528 mm) than the Versa (width 1695 mm, height 1414 mm -- Nissan Mexico specs).

    The end result is the combined ratings are equal for the two cars.

    The same result is seen in the U.S. market when comparing the Versa sedan to the Versa Note hatchback: both cars share the same 1.6L engine and 5-speed manual or CVT automatic, and the cars have the same mileage ratings.

    So, based on these ratings, it's a safe bet that the Micra's ratings will be very close, if not identical to the Versa sedan. However, when the NRCAN ratings are released, it's possible we'll see small variances from these numbers, because there's more resolution when estimating to tenths of L/100 km than when rounding to the nearest whole MPG (US).

    ---

    Curb weights (Mexico):

    - The base Versa 5MT weighs in at 1056.0 kg / 2328 lbs.
    - The base Versa 4AT weighs in at 1070.1 kg / 2359 lbs.
    - The Micra 5MT with 15 inch wheels weighs in at 974.5 kg / 2148 lbs.
    - The Micra 4AT with 15 inch wheels weighs in at 994.7 kg / 2193 lbs.

    ---

    UPDATE - new data: Chilean ratings support our estimates. See post #8 for details.

    ---


    Attached Images Attached Images   

        __________________________________________

        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) ...


  2. #2
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Great calculations and estimations Darin!

    Do you think the Micra will be tested based on the revised NRCAN rating system (updated to compare with 2008 EPA updates), or do you think they'll use the existing test procedure? I assume your numbers represent the existing test?

  3. #3
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    The numbers represent the new, 5-cycle testing that'll be similar (if not identical) to the current EPA tests. When I saw that the Mexican ratings for the Versa sedan & Micra were practically identical, I went with the current EPA numbers for the Versa sedan for the 2015 Micra estimate.

        __________________________________________

        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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    Member Darcane's Avatar
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    Your methodology seems spot on.

    The numbers seem mediocre to me. I'd guess Nissan was concerned more for cost savings than optimization. A higher final drive in the tranny would help here, and with the light weight of the Micra it would accelerate just fine.

    Nissan won't be relying on MPGs to sell this car, but instead price is king.

  5. #5
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    I don't think this version of the Micra at least, is intended as the high fuel economy version. When you compare this to the Mirage or Spark, i think their betting the increased power and lower cost will be the major selling point. Entry cars don't always have to be economy cars. It sheds the stigma of cheap cars being underpowered or unrefined.

    With that said, From what i've read here, the Micra in foreign markets comes in a lot of engines and transmissions. Some more powerful, some less so. If this car is as successful as i think it'll be, i'd expect to see a FE+ version like the Sentra sooner or later.

  6. #6
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheepdog 44 View Post
    I don't think this version of the Micra at least, is intended as the high fuel economy version. Entry cars don't always have to be economy cars. It sheds the stigma of cheap cars being underpowered or unrefined.
    The president of Nissan Canada has said as much. They weren't aiming for highest economy.

    The susprising thing is that despite the mediocre MPG, the low purchase price means it may still be the most economical car, even when you take fuel cost into account: http://micra-forum.com/showthread.ph...vs-competitors

    If this car is as successful as i think it'll be, i'd expect to see a FE+ version like the Sentra sooner or later.
    That would be interesting. At the very least, if they simply put the CVT on the car instead of the outdated 4-speed slushbox automatic, it would make a dramatic improvement. I think that's more likely than a new engine that's not shared by any other model (in this country).

        __________________________________________

        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) ...


  7. #7
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Chilean ratings support our estimates

    New data points: Chile also sells the Versa 1.6 and March/Micra 1.6. And they apparently use different test methods than Mexico -- the Chilean ratings appear more realistic (though still not equal to NRCAN/EPA 5-cycle numbers).

    5MT = 5-speed manual transmission
    4AT = 4-speed automatic transmission
    Figures are given in km/L, and converted below (with rounding)

    Chilean fuel
    economy ratings

    Micra (March)
    1.6L, 5MT
    Micra (March)
    1.6L, 4AT
    Versa sedan
    1.6L, 5MT
    Versa sedan
    1.6L, 4AT
    City 11.4 km/L
    8.8 L/100 km
    32 mpg (Imp)
    27 mpg (US)
    10.6 km/L
    9.4 L/100 km
    30 mpg (Imp)
    25 mpg (US)
    11.5 km/L
    8.7 L/100 km
    33 mpg (Imp)
    27 mpg (US)
    10.6 km/L
    9.4 L/100 km
    30 mpg (Imp)
    25 mpg (US)
    Highway 17.8 km/L
    5.6 L/100 km
    50 mpg (Imp)
    42 mpg (US)
    17.2 km/L
    5.8 L/100 km
    49 mpg (Imp)
    41 mpg (US)
    18.3 km/L
    5.5 L/100 km
    52 mpg (Imp)
    43 mpg (US)
    18.0 km/L
    5.6 L/100 km
    51 mpg (Imp)
    42 mpg (US)
    Combined 14.8 km/L
    6.8 L/100 km
    42 mpg (Imp)
    35 mpg (US)
    14.0 km/L
    7.1 L/100 km
    40 mpg (Imp)
    33 mpg (US)
    15.0 km/L
    6.7 L/100 km
    42 mpg (Imp)
    35 mpg (US)
    14.4 km/L
    6.9 L/100 km
    41 mpg (Imp)
    34 mpg (US)

    (Source: Nissan Chile www.nissanchile.cl using Versa and March Sport)

    These figures support the estimates made in the first post: the Chilean Micra/March 1.6 is rated practically the same as the Versa 1.6. (Though they show the Versa as fractionally better in the city for both transmissions, which is interesting.)
    Attached Images Attached Images  

        __________________________________________

        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) ...


  8. #8
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    Micra: "600-700" km per tank

    A newspaper is reporting the Micra is "designed to give 600 to 700 kilometres between fill-ups".

    We know the fuel tank has a 41L capacity.

    600-700 per tank works out to:


    • 6.8 L/100 km (this could be the "city" rating at 600 km/tank)
    • 5.9 L/100 km (could be the "highway" rating at 700 km/tank)
    • 6.3 L/100 km combined (45% city / 55% hwy)


    Take 'em with a grain of salt! These figures aren't anywhere near the Versa sedan's 5-cycle ratings, though they are closer to the old 2-cycle ratings from NRCAN for the 5-speed Versa sedan at 7.4 City, 5.4 Highway.

        __________________________________________

        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) ...


  9. #9
    Administrator MetroMPG's Avatar
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    "Revised" Canadian ratings for the Versa support our Micra estimates

    NRCAN (Canada's EPA) has released its "revised" 5-cycle fuel consumption ratings for previously rated cars (2014 and older). These bring the Canadian ratings in line with the U.S. EPA.

    The "updated" NRCAN numbers for the Versa sedan 5MT match our estimate for the Micra nearly perfectly:

    NRCAN rating City Highway
    2014 Nissan Versa 1.6L 5-speed manual ("new" rating) source 8.6 L/100 km 6.5 L/100 km
    2015 Nissan Micra 1.6L 5-speed manual (our estimate) 8.7 L/100 km 6.5 L/100 km

    This makes me confident that our Micra estimates are going to be close. There's no 4AT rating for the Canadian Versa, so couldn't compare there.

        __________________________________________

        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) ...


  10. #10
    Administrator Daox's Avatar
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    Woo, nice guesstimating Darin.



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