Digging this perky performance

Nissan Micra Dig
Nissan Micra Dig

NISSAN is a very smart company. It has attracted all the headlines with its LEAF electric car but it also realises that the LEAF isn’t going to be for the everyday budget motorist or those who are a bit intimidated by the prospect of such overt tech.

Micra DIG-S is a clever way of offering these customers a car that in many ways is just as technically interesting but which papers over the high-tech with a welcome layer of familiarity.

Nissan has demonstrated that you don’t need to go to the expense of shelling out for a hybrid or even for a modern turbodiesel engine.

That a petrol engine with fairly sprightly performance can be this clean and economical is worthy of congratulation. To put a little meat on those bones, the entry-level car will manage 95g/km which means free road fund licence and exemption from the London congestion charge.

Fuel economy is similarly excellent with a manual Visia model returning 68.9mpg. This is interesting because when you wind the clock back to 2000, a 1.3-litre petrol Micra could return a fuel consumption figure of 46mpg which means that when salary inflation is taken into account, running a Micra DIG-S is actually cheaper than running a Micra back at the turn of the century.

Any car that offers perky performance coupled with sub-100g/km emissions and economy that nudges 70mpg is going to pique the interest of many customers, especially those looking for a city car that’s discreet and affordable. We’ve seen plenty of wacky answers to cutting fuel bills. Here’s one that works.