POWERTRAIN AND PERFORMANCE
It’s straight away a competition between two four-cylinder 1.2-litre units and two three-cylinder 1.2-litre units. What we’ve found is that while the three-cylinder units aren’t as refined, they sure are torquey, while the four-cylinder units have better performance closer to top whack.
The Micra’s three-cylinder unit is a bit more refined than the Polo. At start up, it is less clattery and if you keep the revs up to 5000 rpm, it feels fairly refined. But go past that and the Micra gets noisy. What also makes things noisy is that most of the road, tyre and engine noise seeps into the cabin and that doesn’t help it make for quiet interiors. It’s still quite a decent performer, with the second-best acceleration times of the lot. The Micra gets to 100 kph in just under 15 seconds and goes on to nearly 160 kph. The in-gear acceleration times too are quite decent and thanks to the best spread out gear ratios here, the combination of city and highway performance is truly commendable. The gearshift however is a tad clunky and not too refined – in fact it’s in places like these that it is hard to believe it was engineered by Nissan! What an engine change can do to the Swift is there to be believed. Not only is it the most powerful, it also the torquiest here.