The Nissan Micra Is The Rest Of The World's Weirdly Charming Little Teen Car

Illustration for article titled The Nissan Micra Is The Rest Of The World's Weirdly Charming Little Teen Car
Screenshot: RegularCars (YouTube)

Every country has that one regular little teen car. It’s usually somewhat forgettable and always cheap. However, the 2004 Nissan Micra—New Zealand’s version of the teen runabout—is adorable. Regular Car Reviews discovered youth in car form—and sadly not a version of youth the U.S. will ever accept.

We’re so stuck on “bigger is better” here that the Micra—even named such for being small—would never fly, even as a teen car. After all, you can get a frumpier but larger Versa, and it’s bigger.


Yet that’s infuriating, because even though it’s obviously a cheap car, Mr. Regular seems pleased with the delightful design of it. This generation Micra’s design was originally pitched to Fiat, who passed on it before Nissan called dibs. It’s a friendly little car. Later Micras have also been pretty good. The Micra Cup car I drove in Canada is still one of the most delightful things I’ve ever driven.

This Micra’s 1.4-liter engine wasn’t particularly exciting to Mr. Regular, nor was the rest of the driving experience. But look at it: it’s cute. A toy car for grown-ups.

What are you compensating for, America? Why can’t we enjoy such toy cars here?

Moderator, OppositeLock. Former Staff Writer, Jalopnik. 1984 "Porschelump" 944 race car, 1971 Volkswagen 411 race car, 2010 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS.



The whole ‘teen car’ thing is so ‘Murcan. In most of the rest of the world people don’t automatically buy their kids a car, and between purchase, operating and insurance costs, there’s no way kids can afford to buy their own. Heck, there are countries where you can’t even drive until you’re 18. Instead the rest of the world has sidewalks and transit near high schools, not parking lots.

The upside is a whole heck of a lot less kids are injured/killed in crashes in the first place so the desperation to pack them into huge trucks doesn’t exist either. And let’s not even talk about obesity rates...