Everybody loves to save a dollar here and there, and when you’re renting a car
, one of the best ways to do that is to opt for an economy vehicle. Not only are they generally cheaper to rent, they also tend to use a lot less petrol.
The Nissan Micra, king of the economy category, tops our list of most popular rental cars for the month of July: Perhaps a flurry of budget-conscious visitors to Australia taking advantage of winter off-season travel? Whatever the reason, this small five-door number is a clear winner.
You’ll find them on the books of many car rental companies, both local and international
. Now in its fourth generation, the Micra comes in several different versions as the model is updated regularly. Renting in Asia? There, the Micra is known most commonly as the Nissan March.
Inexpensive rental option
We’ll start with the elephant in the room: you won’t be renting a Nissan Micra for the cool factor. However, there are plenty of reasons you might forsake a little street cred, and this is one of them. The Nissan Micra is a micro car - one of the originals, having been in production since 1982. This means fuel economy, fuel economy, and more fuel economy. Enough said, really!
It is also among the cheapest rental cars you’ll find in terms of daily rates, so it’s double the savings for a savvy Micra renter.
A nice drive
Despite a very small engine which won’t offer much in the way of speed, many reviewers say that the Nissan Micra is a fun car to drive, especially if you can get a manual model. The steering and stability is good, and one of the only complaints is that the 1.2 litre can struggle a bit at high speeds.
As with any small car, the Micra’s petite nature makes it easy and nimble to maneuver. Lots of glass means good visibility. Dealing with traffic, parking and narrow streets in a new place is never fun, and the Micra makes it that little bit simpler. It’s a great vehicle for a city break or a road trip in any built-up area.
One big tick for the Micra is that despite its micro status, it has four doors. If you have more than two people in your group, be they adults or children, renting a two-door car for a road trip is an unforgivable error - nothing worse than constantly folding seats down for toilet stops, mealtime breaks and refueling.
What’s not to like about the Nissan Micra? As we mentioned earlier, it’s not winning any style awards. Looking like a colourful little bubble, it’s the kind of car you might buy your teenager so they don’t go getting any ideas. With a small engine, it’s perhaps not the best option for a long-distance road trip, and the boot space is nothing to write home about.
Our verdict? The Nissan Micra is the ideal vehicle for those who prioritise affordability, offering low rental rates and good fuel consumption. It's the perfect choice for a romantic city getaway - fitting two people wise ease and plenty of room for luggage. Not to mention great maneuverability for urban driving due to it's small stature and agility. Give it a try for a weekend getaway from Brisbane
. If you are travelling to Asia, it's a great option for those looking to escape metropolitan centres like Tokyo
or Hong Kong