“THERE’S one small problem,” said the man from Nissan.
There’s no sixth gear?
“No, it’s James Corden. He looks good . . . but he can’t drive.”
Seriously? He can’t drive?
Well, that’s put the kibosh on our cut-price Carpool Karaoke then.
“ . . . unless you drive?”
So here I am taking Adele, Lady Gaga and Robbie Williams to Abbey Road Studios — and we’re having a little sing-off on the way.
An open Mic(ra) session if you like. With tribute acts. (Does anyone else think Robbie/Dom Joly?)
Anyway, the reason is this.
The 2017 Micra has fancy Bose HEADREST speakers, the first for a supermini.
They’re not quite as good as listening to the real Adele live but Bose gear is top quality and it sounds ace. It’s like having Dr dreadphones but not actually wearing them.
As well as two 6cm headrest speakers, there are two tweeters in the windscreen pillars, two 16.5cm wide-range speakers in the front doors and a digital amplifier under the right seat, all for £500.
The Bose system is a major selling point as Nissan tries to reinvent the Micra and attract younger blood.
Sadly, the Micra we have now is duff. It’s tall, small, cheap, shipped from India, and driven only by people with blue rinse.
Robbie didn't squash his quiff in the back
Next year, though, things will be different.
The 2017 Micra will be built at the Renault Clio factory near Paris and it has the style, tech and handling to go up against the Fiesta, Polo and Corsa.
It has been transformed.
Key facts: NISSAN MICRA
Engine: 0.9-litre petrol turbo (90hp)
Official economy: 64mpg
Real economy: 46mpg
0-62mph: 12.1 secs
Top speed: 109mph
Rivals: Fiesta, Corsa, Polo, Ibiza
It’s low, wide, distinctive and the cabin quality is . . . quality. It’s roomy too. Robbie didn’t squash his quiff in the back (headroom, tick), Gaga was comfy in her big boots (legroom, tick) and it has the biggest boot of the lot (tick).
Another little detail I like is the glow-up “media bin” – it’s like a mini dancefloor at night.
Much of the electronic kit comes from the Qashqai, including all-round parking cameras, cruise control and auto emergency braking with pedestrian recognition.
This prototype has a 900cc petrol turbo (from the Clio) and it’s a giggle to punt down A and B roads. Good chassis, flat-riding. You just know Nismo engineers are itching to cook up something hotter.
I thought it might need a six-speed box (from the 1.2-litre Clio) for motorway runs. But I was wrong. It’s only ticking over at 3,000 revs at 70mph and I averaged 46mpg over 300 miles.
So how much is it? Prices range from £11,995 to £17,295 for the top spec Tekna trim but the sweet spot is the mid-range Acenta at £14,145, plus £500 for Bose. Expect finance from £200 a month. Out March.
VERDICT: The Micra remix. It’s sound. It should be a hit. But maybe it deserved a new name?