While it may be a slow seller in the segment, there's no denying that the Nissan Micra is a highly capable automatic hatchback out there. With easy drive-ability of an automatic car gaining popularity, the Micra is one of the few hatchbacks that sports a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and has to compete against the likes of popular models like the Honda Jazz and Maruti Suzuki Baleno. For the 2017 edition, Nissan India has introduced additional features on its most affordable offering and has priced it quite attractively too at ₹ 5.99 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi). But, does the Nissan Micra CVT make a compelling case against the Jazz and Baleno. Let's do a quick spec comparison and find out.
The Honda Jazz stands out for its space and broad proportions and that's the case here too. However, it is the Maruti Suzuki Baleno that is the longest car in this comparison measuring at 3995 mm. The Jazz finishes next with a length of 3955 mm, while the Nissan Micra is visibly smaller and a lot more compact with a length measuring 3825 mm. The Baleno is also the widest here with a width of 1745 mm, followed by the Jazz at 1694 mm, while the Micra comes in last with a width of 1665 mm.
That said, when it comes utility of space, the Honda Jazz trumps the Baleno hands down. The hatchback gets an enormous cabin with plush seats and a generous boot that leads the segment. The Baleno comes in next, while the Micra gets appreciable space on the inside with the tall-boy stance assisting in providing good headroom for its occupants. That said, the Jazz and Baleno belong to a larger segment altogether but carry similar engine and transmission options to the Micra.
Nissan India has added new features to the Micra with the latest update and the small car is more relevant to its competition. You now get auto headlamps with follow-me-home function, rain sensing wipers and a new audio system with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Micra also comes with driver's seat height adjust, push button start, steering wheel controls, auto climate control on the top XV trim.
The Maruti Suzuki Baleno features most of these features, and also gets rear parking sensors as part of the standard kit. The Honda Jazz gets all the above features and also gets paddle shifters and a gear position indicator, specific on the the automatic version. Barring from the Micra that only gets the driving side airbag as standard on the base automatic trim, the other cars gets dual front airbags as standard.
All three hatchbacks use a 1.2-litre petrol engine but is tuned differently. The Micra uses a three-cylinder unit that churns out 76 bhp of power at 6000 rpm and 104 Nm of torque at 4400 rpm. The Honda Jazz gets a more powerful four-cylinder unit that belts out 88 bhp at 6000 rpm and 110 Nm of peak torque at 4800 rpm. Lastly, the Baleno also uses a four-pot motor producing 82 bhp at 6000 rpm and 115 Nm of torque at 4000 rpm. While the Nissan may be least powered of the three, it gets the more engaging CVT unit.
The Nissan Micra wins this one by a mile over the other two hatchbacks. While it may skimp out on features, the Micra CVT remains the cheapest CVT hatchback you can get your hands on priced at ₹ 5.99 lakh for XL trim. The slightly better equipped Maruti Suzuki Baleno is priced at ₹ 7.04 lakh for the Delta trim, whereas the most expensive model is the Honda Jazz priced at ₹ 7.70 lakh for the mid-level S variant (all-prices, ex-showroom Delhi). There are also more equipped variants on either models, but the Micra still remains the most affordable between the three.