Live from the launch: Nissan Micra

This control panel might look a bit like an old portable CD player, but it's actually the heating and ventilation panel of the new Nissan Micra.

This is one of the few design indulgences in a car that if anything, looks slightly less modern than the car it replaces.
But, it's roomier, and is propelled by a new 1.2 three cylinder motor of 80bhp that warbles along pretty smoothly, though it's a long way from delivering fiery acceleration with a 0-62mph time of 13.7 seconds. There'll be more go in the supercharged Micra, coming next spring, though this car is more about down-sized economy than hot-hatch performance.

Handling? We haven't found out yet, the route ambling along the Danish seaside near Copenhagen, but a wet roundabout uncovered a memorable slice of understeer. A more realistic test ought to reveal a sharper chassis.

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