Which Supermini is better? The stylish French C3 or the Brit built Japanese tiddler?
The C3 has always been well equipped, and in more recent years it has become much more like a tiny people carrier than a small hatch. By contrast the Micra is a traditional, hardworking small car beloved of first time drivers and older motorists who want a car that won’t let them down.
There are two distinct C3 models, the one built from 2002 to 2010 and the revised people carrier style one from 2010 onwards. Buy the most recent. Micras, also from 2002
Are they reliable?
The older C3s seem cheaply built inside and it is electrical issues that give owners the most trouble. Warranty Direct’s figures bear this out. It is a similar story with the Micra, electricals are again the problem even if the price of fixing a Nissan is fractionally cheaper.
How much do they cost?
Safer to pay around £950 for a 2003 example. £3000 a tidy 2006 example and £8000 for a 2012 Picasso model if you want a small van. Again, £1000 is the lowest price to buy at, a £3000 Micra is a 1.2 2009 3 door model. The restyled 2012 five door from 2012 from a dealer is £6000.
It comes down to style and the Citroen looks funkier, whilst the Micra is just odd to some. Regardless, Nissan’s reputation for reliability is strong.
Average Repair Cost: £280.43
Axle and Suspension: 23.61%*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average
* failure rate
Average Repair Cost: £272.82
Axle & Suspension: 29.85*
Warranty Direct Rating: Above Average to Good
* failure rate