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SplanK's 2012 DIG-S Acenta

Well what can I say - I love this little car - there are a few little things here and there that I think "why did Nissan do it like this" but overall, I am quite impressed!

Myself and my wife are expecting our first child in June, and our existing K11 was showing signs of getting on a bit, only 65k miles but the list of things that needed doing and keeping on top of was getting longer and longer. It was also a 3 door when we needed a 5 door to lug a baby seat in and out, so we thought whilst it had a bit of value left and some available cash, we would trade it in.

Over the years since I got rid of my 200sx and bought a house I have had that "need" to get something with a bit of excitement. the wife has always said no to cars like a 350z even though they were in our price range. To be fair, she is right but hey ho - I may have a mid life crisis at some point and buy a GTR with our life savings haha!

This is where I started looking at the Micra DIG-S. They are not that much more expensive than the N/A 1.2 K13's and with the benefit of no road tax (at least, at the moment!), estimated MPG of 50-60 and supercharge, it ticked all the boxes!

It took a number of months of thinking and pondering and looking on the local Nissan dealer’s website before I actually decided that it was time to do something about it. Went for a test drive and was initially impressed. I was on good behaviour however so didn’t really chuck the car about as much as I wanted to, but initial impressions were good. In the end, we didn’t go for the one we test drove, but one as we found on at the same dealer in a red-ish colour with only 4500 miles, 9 months old and for less money than the white one (which was 12,000 miles and 18 month old - go figure!).

So we bought it and I collected it last night. Oh what a fun drive home that was. Finally managed to push the little 3 pot harder and I was actually really really surprised as to how well it accelerated, when making progress in this its very easy to forget how quick you are driving compared to the K11 1.0 I had just driven 30miles to the dealer from work, its gets to speed with ease! Ok, its not the fastest car on the road but it can put up a good fight against most things (traffic light GP has just become a whole heap easier to win lol). Oh and it was the first time I got to hear the supercharger whine properly, that with the 3pot throb just made for a really fun drive back home! Exactly what I had been looking for!

So the bad/not to my taste points, there are not many but I have picked up on the following:
1. A very small problem, but there is no aux power socket! Instead there is a 3.5mm audio jack and a USB port for the Nissan Connect system. Now, I did test it this morning and was relieved to find out that it is powered and will charge my phone. As to how much power it gives out though compared to a normal "cig lighter" charger as my phone (HTC One X) is quite a power hungry phone when it gets going. I would have preferred an aux socket; maybe retro-fitting one somewhere could be an option (although I don’t want to start cutting and taking things to bits)

2. Supercharger "lag". Yeah yeah, its belt driven and it should be instant boost, however after some digging I understand that the supercharger is on an electronic clutch and only comes into play when "making progress" or there is a requirement for more power such as going uphill. The rest of the time, the super charger is bypassed. There are times when I want to make progress and the expected power just isn’t there as quick as you would expect, or the super charger does not kick in at all. Maybe I just need to spend more time driving it to get to grips with it better. After all, this engine was not designed with performance in mind, but how efficient it can be by reducing drag as much as possible

3. Speedo - In all the Nissan's I have owned, the speedo has gone up in 10's (so 10,20,30...) and a little red mark where 30 was, and in newer cars, where 50 was! However the speedo in the K13 goes up in 20's and no little red marker at 30 any more so it’s less easy at a very quick glance to tell what speed you are actually doing even though the speedo is rather large!

4. I have never experienced auto stop function before, but I find it a bit over sensitive in the K13. There are a load “ifs”. I think if I remember correctly…
1. Engine up to temp and driven a distance
2. Battery voltage is reading correct
3. Blowers not on de-mist setting
4. Rear de-mist is disabled
5. AC is turned off
6. Driver is in the seat with seat belt on
7. All doors are shut
8. No movement in steering wheel
9. Gear in neutral and clutch pedal up
10. Handbrake or foot brake on (I figured out that you can “change over” foot to hand with the engine in auto stop without the engine kicking in as long as I cross over

Getting the engine going again is easy, too easy, any slight movement in the clutch pedal or steering wheel and it fires up which is a bit of a pain really. I am sure I will get used to it….. or just disable the function!

Anyway, that’s the first 30 miles covered! Will get some pics up later and see if I can point things out to people as it could be handy reference for others who are looking to buy!
 

James

Chairman
Very interesting and informative post there SplanK, thanks for taking the time to write it!

Personally, I was impressed with the Nissan Connect system when I tested the standard 1.2 at the launch back in 2010, A2DP Bluetooth support and a pretty decent satnav system!

I would exercise caution with a One X and the USB port though, it's likely it'll only feed it 500mA, which on higher end Androids won't charge much, if at all (especially if you have GPS on).

Does yours have the park assist function on it? I'm keen to hear how it fares in standard conditions, not the "test" conditions Nissan laid out for us (A gaping space between two Nissan Notes!)
 
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No park assist and no cruise control in this one. Thats the next stage up I think of which none were for sale local to me. To be honest the Micra is a small enough car to park without aids anyway but would be interesting to see if the same tech is in their larger cars as that could come in handy!

Yeah, I suspected as much with the USB port, was only a quick check this morning to see if it did have the capability so handy to know if I really need a quick charge to make a emergancy call or something. Chances are it will be following USB standard as its able to accept USB memory sticks, but should not cause the port any damage if I start asking it to pull the full 500mA. Should not really be an issue anyway with sat nav being built into the Connect system which is what causes me battery problems on my phone in the first place!

The engine bay looks very very compact, not looking forward to doing any work on it... esp if I have to replace the supercharger belt! *gulp*
 
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Here are some photos of the car



A rather compat engine!


As I said, dont look forward to changing any of the belts. This is the super charger pully/belt hidden behind stuff/pipework!


Drivers dash... See what I mean about the clocks?


Nissan Connect and manual climate control (I prefer the manual one over auto just because of the looks! The auto climate control looks IMHO fugly!):
 
I saw one of these just the other day...and couldn't help but think that is such a lovely colour :p
...I hate it when my girl brain takes over :rolleyes: LOL

She does looks lovely though ;)

I'm sure you'll get used to the dials...it's kind of like driving a Vauxhall for the first time and having to remember that you need to lift the collar for reverse.
I remember when i changed from a K10 to a K11 having to re-learn which side my indicator stalk was on XD
you'll get the feel in the revs for your speed...if all else fails..nail varnish :D
 

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
I saw one of these just yesterday...and couldn't help but think that is such a lovely colour :p
...I hate it when my girl brain takes over :rolleyes: LOL

She does looks lovely though ;)

I'm sure you'll get used to the dials...it's kind of like driving a Vauxhall for the first time and having to remember that you need to lift the collar for reverse.
I remember when i changed from a K10 to a K11 having to re-learn which side my indicator stalk was on XD
you'll get the feel in the revs for your speed...if all else fails..nail varnish :D
Switching between cars is always a pain! I learnt in a vauxhall and whilst I was fine with the reverse gears, I never used to like beating the crap out of the 1.3TD as my 1.3 K11 had power all in the low revs! And much the other way around, I used to drive my K11 with an iron fist, with no power steering and stiff pedals/gear change etc, so used to feel like I was abusing the Corsa! Possibly the biggest switchover problem I've had however was from my K11 to K12 where the petrol filler cap side changed, had to do dodgy manoeuvres at many a petrol station for the first few months!

SplanK that micra looks mint! Always wanted to try the DIG-S to see how it compares to my 1.4 four pot K12, but never had the chance, they're actually quite rare around where I live and I try to spend as much time away from Nissan dealers as possible after the way I got treated after buying my K12!
 
Ain't it just Tchaaa, ^_^
When i changed from my K11 to K12...not only was the filler on the other side I now had power steering, ABS, electric windows, air con, fogs...A Rear Wiper...had never had one of those before. oh and I had to remember to use the Black pump at the fuel station! LOL
I started learning in a VW polo then that changed to a 1.0 corsa...and now i'm on my dads insurance i have to get used to driving his Tasty new beast! A 2.2 dci Almera N16 SXE....136ish HP and 6 gears (It has a collar for reverse too) so much to remember :p

Am sorely tempted to go to my local nissan and test drive one of these K13's...and a juke...just for the heck of it...I can't see me getting rid of mine...ever...but it's nice to see how they've changed the way stuff works...trims, engines...shiny shiny buttons XD

 
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I've gone from a K11 Micra when I first passed my test, to a 1.6 P11 Primera, to a 2.0 Primera, then 200sx S15a Touring, then Nissan Note (company car), then N15 Almera, N16 Almera (still have), K11 Micra (replaced N15), to a K13 Micra...!

All of which have had their filler caps on the passenger side! I think it depends where they are built.

The DIG-S, as Nissan claims feels like a 1.6 to drive at a pace and it feels like it. However usualy revvy little boosted engines always feel quicker than they actualy are.

Nissan dealers (all of these are within the same group) around our way have screwed me over several times. Whilst buying the DIG-S, I discovered a DPA issue where someone at my work was able to tell me about the purchase BEFORE I had told anybody (investigation still ongoing however I suspect I know how and who). One other time when I bought the N16 Almera they tried to sell it to me as a 1.8 engine, but after I got back home and checked DVLA for road tax and insurance it came up as a 1.5! I must admit, I went back immediatly, explained that I was happy with the car but wanted X amount off due to their cock up, they obliged. Then in the past when I went to get my 2.0 P11 Primera serviced they spilt brake fluid onto the paintwork, curbed a wheel, and during inspection of the CV boots split them. The CV split caused grease to fling out over my wheels and brakes which nearly caused a serious accident! I this is the last time I will use this particular group, and next time I will look at alternative Nissan dealers in our area! Shame as the local one to me is only a few miles down the road!

Only time I drove a non-Nissan was either..
1. Fiat Panda as a company car before getting the Note
2. Hired a Jag XF 3.0 V6 twin turbo dirty derv for our wedding (yep, as I was driving it was either the Micra or something a bit more fancy.... :D!)
 

Guy

Has gone over to the oily side...
Club Member
I learned in a K10, had a k11 from new and am now on my 2nd K12 so I guess I belong here :p. Mind you had a lot of company cars over the years, mainly Vauxhall Vectras and Ashtrays :D.
 

Tchaaa

Buy & Sell Member
I learnt in a 1.0 Corsa C, and a 1.3TD Corsa D. Liked the older one, wasn't really impressed by the newer one. Passed my test and went into driving my K11, then wrote it off, bought my K12 and here we are! Mind you've I've had a spin in a number of cars, mostly nissans or small hatchbacks but you get the idea. Sadly wouldn't go nissan again after the experience we've had with our two K12's and Note, so next car is hopefully going to be something less inspired by renault :)
 

Guy

Has gone over to the oily side...
Club Member
I know what you mean Tchaaa. I think about this often now that the K13 is here which is more of a 'world' car than a Jap one. As the K10s and K11s start dissappearing we may have to re-christen as the 'Small Jap car club' or similar :(.
 

James

Chairman
I've gone from a K11 Micra when I first passed my test, to a 1.6 P11 Primera, to a 2.0 Primera, then 200sx S15a Touring, then Nissan Note (company car), then N15 Almera, N16 Almera (still have), K11 Micra (replaced N15), to a K13 Micra...!
You'll be competing with my Nissan list soon! :D
 
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Interesting!

As I have mentioned previously, we also own a Nissan Almera N16 1.5. This has always been the "nicer" car when we had the K11 Micra and as such has been mostly sat idle at the bottom of the drive for weeks on end (the wife gets the train to work and 99% of the time I take her and pick her up from the train station), apart from when I occasionally take it out for a quick run or need the larger car for whatever reason... It has also been the quicker car and IMHO more fun to drive compared the K11....

I have been driving the DIG-S for a little over a week to ensure all is fine with it but now is the time to swap them around and drive the Almera more (its older, more miles on the engine so trying to eek out our money’s worth from it now and ramp up the miles on it). Swapped them around and it feels a completely different car compared to when I have driven it in the past! Compared the K13 it feels a lot sharper in clutch/gear changes and the accelerator responds quicker, however the NA engine despite it being roughly the same power as the supercharged Micra, it really shows its lack of being able to accelerate easily through the rev range. On paper I think they should be fairly similar however the K13 *feels* a much quicker car to drive. The lack of weight helps, along with the extra tech such as the blower, higher compression ratio and being lighter but I wasn’t expecting to be that much difference!

Hhmm – I wonder if the other half will allow me to take the K13 down to Shakespeare raceway in April and “accidently” take it up the strip to see how it compares to the N16!
 
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First time I have taken the Micra onto the motorway tonight. I can tell its defo a city car rather than a motorway mile muncher.

Winding the car up to decent motorway speeds is reasonable as long as you dont shift into 5th! 5th seems like a completly gutless gear on the motorway and I was expecting a bit more from the supercharger. At 80, engine is at 3.5k RPM which is similar to that of the Almera, 70 is just a shy over 3k RPM so not that bad. Engine noise is quite low compared to the K11. At speed though, the Micra does feel twitchy and is easily blown about or effected by the truck.
In traffic conditions it holds its own, again as long as you are in the right gear you are able to get out of the way of the idiot driver pulling into your lane without waiting for you to clear first!

Road noise though is quite loud but can be drowned out by the radio and sat nav.

MPG wise - It was reading around 50mpg most of the way unless you were going uphill, it dropped to around 35mpg but not too bad considering!

So yeah, it will do on the motorway but I would not like to use it as a mile muncher day in day out!
 
I would exercise caution with a One X and the USB port though, it's likely it'll only feed it 500mA, which on higher end Androids won't charge much, if at all (especially if you have GPS on).

Answer: As the USB port has a data connection your phone will detect this and only draw 500ma, so your phone will probably only charge when turned off or in sleep. This is the way usb works.

Does yours have the park assist function on it? I'm keen to hear how it fares in standard conditions, not the "test" conditions Nissan laid out for us (A gaping space between two Nissan Notes!)
Answer: I have the park assist. used it once to see how it works. Rear parking sensors are good but the parking space measurement? rather have had front sensors. I mean stopping behind the gap to pressing the button before moving forward to reverse back : confuse other drivers

First time I have taken the Micra onto the motorway tonight. I can tell its defo a city car rather than a motorway mile muncher.
5th seems like a completly gutless gear on the motorway.

Motorway munchers have a 5th gear to hold speed only this is for good mpg and low engine noise, 4th gear is to accelerate. In this respect the micra is good. high speed mpg is very good.
Wind and road noise though are a little high and suspension feels cheep, particularly noisy at 70 mph, cruise control is a little vicious with the throttle above 60mph so you can get better mpg not using it.
......so overall yes not ideal on the motorway. this is a shame because cars not far off being useful small car for motorway.
Seats are big and comfortable enough.
Car feels best around town but bizarrely gives similar mpg in town to what it would be capable of at 90 mpg. Not what you expect from a city car?
 
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Not all USB cables have the data pins and charge fine of usb.I have a few like this. Working as an it engineer you gain all sorts of assorted cables! Joys

USB will charge all the time regardless of phone state, however the power consumption probably outstrips available power and drains battery giving you this impression.
The phone will just what it's given essentially, yes it may help if there is a data connection but in my experience this does not happen. Infant, using a data Nd power USB cable yesterday, the director at my place of work managed to kick in the over power protection on the USB port (chances are its a poor USB controller).

A for motorway, if it was the n/a 1.2, I would have expected the gutless motorway top end, however I was expecting a bit more from the supercharged engine in comparison to my 1.5 almera which is able to power through all 5 gears quite well. But you are right, the car was designed as a city car rather than a motorway mile munched and does the city quite well and is in readable nippy and chuck able.
 
Not all USB cables have the data pins and charge fine of usb.I have a few like this. Working as an it engineer you gain all sorts of assorted cables! Joys
That's exactly right some people have made up such Cables.
If you use a cable like this to charge phone from a laptop you can crash the laptop may not be good for some head units.
One this topic I asked nissan if I could buy a nissan cigar lighter to fit and to my suprise they said the standard cigar lighter uses same connection as the usb so its one or other. I would have thought fusing and wiring for cigar lighter would be diferent aparently not.from this I'd say your probably fine with your cable adatation if used in micra.
Also driven Almera. Almera has good driving position, nice road manners/handling and better gear change. Mpg is almost as good as micra dispite much worse co2 figures but in every other respect micra k13 is better car.
For motorway should compare to other similar cars. Motorway mpg is very good. Road noise is ok, wind noise is a bit high. I'd still say compares well with other cars in same class.
 
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ok, I need to find a way to manually "switch on" the supercharger! Its driving me nuts lol

There are a few instances where I have come to a junction and I know I could make it with the full power of the engine... then the worst thing happens.. you pull away in first, foot down and realise that the engine is running in N/A mode without boost and even though your demanding the power, the supercharger refuses to kick in until you have changed gear to 2nd.

I presume this is to prevent a sudden surge in power being in 1st which I suppose is sensible, but there are times where the supercharger IS engaged in 1st and available.

Only workaround I have found so far is to "blip" the throttle before driving away which seems to do the trick, but we must be able to manually override it somehow to keep it always on?!

Other than that, I am still finding it immensely fun to drive around town.

I will more than likley take it down to Shakespeare raceway in April, however, I wonder what the wife would say if I should find ive "accidently" stumbled into start line of the 1/4 drag strip lol
 
I don't see the problem with sc. Charge comes in very early compared to a turbo. 2000-2100 rpm you can use clutch abit on take off. Think its 1st gear which is a bit high on the manual


Sent from BlackBerry 9790 using Tapatalk
 
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I think you miss understood my post, problem is not with boost level, but with the supercharger not being switched on when I need it in first (say at a junction) as the ecu has turned it off (via electromagnet clutch) and will engage it until I have changed up to 2nd, or using the workaround ad blip the throttle before setting off
 
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