The Karmann designed two-piece roof takes just 22 seconds to fold. Nissan has christened the roof Auto-Open Roof because it does just that - there’s no need to do any unseemly twisting of levers and tricep exercising push-ups around the windscreen as in some other convertibles. In the C+C, a single push on a centre console mounted button does the job for you, folding the roof clamshell-styley into the boot area. And that includes lowering the side windows. The crowd drawing operation can also be performed at a walking pace. Ideal for when you get caught short at fast changing traffic lights.
Even with the roof folded into the boot, there are 255 litres of luggage room available. When the roof is up, though, this increases to 457 litres. That’s more than a Nissan Murano has under its luggage cover with the rear seats up. Perhaps surprisingly, the Micra C+C has its own pair of rear seats making it a more practical choice than some of its less sociable rivals. They’re fine for children, or grown-ups going round the corner, or as a well-upholstered place to stash shopping bags. No need, though, to move everything into the boot when the car is left top down because there’s a lockable storage area under the front seat for sunglasses, a camera and the like.
Those sunglasses won’t just be required for roof down posing. Even with the roof up, the C+C is a sunny place to be thanks to the C-VIEW roof with its integral glass panel. Should the sun be too hot, or the clouds too depressing, a retractable sunblind can be pulled across the roof. But even if you don’t, the glass is thermally insulated to minimise heat build up.
The starting price for the C+C is £13,150. This is for the URBIS, which as any Latin scholar will know means ‘city’. It’s powered by the same 1.4-litre 88PS engine found in the Micra hatch and gives acceleration to 62mph in 12.8 seconds. The URBIS will go 42.8 miles on a gallon of petrol and emits 158g/km of CO2. Features wise it gets, for example, 15" alloy wheels, electric windows all round, electric/heated door mirrors, six speaker CD radio with steering wheel mounted controls, a trip computer, sports seats, front fogs, switchoffable passenger airbag, and a mild body-kit modelled on the new Micra 160SR. Plus of course the C-VIEW and Auto-Open Roof system. Manual air conditioning is a £500 option.
Or for £845 more, top droppers could have the 1.6 SPORT. This version is powered by Nissan’s newest petrol engine, the 1.6-litre 110PS unit first seen in the Micra 160SR and due to appear soon in the Note. With this engine, the C+C accelerates to 62mph in 10.6 seconds, returns 42.2mpg on the combined cycle and emits 160g/km of CO2. The extra £845 over the URBIS gets not just extra oomph but extra equipment, too, namely 16" graphite coloured alloys, manual air conditioning and alloy look interior trim. For £250, the aircon can be upgraded to automatic climate control.
Topping the open top C+C range is the £14,995 ESSENZA, which means ‘essence’ in Italian. For £1000 more than the SPORT, it adds climate control, heated leather seats with Alcantara door trim, in-dash 6CD autochanger, electronic stability programme, and Nissan’s Intelligent Key system which means the car’s keyfob can forever stay in your hand/manbag. And knowing where your keys are means you’ll leave home five minutes earlier every time.
All are offered in a choice of nine ever-so-fashionable colours (including one specific to C+C). They were developed by Nissan’s colour studio in London under the influence of the fashions, rather than something else, being worn in the trendier parts of town. The same goes for the interior which is available in sophisticated Graphite as well as a bolder Ice Blue with Chocolate trim. That might sound like something you’d drink in a trendy cocktail bar but it further brightens what is already a sunny place to be. Even when it isn’t.
Befitting such an outspoken car, Nissan has given the C+C its own website: www.nissan-micracc.co.uk . Let the SHIFT_fun begin.Published 10 September 2005