Find a car review

Make
Model
Long term tests

Nissan Micra 350SR

Demanding and addictive, Nissan's 350 SR has left its mark

Trickling out of the Donington pitlane, I was terrified. On the road the Micra feels edgy and punishes mistakes with a wicked intolerance. I suspected these traits were about to be magnified ten-fold on track. Still, on the positive side the sun was shining…

This is a car you ease yourself into, feeling for front-end response and gently probing its limits of traction, so lap one was very much an ‘installation’ lap. I had two near-spins. The first when the rear rolled into sudden oversteer through the Old Hairpin, the second out of the chicane and in view of the spectators lining the pit wall. Fortunately the car suffered nothing more than a light sprinkling of dust and stayed pointing in the right direction. Just.

Subscribe to evo magazine

If you're passionate about the world's greatest performance cars, experience the thrill of driving with evo magazine. Try your first 5 issues for £5.

The Micra 350SR is a physical car to hustle, with an intolerably heavy clutch and hefty gearbox action. The steering is very light, however. There’s actually lots and lots of feel, but you have to tune into the subtle textural changes that fizz back through your wrists. You need to dial-in quickly too, because with a rear end as mobile as the Micra’s you need total faith in how the front tyres will react to steering inputs.

The balance is tricky to judge. Generally there’s a bit of understeer and then lots of oversteer. But it’s how you manage this balance that’s the key. Adopt the slow-in, fast-out approach and you avoid the understeer but then get snappy breakaway at the rear under power on the exit of the corner. Go in hotter and momentum swings the tail wide well before the apex. Now you have to catch the slide but not kill it – meter out the power to keep the car sideways through the apex and right out onto the kerbs. The latter sounds much scarier, but in reality it’s the best solution. Yes, you’re forced to contain and manage a big slip angle, but it’s much more fluid than trying to deal with snatchy, unpredictable and savagely quick power oversteer.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

After two laps I’m sweating but starting to extract a decent turn of speed from the Micra. There’s still the odd moment of clumsy correction, but it’s starting to flow. Bloody hell it’s noisy in here, though. And my left leg hurts from the clutch. And it’s just a matter of time before I relax and the Micra spits me into the barriers. On lap four I’m black-flagged for noise. What a relief…

But whatever the Micra throws at you it’s impossible not to enjoy every single mile that rolls under its wheels. It’s unique, and not just in the sense that it’s a one-off prototype – the way it drives is unique and uniquely challenging. It’s demanding, occasionally too demanding, but it is utterly addictive. Photographer Andy Morgan drove the car up to Donington and described it as ‘the best drive I’ve had since bringing an F50 back from Spa’. We’ve only had the 350SR a couple of months but already I know it’s a car none of us will ever forget.

Running Costs

Date acquiredJuly 2007
Total mileage2300 (est)
Costs this month£0
Mileage this month1100 (est)
MPG this monthN/A
Advertisement

Have You Considered

Visit/mercedes/gle/201748/2019-mercedes-gle400d-review-a-worthy-original
Mercedes GLE

2019 Mercedes GLE400d review – a worthy original

12 Sep 2019
Visit/porsche/porsche-911-carrera-4/201744/2019-porsche-911-carrera-4-and-carrera-4-cabriolet-detailed
Porsche 911 Carrera 4

2019 Porsche 911 Carrera 4 and Carrera 4 Cabriolet detailed

12 Sep 2019
Visit/mercedes/201726/mercedes-amg-electric-car-to-target-porsche-taycan-and-tesla-model-s
Mercedes

Mercedes-AMG electric car to target Porsche Taycan and Tesla Model S

10 Sep 2019
Visit/volkswagen/18328/2020-volkswagen-id3-revealed-vws-electric-revolution-is-here
Volkswagen

2020 Volkswagen ID.3 revealed - VW’s electric revolution is here

9 May 2019

Most Popular

Visit/best-cars/201772/best-v8-cars-past-and-present-our-favourite-eights-and-the-cars-theyre-found-in
Best cars

Best V8 cars past and present – our favourite eights and the cars they’re found in

Whether it’s smooth and sophisticated or motorsport-like in its aggression, the V8 remains one of our favourite engine types, warts and all
20 Sep 2019
Visit/spy-shots/201770/porsche-cayman-gt4-rs-spied-718-to-receive-rennsport-treatment
spy shots

Porsche Cayman GT4 RS spied – 718 to receive Rennsport treatment

More power, more aero and less weight are already on the cards for Stuttgart’s fastest Cayman
19 Sep 2019
Visit/hyundai/i30-n-hatchback/201775/hyundai-i30-n-versus-hyundai-i30-tcr
Hyundai i30 N hatchback

Hyundai i30 N versus Hyundai i30 TCR

Can evo magazine’s Dickie Meaden beat Steve Sutcliffe in a straight(ish) race? We sent them to the Circuit Nuvolari with a pair of Hyundai i30 Ns to f…
20 Sep 2019
Visit/features/22872/goodyear-eagle-f1-supersport-the-toughest-test-advertisement-feature
Advertisement Feature

Goodyear Eagle F1 SuperSport (advertisement feature)

We went to Bedford Autodrome to find out what evo readers think of Goodyear’s new Eagle F1 SuperSport Ultra Ultra High Performance tyres
10 Jul 2019