Motor show skin changes

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Nissan had plenty of their March eco-cars on display at the Motor Show: The pictures reveal a redesigned front end with a version of Nissan’s current corporate grille with a strange chrome V.

A restyled front bumper with chrome lining, new fog lights and redesigned two-tone black and chrome headlights are the most obvious changes to the March.

They also had one very tricked up version on the stand, complete with wide alloys and flares.  I asked if it could be purchased like that, but no – however, the sales chap assured me that all the ‘go faster’ items could be purchased separately.  A rear spoiler is a new addition, and the tiny runabout also gets restyled taillights and a different bumper.

New Vios.New Vios.

The switch from Indonesian production also means that the March is no longer available (export markets only) with the 1.5 liter four cylinder engine but only with the 56 kW 1.2 liter three cylinder unit.

Nissan March.Nissan March.

Nissan has done very well with the sales of the March (Micra in some markets) both here and overseas.  In Australia, for example, Nissan shifted 923 units in the first two months of the year.  The Suzuki Alto in second has sold 519 units.

However, the March/Micra faces stiff competition overseas in the form of the newly released Mitsubishi Mirage hatch, which has sold 1688 units in the first two months of this year.

Another face-lifted popular vehicle at the show was the Toyota Vios, with the grille getting even closer to the larger Corolla.  Mechanically I believe the new Vios is very similar to the model it supersedes.