IT’S a little car with a big reputation, forged from its debut in 1983 and endorsed by a legion of drivers worldwide ever since.

We’re talking about the Nissan Micra. Much-loved by the car-buying public, the motor has notched more than seven million global sales with 3.5 million of those in Europe.

The supermini is now in its fifth generation, and the all-new car represents a massive progression from the one it is replacing, and from the trio of highly successful models before that.

It has undergone a revolution in the style department. Longer, wider and lower than before, it sports a contemporary look that is athletic, characterful and expressive, with scope for extensive personalisation and 10 body colours including ‘character’ metallic colours, Energy Orange, Passion Red, Pulse Green and Power Blue.

Inside, there is a premium look, with a high-quality cabin that boasts two-tone soft-touch materials as standard across the range. A large section of dashboard and centre console can be specified in a customisable colour.

Features in our Tekna 1.5dCi 90 model included intelligent key and push-button start, cruise control, speed limiter, automatic air-conditioning, leather-trimmed steering wheel with mounted audio controls and reach-and range adjustment, 7in touchscreen satnav and entertainment system, rear-view camera, rear parking sensors, Bluetooth, electric folding, heated door mirrors, rear privacy glass, LED ambient lighting in the front console storage, intelligent auto-headlights and rain-sensing auto wipers.

Safety kit includes tyre pressure monitoring system, hill-start assist, lane departure warning and intelligent emergency braking with pedestrian recognition.

The driving experience is positive, with comfortable ride, well-weighted steering and assured handling, the only niggle being a gear-shift that I found to be a tad less-than-crisp.

The 1.5-litre 90bhp four-cylinder diesel engine, mated to a five speed manual gearbox, gives a 0-62mph time of 11.9 seconds and a top speed of 111mph while returning 80mpg on the combined cycle (manufacturer’s figures).

With 300 litres of space in the boot, 60-40 split-folding rear seats, three cup-holders and a front 12-volt power socket, the new Micra also ticks the box marked ‘practicality.’ And our car had some lovely extras including a ‘Vision+ pack’, which adds surround-cameras, and heated leather-upholstered front seats.

Price: £21,720 (inc options)