The Micra suffered a modest amount of deformation and intrusion to its body during the frontal impact and, despite the airbag, the driver hit his head and chest on the steering wheel. This supermini has ISOFIX mountings installed on its outer rear seats and both restraints used them. The three-year-old’s did poorly in the front and side impacts, however. The windscreen gave adult pedestrians limited protection while the front of the bonnet offered a reasonable degree of protection for children’s heads.
The restraint system allowed the driver’s head and chest to contact the steering wheel. The driver also risked leg injuries from striking hard points behind the fascia. The passenger’s chest was reasonably protected, however. The centre rear seat has a threepoint belt, which is much safer than a two-point type. But the seat back was not interlocked with the seat. As a result the belt could be drawn off the reel and worn when the seat back was unlatched. Clearly this presents a safety risk.
The driver was well protected other than a risk of chest injury which came despite the Micra’s standard-fit seat-mounted airbag. Impact forces were transferred from the dummy’s back to the seat in an unrealistic way, reducing the deflection measured on its chest.
The 18-month-old sat in a restraint that faced rearwards while the 3-year-old’s was forward facing. Both used two-point ISOFIX mountings but there was little protection for the 3-year-old in the frontal or side impact. The younger child would be protected except for risking chest injuries in the frontal impact. Warning labels were fixed permanently to the sun visors and met Euro NCAP’s requirements by warning of serious injury or even death if a child were placed in a rear-facing restraint on the front passenger seat opposite an airbag.
Nissan has made efforts to improve pedestrian protection. The zones where an adult’s and child’s head might strike have softer areas and two parts of the front bumper are compliant. But the bonnet’s leading edge is unforgiving.