Test – Microlino, the very small electric that will make you love traffic jams, Microlino test (2022): our full opinion – Cars – Frandroid

We tried the microlino, the competitor of the Citroën friend without a license … but with a license from 16 years old

The highlight of the show ? The time of opening the large front door tilting ! An operable maneuver, without any handle, simply by a small pressure on a button located on the right flank and which allows access to a bench that can accommodate two adults . Even the trunk reserves its share of surprises with a loading volume of 230 liters, more than a thermal Fiat 500 !

Test – Microlino, the very small electric that will make you love traffic jams

Modern reinterpretation of the BMW ISETTA of the 1950s, the very small Swiss Microlino wants to be placed as the first premium electric quadricycle. Take charge of a new urban vehicle that may well swarm in our cities soon.

Turin, a winter morning, a funny little machine stings the curiosity of passers -by ! This small bubble on 4 wheels is however not unrelated to people attending European automotive fairs. And for good reason, this rolling object not identified by certain Piedmontese, is none other than microlino whose silhouette had been one of the Stars of Geneva 2016 and more recently of the Paris 2022 World Cup .

Since its presentation in the form of a concept in Switzerland, water has flowed under bridges, a virus has paralyzed the world and shortages have impacted the automotive industry. What to allow micro, the Zurich company specializing in scooters, to have time to transform into a small automotive manufacturer and to refine its microlino .


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The cutest of all ?

Aesthetically, compared to the concept, little has evolved. The Bubble spirit because of the 1950s is there, so much so that it can be considered as the modern reinterpretation of the BMW ISETTA . And looking at it, all the details were treated. LED bar at the front, small spotlights on the sides acting as indicators and headlights or even rear supported wheels, the microlino literally turns all the heads . Between the thumbs up, the big smiles and the many questions, a car had never aroused so many positive reactions during a report.

The highlight of the show ? The time of opening the large front door tilting ! An operable maneuver, without any handle, simply by a small pressure on a button located on the right flank and which allows access to a bench that can accommodate two adults . Even the trunk reserves its share of surprises with a loading volume of 230 liters, more than a thermal Fiat 500 !

Another treatment provided inside, a small touch bar used to manage ventilation, the opening of the trunk or the configuration of the on -board instrumentation. And helping the door closure, as on the most luxurious models . In short, Microlino is much better finished and more premium than the other electric quadricycles with whom it may share only one thing, the portable speaker for music.

We tried the microlino, the competitor of the Citroën friend without a license … but with a license from 16 years old

Long -awaited, the new Microlino electric cart finally arrives on the French market. Little Swiss Made in Italy without a license (or almost) made its first laps in the capital, and we were lucky to be able to take the wheel. An experience to say the least, aboard a real UFO halfway between the motorcycle and the car.

Microlino // Source: Marie Lizak for Frandroid

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Our full opinion
Microlino (2022)

July 23, 2023 07/23/2023 • 18:01

To say that she was desired is a good understatement. Because it’s been a long time since we hear about the microlino, this small electric car described by many as a revival of the legendary BMW ISETTA produced between 1955 and 1962. And for good reason, It was at the Geneva Motor Show in 2016 that the adorable little car takes his first steps in front of an audience probably a bit surprised. Then, no more news until the end of 2022. At that time, the Paris Motor Show opens its doors, and the electric city car is indeed present, to everyone’s surprise.

We had the chance to photograph her, but above all to lead her very briefly in the streets of the capital. Some months later, the little heavy quadricycle is talking about him again, when he finally arrives on the French market. On this occasion, the micro brand invited us to take the wheel of that which adopts an amazing positioning, Halfway between the motorcycle and the car. But between its first presentation, in the form of a concept and this new version, it happened a lot of time, which allowed the brand, rather known for its scooters, to refine its little creation.

And if it displays a riquiqui size, with Less than three meters in length, She actually has many advantages and hides some small surprises. And above all, she has nothing to envy to certain rivals, including the Citroën Friend to which we think of course first. But what is this Isetta 2 really worth.0 on the road ? To find out, we took its wheel for a small trip in the heart of Paris !

Microlino technical sheet (2022)

Model Microlino (2022)
Dimensions 2.519 m x 1.473 m x 1.501 m
Power (horses) 17 horses
Level of autonomy Assisted driving (level 1)
Max speed 90 km/h
Car Type 2
Entry -level price 14990 euros
Price 14990
Product sheet

Design: Deliciously retro Microlino (2022)

One thing is certain, this microlino is far from going unnoticed. And for good reason, the city car adopts a style recognizable at the first glance, which did not fail to challenge passers -by, many to photograph us during our test. Worthy descendant of the Isetta, this newcomer to the market takes up some elements of the German city car, such as the round silhouette as well as the lights placed on the sides. These are obviously in LED, Just like the light band that crosses the front as well as the Dolce mid -range finish. This version is also distinguished by Various chrome elements as well as by very original white rims.

The facies of the electric city car is very refined, and does not have a grille, not even suggested in any way. It changes, and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, quite the contrary. But it is especially in profile that the microlino most challenges. And for good reason, it displays a very astonishing silhouette, almost triangular. Fortunately, the large stickers affixed on the sides indicate the name of the model, because many passers -by questioned the identity of our UFO on wheels. Two styles of 13 -inch rims are available in the configurator, in white and black and especially without any additional cost.

In total, No less than six colors are offered On the Dolce finish, while the Competizione variant is available with shades of gray, black, blue and dark green. For our part, we opted for red Milano, associated with a white roof giving a vintage look to our car. Also on the back, the electric city car is obviously very original, with here again a thin strip of LEDs which crosses the whole shield. This is surmounted by the name of the brand inscribed in all letters, while you will not find any logo on the body of the car, except the name of the brand on the front.

Posting A length of only 2.25 meters, The microlino bears its name pretty well and sneaks everywhere in town, as we were able to test during our grip. Moreover, the brand makes its small size a shock argument, saying that it is possible to park three copies of the city car in a single parking space. On the other hand, the Swiss firm does not communicate on the CX (trained coefficient) of its small car with all -round design.

Habitability: surprising ! Microlino (2022)

No need to be a diviner to suspect that The habitability of this microlino is not frankly its strong point. If the manufacturer unfortunately does not communicate on its wheelbase, the latter barely seems to exceed the fifty meter at most. So inevitably, when we enter board, we expect to find ourselves tightened like sardines. And yet, our endearing little electric city car is actually very surprising. But before entering detail, let’s dwell a few seconds on board access. No doors on each side of the car, like any other classic vehicle, but A single opening at the front. A simple press of a button allows you to unlock it.

Then just get into the vehicle and then settle on The small bench designed to accommodate two people, the driver and his passenger. And against all odds, it is rather comfortable, even if it remains summary. Indeed, if it can advance and retreat manually, it does not separate in two. Which means that occupants have more interest in making the same size more or less. A different system of the Citroën Friend and the Fiat Topolino, where the passenger seat is completely motionless. Also note that The file does not bow, But fortunately it is rather well positioned, with a fairly comfortable angle.

If the car seems to be designed for small templates, we all the same deplore that the steering wheel is a little too far away when it is not 1.80 meters, which can harm driving comfort. Without surprise, The materials are not really very refined, and of course we notice the presence of very hard and grained plastics everywhere. The gray fabric of the bench is quite pretty, and it is also found on the dashboard. This is obviously very summary but remains functional. Only downside, it is very difficult to find how to open the door and get out of the car once you are inside. It is indeed necessary to press a small button hidden behind the black bar on which the touch screen is encrusted.

The micro-city sector is therefore quite spacious, much more than what we could have expected by looking at it for the first time. Of course, it is better to avoid installing two large templates on board, because cohabitation may be complicated. But where the car surprises us the most, it is with regard to the trunk. The latter is indeed very spacious, since’It displays a generous volume of 230 liters. For comparison, the Fiat 500E only offers 185 liters, despite a length of 3.63 meters. A sacred difference in favor of microlino !

Infodencing: the strict minimum Microlino (2022)

As you can see, this microlino is absolutely not burning of the superfluous and is above all functional. No artifices, each element has a utility. And so the car is obviously not in the debauchery of screens, in order to also reduce production costs. She therefore does not equip herself with a digital slab proper, but She still has a small touch screen. No question of taking advantage of GPS, Apple Carplay or Android Auto navigation because it only includes some features.

These are mainly settings, especially for ventilation, which makes a full power hair dryer. Attention, The car does not have air conditioning. Behind the small three -pointed steering wheel with a rather flattering design, the driver also notes a small digital handset. The latter has a modern and very successful presentation and displays all the important information for driving in a clear way. We find in particular speed, autonomy remaining as well as electricity consumption and the level of regeneration in braking.

Two single commodos on the steering column allow you to activate the indicators as well as the wiper, and that’s it. No high-tech functions on this vehicle, which really offers the minimum union in terms of technology. It must be remembered thatThis is a simple heavy quadricycle and not a real car strictly speaking and that it is normal that it does not have a very generous endowment. However, given its price, we could have expected a little better all the same. We appreciate the presence of four classic USB sockets. On the other hand, there is no USB-C port.

If you want to take advantage of GPS navigation, then you have to Use your smartphone and the dedicated support. Which is not necessarily a bad thing, because it avoids for example to end up with a quickly obsolete or poorly designed screen. Especially since more and more manufacturers offer this type of solution including Dacia or Citroën with its concept Oli. A way again to limit production costs as well as the final price paid by the customer, who is already quite high like that, you will see later.

Driving: Cutting for the city Microlino (2022)

It is now time to turn the small key, a movement to which we are no longer really used, in order to start the electric city car. Inevitably, we expect an old -fashioned heat engine noise but it is only silence that invades the driving station, since our little car is good propelled by an electric block. This logically displays a very small power, displayed at only 12.5 kW, which is equivalent to around 17 horses For a couple of 89 nm. A single configuration is offered, while three battery sizes are available in the catalog.

These figures mean that microlino can be driven from 16 years old, with the B1 license (125 cc) sinceShe is part of the L7E category.

It is indeed more powerful than a Citroën Friend, who is considered a light quadricycle (accessible from 14 years old and stranded at 45 km/h), like the Estima Biro for example, then bridled at 8 horses only. And this difference is really felt, since our test model is quite fun, even if its top speed cannot exceed 90 km/h.

Here, we are obviously not talking about 0 to 100 km/h but about 0 to 50 km/h, which is made in five seconds. Which is rather honorable and enough to enjoy the fairly lively starts in the red light. It is also possible to start the sport mode, which offers a more frank response from the accelerator. And it really feels !

Against all expectations, the electric city car is very fun, thanks in particular to its reduced dimensions and its riquiqui cores. Its direction is flexible, but informative and its extremely short robbery diameter means that the car can turn in a pocket handkerchief. Parking is also child’s play, even if visibility could be improved by Adding an interior mirror. Especially since those installed on the sides are a little too small to our taste. The reduced weight of microlino, displayed at only 435 kilos out of battery makes it even more agile, while braking is rather correct for this type of vehicle.

Of course, damping is not the most comfortable on the market and the car tends to be a little firm on the retarders and other pavement imperfections. Fortunately, the bench is quite comfortable ! We also appreciate the good soundproofing of our microlino, well helped by the fact that she cannot ride very quickly. Finally, and even if you feel very small in this car which does not have Neither airbags, nor ABS and nor esp, The feeling of security is present. This thanks to the fairly healthy behavior of the vehicle, as well as its freestanding chassis in aluminum, as in Tesla for example.

Autonomy, battery and Microlino (2022)

This new little Microlino has an NCM (Nickel – Colbalt manganese) battery, a technology adopted by the majority of manufacturers. If it is a little more expensive than the LFP (lithium – iron – phosphate), the latter has the advantage ofoffer greater energy density. Which means that for the same size, an NCM battery can store more electricity. And this is a real asset, because it allows to offer a more generous autonomy, without increasing the weight of the accumulator and therefore of the car. Because we know that a too big pack also has many drawbacks.

The electric city car is available in three versions, with very distinct battery capabilities, namely 6, 10.5 and 14 kWh. Packs that allow it to display A respective autonomy of 91, 177 and 230 kilometers. Be careful, because it is not the WLTP approval cycle that is used here, since microlino is a heavy quadricycle and not a car proper. It is therefore the WMTC cycle that is taken into account here, as for the Ligier Myli for example, that we tested a few weeks earlier. For comparison, the Citroën Ami is equipped with a unique 5.5 kWh battery and displays a range of 75 kilometers.

Unfortunately, the digital handset of the city car does not allow to know consumption, while The manufacturer does not communicate on this information. However, we know that this type of vehicle consumes about twice as much as a conventional electric car. It is also necessary to take into account the losses related to recharge, which are often put aside, but which however play a lot, as we explained previously.

But what about the recharge of our adorable little car ? Undertaken, This is not compatible with the fast terminals And you will have to be satisfied with 1.35 kW for the 6 kWh and 2.6 kW battery on those of 10.5 and 14 kWh.

Result, It takes 4 hours for the 6 and 14 kWh packs on a classic domestic socket and 3 hours for that of a capacity of 10.5 kWh. It is better not to be too in a hurry, while the microlino cannot be recharged on a wallbox in alternating current, because it does not have type charger 2. Which is on the contrary the case of its rival, the Ligier Myli. Hopefully it changes in the future for our little Swiss car ..

Price, competition and availability Microlino (2022)

Microlino is accessible From 17,990 euros in its Urban version entry -level, serial partner with 6 kWh battery. It is however possible to opt for a more efficient variant, with the dolce which is available with the three packs. This is also equipped with a LED light strip at the front as well as chrome details and exclusive interior design options. For this, you have to pay no less than 19,990 euros. Finally, the Competizione finish is delivered as standard with the accumulator of 10.5 kWh and the sunroof, for the coquette sum of 21,990 euros.

In any case, the city car is eligible for Ecological bonus of 900 euros, which could be revised upwards even if it has not yet been confirmed by the government. A Pioneer Series launch version is also offered, for 22,990 euros but it is limited to the first 999 copies. It comes with the 10.5 kWh battery as well as a engraved plate of the car number. For this price, you will also have the right to an electric micro explorer electric scooter, priority delivery as well as access to exclusive events.

The electric city car obviously hunts on the land of the Citroën Ami, which starts from 7,990 euros, but it is not the only rival of our Microlino. We can also quote the Ligier Myli, which displays a price of 12,499 euros, as well as the Dacia Spring. If it is not part of the same category, its prices remain quite close since it starts at 20,800 euros and is eligible for the bonus of 5,000 euros, which gives 15,800 euros once it deduces. We can also cite the new XEV Yoyo, which we also tried as well as The Renault Twizy, which starts at 11,400 euros, bonus deduces, but whose marketing has just interrupted while waiting for the movable duo.