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Nissan Note Review
The Nissan Note range...
£0 - £0
Fuel Economy (Combined)
Loads of space for luggage and legs; economical to run; wide range of safety kit
Noisy diesel engine; not very exciting to drive;scratchy interior plastics
The new Nissan Note is more environmentally and family friendly than its predecessor, with added safety features, loads of space and low carbon emissions. The entry level Visia is the one best avoided as it lacks sliding back seats, a moveable boot floor and it costs more to own and run. The Nissan Note will be competing with the Ford Fiesta and VW Polo, amongst others, and should prove a worthy opponent.
Nissan Note performance varies across the range of two petrol and one diesel engines available. If economy is your priority you will probably go for the 1.5 litre, 89 bhp diesel version, which claims a fuel consumption of 78.5 mpg and can do the 0-62 mph sprint in 11.9 seconds. For slightly better acceleration and a quieter drive you might want to opt for the supercharged 1.2 litre, 97 bhp petrol engine; this will take you from 0-62 mph in 11.7 seconds and has a combined fuel consumption of 65.7 mpg. Last, and on this occasion, least, of the Nissan Note engines is the entry level 1.2 litre, 79 bhp, petrol. It’s the least powerful and thirstiest of the three, and falls into the highest tax band.
The new Nissan Note offers passengers a more comfortable ride than its rather bouncy predecessor and it settles down immediately after dealing with a bump in the road. It’s not an exciting car to drive, but it is responsive enough – there’s not a lot of body roll on bends and this, together with the steering, is partially dealt with by the addition of the Ride and Handling Pack, available with the 1.2 DiG-S engine.
Nissan Note passengers will be comfortable as far as their legs and heads are concerned – there’s ample room at each end – but the seats are a bit flat with little in the way of lumbar support. The diesel engine can also be a bit noisy at low speed, but that seems to settle once on the motorways.
The Nissan Note is sleek and distinctive, and compares well with rivals such as the Renault Clio and Ford Fiesta. It has smart creases down the sides and a sweeping profile. It is lower and wider than the earlier Note, giving it a more dynamic appearance. Wide angular headlights grace the front; and the Dynamic Styling Package which is available with the top of the range Tekna model will bring an extra touch of class.
A new glossy black centre console goes a long way to improve the look of the Nissan Note’s interior, but it’s a shame that there are no soft touch materials included anywhere and that you don’t have to look far to find the cheaper, scratchier stuff. Having said that, the Note’s dash is, on the whole, well laid out with clearly marked dials and switches – although there are a few which are less accessible and easy to read.
Practicality is where the Nissan Note comes into its own. It’s 325 litres of luggage space expands to 411 with the rear seats pushed forward and to a massive 2,012 litres with them folded flat. The entry level Visia model doesn’t allow for the seats to slide though, and also lacks the facility, found in other models, of a multi-level boot floor. There’s loads of leg and head room all round, which means a tall adult can sit behind another tall adult, and both will have plenty of wriggle room.
When choosing your Nissan Note, you can select from the entry-level Visia, the Acenta, the Acenta Premium and the Tekna. It’s pretty well kitted out throughout, with plenty of electronic safety systems as standard in the Visia, along with Bluetooth connectivity, cruise control, electric front windows, daytime running lights, speed limiter, tilt adjustable steering wheel and idle stop/start. Next up comes the Acenta, which adds electric rear windows, steering wheel audio controls, a height adjustable driver’s seat, manual air con and rear privacy glass. The Acenta Premium throws in front fog lamps, climate control, automatic headlights and wipers and Nissan Connect sat nav and audio system; while the top of the range Nissan Note Tekna has innovative Safety Shield Technologies, a CD radio with six speakers, keyless start, part leather seats, 16 inch alloys and a leather covered steering wheel.
The Nissan Note achieved four stars in its Euro NCAP safety test. Six airbags come as standard along with a range of safety systems – and the range topping Tekna model has Nissan’s new Safety Shield System (which also available as an optional extra with the Acenta). Amongst other things this alerts you to a moving object behind you when reversing, has a blind spot warning, a lane departure warning and an around view monitor. Nissan normally does well in reliability surveys, so that should not be an issue with the Note.
Buying & Owning
For the money you will have to pay, the Nissan Note represents good value compared with the rival Ford Fiesta which costs about the same but is not so well equipped. The engines are all economical, the diesel being particularly wallet-friendly with frugal fuel needs and no road tax. The petrol version is the only one which gives anything to the tax man, and that will only be in the region of £20.00. Nissan offer a 3 year/60,000 mile warranty.
Reviewed by cars2buy