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Nissan Note review


Face-Lift Adds High Tech, Safety, Utility Features.

Plenty Of Standard Stuff, Excellent Value.
Has To Be To Compete In This Sector.

“All 3 (engine choices) come with the usual unbelievable claims for fuel economy. The diesel engine is said to achieve an average 79.5 mpg”

For – looks good, much equipment, well made.
Against – not quite as good as the Jazz.
**** out of 5

Nissan has freshened up the design of its Note mini-MPV and added some interesting advances like the Safety Shield, a camera-based system adding extras levels of safety, plus improvements to enhance load lugging and comfort.

The redesigned interior is said to be of higher quality and the car is a little bit bigger than the old one.

The new Note is the first Nissan in Europe to feature the Nissan Safety Shield.

“(the) Nissan Safety Shield acts as an intelligent co-pilot to the driver to help them make the best decisions in all situations. The system combines Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Warning and Moving Object Detection to bring premium technology to the small car sector for the first time,” Nissan said.

Nissan Note review

The Safety Shield functions from one single wide-angle rear camera. Also making its sector debut is Nissan’s Around View Monitor, which provides drivers with a 360-degree bird’s eye view to take the stress out of reversing. Well, that’s what Nissan says. Testing it out was less than convincing, as the images on the screen take some getting used to.

Both systems are incorporated into the new Note’s satellite navigation, Bluetooth and audio. The system will tell you where the nearest points of interest are, local fuel prices, plus flight and weather information. As if you couldn’t do that yourself by looking out the window.

Jazz favourite
The Note combines a longer wheelbase than the old one with short overhangs. Quality is excellent, but so is much of the current opposition, including the Honda Jazz, still my favourite in the sector. Interior innovations include an optional “Karakuri” luggage board that allows owners to divide or open up the load space according to their needs. The rear seat slides by up to six inches, although the seats don’t fold down as well as in the Honda Jazz.

Three engines are available from launch – a 1.2-litre 79 hp three-cylinder petrol, a 97 hp 1.2-litre supercharged petrol, and a 1.5-litre 89 hp diesel. Prices start at £11,900. A CVT automatic transmission is available on the supercharged engine. All three come with the usual unbelievable claims for fuel economy. The diesel engine is said to achieve an average 79.5 mpg. In your dreams. The driving experience is fine, although the lesser powered engine struggles a bit with acceleration. Not that this is a negative to a great many potential buyers in this sector.

Nissan Note review

The Note range starts with the Visia, which includes Stop/Start, front electric windows, remote central locking and cruise control. That’s an impressive level of basic equipment. Acenta models add alloy wheels, air-conditioning, Bluetooth and the sliding rear seat bench. The range-topping Tekna model has the media system, 16-inch alloy wheels, part-leather seats, Around View Monitor and Nissan Safety Shield as standard, along with Intelligent Key with start/stop button, leather steering wheel and automatic air conditioning. The Tekna models, which start at £15,950, are also available with an optional Dynamic Styling Pack comprising unique alloy wheels and deeper front and rear bumpers. The Visia model below has the air conditioning option.

Impressive, but…..
The new Note is an impressive candidate for your money, but given the breadth of choice in this sector, it will have to demonstrate a compelling case. I still feel the Jazz is the best, although my ownership of a 2008 model, the last before the styling changed to the latest shape, showed some shortcomings. The original Jazz felt hugely capable, where the version after that feels distinctly fragile in comparison. Whereas the original Jazz felt very upmarket, my current one has the feeling about it that short-cuts were made to cut costs. Honda seems to have solved that with the current model. Honda servicing charges still remain eye-brow raisingly pricey. The new Note still can’t match the Jazz’s so-called magic seats, but it has much about it that looks and feels good. Like Honda, even the made in Britain Nissans (like this one and of course the Jazz) have a reputation for impeccable build quality. You can’t really go wrong if you opt for one.

Nissan Note review

(Nissan provided hotel)

 Nissan Note Visia 1.5 dCi
Engine:1,461 cc 4-cylinder turbo diesel
89 hp @ 4,000
200 Nm @ 1,750
5-speed manual
Acceleration:0-62 mph/100 km/h 11.9 seconds
Top Speed:111.2-179 km/h
Fuel Consumption:
claimed combined – 78.5mpg-3.6 l/km
CO2:92 g/km
Length: 4,100 mm
1,129 kg
MacPherson/torsion beam
Boot capacity:
195 litres/2,012
Competition:Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta, Renault Clio, VW Polo, Vauxhall Meriva
For:looks good, much equipment, well made
Against:not quite as good as the Jazz

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