The Auto Trader expert verdict: ★★★★★ ★★★★★ 3.8
The Nissan Note offers superb practicality thanks to its Tardis-like cabin. It’s well specced, cheap to run, and fun to drive.
Reasons to buy
- Impressive practicality
- Enjoyable drive
- Low running costs
At a glance
- How good does it look? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's the interior like? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How practical is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- What's it like to drive? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How powerful is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much will it cost me? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How reliable is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How safe is it? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- How much equipment do I get? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
- Why buy? ★★★★★ ★★★★★
How good does it look?
There’s a handsome, boxy simplicity to
Nissan Note which ensures it has a wide appeal. The Note’s standout feature has always been its ‘boomerang’ rear lights, which run up the back of the car and onto its roof. There’s a chrome strip along the grille to give the Note a family look with other models in the Nissan range, and its certainly more attractive than the Renault Modus on which the Note is based.
What's the interior like?
The raised seating position the Note offers gives a great view of the road ahead and adds to a feeling of spaciousness exceptional in a ‘small’ car. The dashboard design is clean and neat, while the plastic – although dour – seems strong and durable.
How practical is it?
The rear seats slide fore and aft to quickly increase rear legroom or maximise boot space, and it splits 60/40. There’s a maximum of 1332-litres (with the rear seats folded flat) boot space on offer, while a ‘Flexi-Board’ system cleverly uses two light but strong panels which form a boot floor with room for valuables underneath. They can be removed for a deeper boot or stored on their side to hold objects in place. The underside is made of rugged plastic ideal for wet or muddy boots.
What's it like to drive?
The Note offers plenty of grip and poise for a car in this class. Based on the platform seen in the
Nissan Micra, Micra C+C, Renault Modus and
Renault Clio – the Note feels confident and offers good roadholding. The ride strikes a balance between this impressive chassis control and a comfortable ride.
How powerful is it?
Two petrol engines and a diesel are available. The 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol models accelerate from 0-62mph in 13.4 and 10.7 seconds respectively, whilst the 1.5-litre dCi takes 13.3 seconds. We found the 1.6-litre enthusiastic and capable of a surprising turn of speed – it’s the only choice for drivers with sporting pretensions. For everyone else the 1.5 dCi is the clear winner. It feels quick enough thanks to its pulling power and its money-saving credentials are top notch.
How much will it cost me?
The 85bhp 1.5-litre dCi engine now has a combined fuel economy of 62.8mpg and emissions of 119g/km. The 1.4-litre 87bhp petrol engine returns 47.9mpg and emits 139g/km. Choose the 108bhp 1.6-litre petrol with range-topping performance and you can achieve 42.8mpg and emissions of 149g/km.
How reliable is it?
How safe is it?
The Nissan Note received a four-star score in EuroNCAP crash testing and features anti-lock brakes (ABS), brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution (EBD). Higher-spec models come fitted with an electronic stability programme (ESP) to help prevent skids.
How much equipment do I get?
The entry-level Visia features ABS, EBD, four airbags, CD/MP3 player, electric windows, remote central locking,, passenger airbag switch, and ISOFIX childseat mount. Acenta adds air conditioning with chilled glovebox, front fog lamps, 15-inch alloys, cruise control, ‘Flexi-Board’ system, electric door mirrors, rear electric windows, rear cabin lights, leather steering wheel, under-seat storage, centre armrest, foldaway tables, Bluetooth and six speaker stereo. The Tekna’s trim includes 16-inch alloys, ESP, part leather upholstery, rear parking sensors, electric folding door mirrors, sports pedals, rear privacy glass, climate control, automatic headlamps and washers and Nissan Connect media system.
The Nissan Note is a small car with big car practicalities. Its more than a stretched Nissan Micra – it’s a well executed model with lots of flexibility and lots of equipment.