The Review of the New Nissan Note at Drive

The All New Nissan Note reviewed by Drive

In Car Reviews, Nissan by Chris Lilly

With the new All New Note, Nissan has tried to cover as many bases as possible with one single model – so the main question is has it worked?

The Nissan Note falls into an unfortunate category for car buyers, the mini-MPV. These cars have a history of being extremely practical and an extremely sensible choice for many buyers, though they are always uninspired and lack the spark that creates a sense of desire in potential owners. You never hear a driver say ‘I could have owned a Renaultsport Twingo but instead I chose a Honda Jazz.’

The All New Nissan Note Built in Britain

The All New Nissan Note fits into this sector perfectly having the footprint of a supermini but a taller stance than the traditional Fiesta or Clio. The reason for this added height though is to make everything easier. You can enter and exit the car with greater ease and, should you be an older driver or have children, you will appreciate the benefits of stepping into a car rather than climbing down into one.

The interior offers exactly this practicality and offers a huge amount of interior space considering its modest dimensions.

Climb into the driver’s seat (or any other seat for that matter) and there is ample head and leg room, while there is space for three adults abreast in the rear. The boot space isn’t class leading but you are rarely going to run out of space for the shopping or luggage. And if you have to make a run down to the tip, the rear seats slide forward or fold almost flat to give micro-van levels of load space. Ikea will be done and dusted with enough space left over for a cool-bag of Swedish meatballs – other Scandinavian flat-pack furniture outlets are available, I just can’t think of any.

The rest of the interior is well built though a little uninspiring and the materials used are of the sturdy variety rather than tending towards plushness. This isn’t to say that the Note is utilitarian and there is a good level of kit available across the model range.

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It’s not just toys and gadgets that are available on the Note as a clever safety system is also available – snappily titled ‘Around View Monitor with Safety Shield’.

This is a £400 option on middle of the range models and included in the top of the range Note Tekna and uses a system of cameras about the car to create a virtual 360-degree view of the immediate area. The intention is that it makes town driving and parking easier and includes technology such as lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring when you’re on the open road.

When it comes down to actually driving the Note, Nissan has done a pretty good job on the dynamic systems. The Note doesn’t have excessive levels of lean through corners and is smooth and well damped over rough roads.

Nissan Note Rear Luggage Area

Driving at speed, the suspension deals well with motorway lumps and bumps and, although the steering feedback isn’t exactly chatty, it isn’t uncommunicative – you can definitely feel what’s going on through a corner rather than just turning and hoping.

The engines available are all set-up for frugality and include two 1.2 litre petrols – one with DIG-S supercharging – and a 1.5 litre dCi diesel. All will offer more than 60mpg – with the diesel just shy of 80mpg – while most of the models will also offer free road tax with emissions below 100g/km CO2.

None of the engines are particularly sprightly and need a good bit of work to accelerate hard. They settle down well at motorway speeds and while pottering about town to keep engine noise down, while there isn’t much wind or tyre noise either, keeping the Note nicely quiet inside.

So while the Note isn’t the most glamorous model in Nissan’s range, it is one of the most practical and does a good job competing against the likes of Renault’s Modus and Honda’s Jazz. When you consider the good level of practicality and very low running costs, the Note makes a strong case as a practical family car and certainly one that is worthy of consideration…. It is also built in Britain.

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