Nissan Note Review

The Nissan Note was unveiled at the 2004 Paris Motor Show and the UK became the first market to have the Note launched two ears later, in 2006. The second generation Note was then introduced to Europe in 2013.

From 2017 UK production for Europe ended in March of that year to increase the capacity of the Nissan Qashqai. This means that the new Nissan Note is sold exclusively in Asia and the Americas and your options in the UK are to look at used car options, of which there are many.

It was surprising that the Nissan Note wasn't continued in Europe, it was always much more appealing to look at than the Nissan Micra and more spacious too, and would still fit into the Nisan line up today with it's sharper styling.

However purchasing a Nissan Note as a used car is still great as they come with lots of equipment and Nissan practicality and reliability. Our Nissan Note review will guide you through the last options that were released in the UK as brand new models.

Design and Style

The Nissan Note has ample room thanks to it's slightly boxier shape. It means that it's not the most stylish option on the market but does make it incredibly practical. The sharper lines also wouldn't be too out of place with the current designs in the Nissan range such as the Qashqai or the newest iteration of the Micra.

The Safety Shield package that was included in the second generation is one of the best improvements on newer Notes. The introduction of camera in the bumpers and mirrors is a great piece of tech that helps you to park and receive warnings directly around you.

Probably the most unique feature the Note has that sets it aside in the supermini segment is its sliding rear bench seat which allows you to extend the amount of boot space without folding any seats.

Interior

Unfortunately the Nissan Note isn't the most exciting car for interior space with a reliance on grey and black trims. There are a few silver highlights on the centre console and steering wheel but mostly it's quite plain. The higher trim levels do offer additional materials like a leather covered steering wheel and part leather seats which does improve the quality overall.

The hard plastics and chunky switches on the console do make it feel super sturdy and the controls in the centre of the console are well laid out and easy to use. There's lots of useful storage areas too, like cupholders in the centre and storage bins in the doors. So whilst your Nissan Note will have been previously owned by someone else, if it's been looked after it should stand the test of time thanks to Nissan's high build quality.

The lower trim levels will come with a CD player, USB and AUX connections, and Bluetooth whilst the Acenta onward will give you the 5.8 inch NissanConnect touchscreen. It is worth noting that no model has Apple Carplay or Android Auto which can make the Note feel more dated as it's a feature that many expect to be able to use in their car now.

The Nissan Note has a relatively high driving position for a supermini and it's therefore easier to climb in and out of than the brand's other supermini, the Micra. It's not as high as something like the Juke but a good option for a small car if you need something that's easier to access.

Comfort and Practicality

The Nissan Note is a surprisingly spacious supermini, with a length of 4100mm which is 60mm longer than the current Ford Fiesta and 47mm longer than the current Volkswagen Polo. Height wise it's 1530mm tall, which is bigger than both rivals again; the Fiesta is 1476mm and the Polo is 1461mm.

As previously mentioned, the Nissan Note has a sliding rear bench seat so that you can have more room in the boot, but alternatively you can also adjust it to suit your passengers too. With that function it can increase the boot space by as much as 86 litres which is then a huge amount of movement for rear seat leg room too and greatly increases ride quality for your passengers.

The boot capacity will range anywhere between 325 and 411 litres depending on where you settle the rear bench which is much more than the current Honda Jazz at 304 litres or the Fiesta at 311 litres. The rear seats also fold in a 60:40 split so there's quite a lot of flexibility for how you use the rear half of the car. The Nissan Note is a really good car if you're looking for a supermini that still gives you plenty of room.

Performance and Engine Options

The Nissan Note comes with three really economical engines that are great on fuel consumption: two petrol and one diesel option.

The 1.2 litre 80PS can be found on the Acenta and Acenta Premium trims and is a five speed manual gearbox. It's the slowest option across the range with a 0-62mph time of 13.2 seconds but ideal if you don't do any driving outside of the town or city. It's also pretty good on fuel economy too, with a combined mpg as high as 60.1.

The 1.2 DIG-S models are better option if you can get your hands on them as it comes in either a five speed manual or XTronic CVT automatic gearbox and provides 98PS. The automatic has a combined mpg of 55.4 compared to 65.7mpg with the automatic. The manual is also better on emissions, producing 99 g/km compared to 119 g/km with the automatic.

The engine with the best fuel economy is the 1.5 litre dCi, the only diesel engine in the range. It's a little slower at 11.9 seconds to reach 62mph but with 90PS it's got a combined mpg of 78.5. This is paired with 93 g/km of CO2 emissions. It's also working with 200Nm of torque so it's quick off the mark too. So whilst diesel isn't being produced in new cars it's still a good option for used cars.

The Nissan Note is certainly going to have lower running costs that competitors, with it's highest insurance group being 10 and it's incredibly high combined mpg numbers.

Trim Levels

The second Nissan Note has three different trim levels: Acenta, Acenta Premium, and Tekna, and two special editions: the Acenta Limited Edition and the Black Edition.

The standard equipment across the range includes: the gloss black grille, electric adjustable door mirrors, a tilt adjustable steering wheel, remote central locking, electric front windows, halogen headlights, cabin and boot lights, daytime running lights, electronic stability control, ABS with EBD and brake assist, cruise control, and a speed limiter.

The Acenta adds 15 inch alloys (16 inches if you opt for the automatic gearbox), rear privacy glass, a gloss black centre console, heated door mirrors, driver's seat height adjustment, steering wheel mounted audio controls, and manual air conditioning. The Acenta Limited Edition adds Nissan Note floor mats although it's probably wise not to expect these to still be in the car when you buy used.

The Acenta Black Edition mainly adds styling such as the dynamic styling pack, a black rear spoiler, black 16 inch alloys, black door mirrors and handles, and gear shift knob. It makes the Note look more striking, particularly if its paired with the lighter paint options. This option also adds in the NissanConnect 5.8 inch touchscreen navigation system too.

The Acenta Premium is the trim level which adds the sliding rear seats for extra boot space. It also includes climate control, front and rear armrests, automatic headlights, front fog lights, auto wipers, and it also adds the NissanConnect 5.8 inch sat nav and entertainment system with 6 speakers.

The top tier trim, the Tekna, has 16 inch alloys, part leather seats, an intelligent key with a start push button, and around view monitor, and Safety Shield Technologies. This is made up of blind spot warning, lane departure warning, and moving object detection and useful to have for motorway driving.

Reliability and Safety

The Nissan Note has a 4 star Euro NCAP rating and performs quite well in the supermini category. Rivals such as the Kia Picanto and the standard Toyota Aygo both have 3 stars whilst the Ford Fiesta is higher with 5.

The rating comes from a range of standard safety features like the electronic stability programme, ABS with EBD and brake assist, rear door child locks, front, side, and curtain airbags. Further up the trim levels additional features are added like bling spot warning, lane departure warning, and moving object detection.

If you have the Tekna trim with the around view monitor it works with a set of cameras installed into the bumpers and mirrors and allows you to see a birds eye view of your car. This makes it much easier to pull the car into smaller spaces with ease and also has an alert if a person or object moves in the vicinity of the car.

Nissan also offers a payable extended warranty on all of their cars up to 10 years old or 100,000 miles (whichever comes first). You can contact them directly to find out which would be the best option for your Nissan Note or if there are any alternatives available.

Summary

The Nissan Note is a supermini that represents good value for money. It has much more room than current models of competitors like the Ford Fiesta or the Volkswagen Polo. It's not necessarily the most up to date with tech now that it's a discontinued model in the UK but still holds up against some lower spec models of current rivals.

It should also be fairly cheap to run compared to other cars thanks to its range of economical engines, low insurance groups, and generally lower cost for road tax.

Our friendly team at Specialist Cars Nissan in Aberdeen are always on hand to help you, so if you need any more information or want to see our stock in person you can count on them to be there to help you.