Review by it
Monday, May 16, 2016
- Great design
- Spacious and practical
- Fine balance of suspensions
- Noisy and unrefined engines
The Nissan Note was launched in 2006 two years after it had proven its saleability in Japan. It is a small multipurpose vehicle which has been designed for families. The flexible interior features foldable rear seats that increase the Note's boot space to an impressive 1332litres and makes it an adaptable car.
Exterior and Interior
The car shares the platform with other small cars made by the Renault/Nissan alliance. The Note, however, has stretched the famous B-Platform to include its 102-inch wheelbase (The Modus is only 98 inches). It's most famous signature design element is the boomerang-shaped rear lights. The Note is classified as a mini-MPV, but it has strange body proportions. The increased wheel base has allowed for an over-160" length. The relatively low ceiling at 61 inch confuses people whether to include it in the MPV class or not. Still, it is taller than a medium sized family car and the flexible seating layout coupled with an excellent boot space places the Note amongst the leaders of the mini-MPV market.
It is small yet comfortable car. Although it is advertised as a 5-seater, due to the narrowness of the body, the rear seats might have problems accommodating 3 adults. The rear seat can be moved back and forth to play with the legroom and boot space which may help this matter. If possible, get a post-2008 model. It features an impressive front end re-design.
Performance and Economy
For a family car like the Nissan Note, you don't normally expect high performance specs. Its purpose concentrates around utility and economy. Whichever engine you choose, there will be enough power to move 4 people around. On average, it will take 11 - 13 seconds for the Note to reach 60mph.
All of the Note's engines are relatively fuel-efficient. The smaller petrol engine delivers up to 45mpg and the 1.6-litre engine will clock in around 43mpg. The diesel won't disappoint you with an average of 58mpg. Also, emission-wise, the Note is quite a 'green' car. It is cheap to insure with the smaller petrol engine coming in at group 10 while the most powerful versions being group 13 ‐ 15.
Like to Drive
The car has a nicely balanced suspension and is great to drive. The ride quality is outstanding. Despite the moderately powerful engine, the Note is still quite pleasant to drive as it's an agile little MPV.
All controls are located conveniently and the car is easy to handle. The accurate and light steering wheel makes an easy job of driving in the city. One of the reasons why there's so much space in the boot, is that the seats are designed in an upright position. This means that people with sensitive backs will find it rather uncomfortable during longer rides, but everyday cruising shouldn't cause fatigue. From the safety point of view, the upright seating position provides a better visibility, which is sometimes an issue with MVPs due to the long frontal section of the cabin.
Faults and Repairs
The engines, although a bit rough and noisy, are actually quite reliable and are unlikely to break down. The Note is a mechanically sound car. Europe received a more accomplished car because prior to the UK debut the car had been selling for 2 years in Japan. If there ever were any serious issues, they were largely solved before coming to the European market. Some smaller problems, however, weren't solved and the electric system develops issues quite regularly: starting from smaller ancillary system failures ending with the whole engine ECU failure.
In the used car market, the flexible rear seats can give you headache if the previous owner has used (or abused) their flexibility to the maximum. Folding or unfolding might turn from an easy job into something that the whole family has to get involved in.