The latest Nissan Note claims to be sportier and more desirable than the old car, and this 1.2 DIG-S version shows it means business.
Unlike the naturally-aspirated 79bhp 1.2-litre engine and the 89bhp 1.5 diesel, this 97bhp supercharged version comes with firmer springs, dampers and anti-roll bars and 16-inch alloy wheels as standard. Go for the £800 Styling Package, as shown in our pictures, and all of a sudden the Nissan Note 2013 has warm hatch ambitions.
It’s a bit of a shame it doesn’t feel all that quick or different to the standard Note. There’s a little more weight to the steering and it does definitely feel more composed in the corners, but it’s still nowhere near as involving as any Fiesta – let alone one of the sportier Zetec S models. Thankfully the Nissan Note 1.2 DIG-S set-up hasn’t spoiled the supple ride, and you’ll find refinement is pretty good on the motorway, too.
This DIG-S engine is the most powerful in the range and its 0-62mph time of 11.7 seconds is also the quickest. It sounds good and it provides fairly consistent acceleration but it lacks the outright punch you expect from it – the diesel actually feels quicker.
This Nissan Note is still a hugely practical car, though, with fuel economy of 65.7mpg, a 325-litre boot and as much rear legroom as a Ford Mondeo. It’s still not the sportiest car in the world but it’s a stylish and family friendly alternative to the usual supermini suspects.