Nissan Note (2013-2017) review
Nissan's hugely practical small car is packed with technology: it's also stylish and decent to drive
The Nissan Note is a modern-looking, well-built small car that’s a little larger than a conventional supermini but the benefits of this come in the exceptional space efficiency and flexibility of its well planned interior. It’s a match for many larger family hatchbacks for passenger space and luggage space, making it a front-runner for those seeking maximum practicality for the money.
It has other attributes too, though. The engine range is small but all the motors are modern and very fuel efficient, while the DIG-S 98 petrol and dCi 90 diesel both pull well in combination with that excellent fuel economy.
Another Note positive is its high-tech infotainment system, which includes sat nav, clever apps and even internet radio. The fact it’s included in the list price of many models is a real bonus – and almost makes up for the Note’s slightly drab interior and cheap-feeling interior plastics.
Overall, the Note offers great value for money and tremendous practicality that means the British-built car should be on the shortlist of anyone seeking maximum space and value for money.
The Nissan Note appeared on the UK market as a rival for the Honda Jazz in 2005, though a second-generation model – the car currently on sale – made its debut in 2013. It went off sale in 2017, when the all-new Nissan Micra arrived. While the Jazz is the most obvious longstanding rival, it’s priced to compete with popular superminis such as the Ford Fiesta, Vauxhall Corsa and Volkswagen Polo too. Nissan is targeting car buyers after supermini size and value, but with added headroom and practicality – hence the mini MPV shape. Other rivals include the Vauxhall Meriva and Citroen C3 Picasso.
For a while, the British-built Note was the most appealing small car in the Nissan range. However, with the arrival of the new Micra – a larger, more spacious offering than its predecessor, and the ever-increasing market share of small crossovers, the Note’s days may be numbered.
Popular models such as the Renault Captur, Peugeot 2008, Hyundai ix20 and Kia Venga all count as indirect rivals to the Note – as indeed does Nissan’s strongly-selling Juke, as well as the latest Micra.
This is partly why Nissan has focused on style with the latest Note, particularly in some of the stylish trim lines it now offers, in particular the n-tec. Colours are appealing and you can even get features such as large polished alloy wheels, all helping the Nissan cut a dash on the street.
The range is based around 7 core models: Visia, Acenta, Acenta Style, Acenta Premium, n-tec, Tekna and Tekna Style. There’s also the well-priced entry-level Visia Limited Edition, which offers superb value for money if you don’t mind being restricted by engine and options choice.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingNissan's hugely practical small car is packed with technology: it's also stylish and decent to drive
- 2Engines, performance and driveNot the most exciting car to drive, but it's safe and secure, and engines are well proven
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsVery good fuel economy across the range means low CO2; Nissan reliability helps keep running costs in check
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe Note boasts an easy to use interior design and some impressive technology for the sector, although drab colour schemes and cheap plastics let it down
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceThe Nissan Note is an extremely practical and space-efficient car: its usability and Tardis-like room is one of its key selling points
- 6Reliability and SafetyA strong safety score, aided by some standout safety technology, is pegged back by more average reliability results