Long-term tests

Nissan Note 2007 review

Our Nissan note has made a big impression. But will the honeymoon last for the latest arrival on our fleet?

  • Storage: the stowage areas are very versatile – especially the boot’s Flexi-boards, which can be moved easily. One side is carpet and the other plastic, which is ideal for muddy boots. Keyless entry system: not having to bother with keys when your hands are full or you are returning to the car at night is great. And the boot release button works independently.Styling: Nissan has done a really good job of disguising the Note’s square lines. I love the way in which the rear light housing continues on to the roof, for instance. The funky individual design certainly makes this model distinctive on the road.
  • CD changer: having a six-disc system in the dashboard is welcome. However, this set-up takes ages to load, eject or simply change CDs. The motors are very slow to operate, making loads of whirring and clicking noises before anything happens.

Will size matter? That's the question I'll be trying to answer over the coming months, having swapped a Vauxhall Zafira for our new long-term Nissan Note. The car, aimed squarely at young families, is very proud of its funky styling and versatile layout.

Early impressions are certainly favourable. It looks good from the outside and, thanks to the attractive Intense Blue metallic paintwork, the Note really stands out from the crowd.

Inside, at first glance, the boot seems small. But once you have lifted the Flexi-boards - removable, wipe-down sections that can be positioned in various combinations - there is plenty of space for the shopping. And delicate items can be safely stored below the boards, without the risk of being crushed by heavy bags perched on top.

The keyless entry system is great when my hands are full, and I also appreciated it after a late-night trip to the theatre - I felt much safer not having to fish around for keys in a dark street.

However, the ignition itself is more awkward. It does turn easily, but a button on the side has to be pushed in when switching off, and the action takes some getting used to. So does the alarm that is activated, should you forget.

In town, though, the Note is a pleasure to drive, with light steering and a smooth, responsive 1.6-litre petrol engine. The drilled alloy pedals fitted to our SVE variant look really stylish, but they were very slippery in wet weather.

My teenage daughter is pleased there's a six-disc CD changer mounted in the dash, but can't believe how long it takes to load and unload - the mechanism is rather slow. Still, the secret cubby under the passenger seat is a great place in which to hide the disc cases, and we don't miss the noise they made in the Zafira, sliding around in the door pockets.

Our Note has got off to a good start, but only time will tell how we fare with the space - there's less than we had in the Vauxhall. The big test will be our first long trip with my partner and his sons. Hopefully, there won't be much grumbling from the back seats!

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