2013 Nissan Note 1.2 review

We review updated Nissan Note on UK roads for the first time

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

The new Nissan Note takes the clever interior of its predecessor and adds more hi-tech gadgets and user-friendly touches. Opting for the small 1.2 petrol is no hardship if most of your driving is done in town, while a generous kit list and competitive pricing mean the Note is a serious contender for supermini honours. If only it was a bit more inspiring to look at and drive.

While the funky Juke has stolen all the headlines, the Nissan Note supermini-MPV has soldiered on, providing a no-nonsense alternative for buyers wanting practicality in a user-friendly package. Now there’s an all-new Note, and Nissan claims it’s targeting big-hitting superminis such as the Ford Fiesta and Renault Clio – and we tried it on British roads for the first time.

The new model has a more restrained look than before, and the distinctive boomerang tail-lights and squared-off rear end of the old car are replaced by a rounded rear. Inside you get a distinctive centre console and shiny black plastics, while the rear bench slides and there’s a false boot floor that slots cleverly into place. Overall quality is good, while cabin space is excellent for the class.

Depending on what model you go for, big-car safety kit such as lane departure warning and blind spot detection is available, while tech includes Nissan’s tried-and-tested sat-nav and a USB connection hidden in the glovebox that allows you to hook up your MP3 player to the stereo.

Our car came with a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol, and while the smallest engine in the range makes a modest 79bhp, short ratios mean it feels nippy in town and only really feels underpowered at motorway speeds. What’s more, there’s an Eco button that illuminates the instrument binnacle in blue, with the lights changing in brightness according to your throttle input.

Soft suspension and small 15-inch alloy wheels mean the Nissan is comfortable on all but the roughest of surfaces, although the ride can feel a little floaty at higher speeds. Still, in corners the chassis feels responsive and the light steering means the Note is easy to manoeuvre when parking. Another bonus is Nissan’s surround view system, which uses four cameras to show the car’s surroundings when parking, and is offered instead of parking sensors.

Nissan Juke review

Most Popular

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp
BMW 3 Series M3 Coupe

New 2021 BMW M3 launched with huge grille and 503bhp

The new sixth-generation BMW M3 Competition saloon gets a 503bhp straight-six engine and four-wheel-drive
22 Sep 2020
New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range
Volkswagen ID.4

New 2020 Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV revealed with up to 323 miles of range

The new Tiguan-sized Volkswagen ID.4 electric SUV becomes VW’s second ID. model, rivalling the Tesla Model Y
23 Sep 2020
New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range
Land Rover Range Rover Velar

New Range Rover Velar PHEV launched with 33-mile electric range

Land Rover has given the Range Rover Velar an update, with a new plug-in hybrid powertrain and an improved infotainment system
23 Sep 2020