New car review
The Nissan Note moves towards the conventional supermini in second generation. Better quality, sharper styling, excellent safety gear and a fantastic three-cylinder engine with a decoupling supercharger are the order of the day here.
Nissan is a company renowned for its engineering innovation but sometimes that high-tech approach fails to filter down to its more everyday models. Not this time.
Take the petrol engines in this Note. The entry-level is a three-cylinder 1.2-litre 80PS unit. But you can also buy a version of this engine, the 1.2-litre DIG-S, with a supercharger that boosts power to 98PS.
Ah, but aren’t superchargers notoriously fuel-hungry things, running all the time whether you need them or not?
Most are but not this one which uses a clutch pack to disengage the supercharger when running at low speeds.
This engine also uses the Miller Cycle, a system which keeps the inlet valves open longer to help efficiency. Should you prefer, you can also get a 90PS 1.5-litre diesel engine.
The Note has been extensively developed in Europe to offer a driving experience that’s right for our road conditions. With a distinct set-up from that of the Japanese and US market, the European version has unique steering, suspension and chassis settings.
The 1.2-litre DIG-S model has further dynamic tweaks for an even more engaging driving experience.
The Note has a good deal more styling going on and a more expensive look and feel, both in and out. You’ll spot the chrome grille that seems to take a bite out of each headlight, the nicely chamfered wheel arches and the detail lines in the flanks that help avoid a slab-sided look.
Nissan calls this the ‘Squash Line’ because it was inspired by the angles a squash ball takes around a court.
The second generation Note instead concentrates on the things that really matter to the customer. That means better fuel economy, an interior that feels better built, more space, increased efficiency and classier exterior styling.
Nissan has taken a small gamble here, but one that looks worthwhile. This is a company on a strong run of form and the Note doesn’t look like putting a blip in that form line any time soon.
FACTS AT A GLANCE
CAR: Nissan Note range
INSURANCE GROUPS: 10-15 [est]
CO2 EMISSIONS: 95-109g/km
PERFORMANCE: [1.5 dCi] 0-62 12.5s/top speed 108mph [est]
FUEL CONSUMPTION: [1.2 DIG-S] (combined) 66mpg
STANDARD SAFETY FEATURES: Anti-lock brakes, stability control, six airbags
WILL IT FIT IN YOUR GARAGE? Length/Width/Height mm tba
WHO TO SEE: St Leonards Motors Nissan. Churchwood Drive, St Leonards On-Sea, Est Sussex TN38 9QQ