Nissan Note

Roomy for a supermini, and cheap to run

This is the average score given by leading car publications from 16 reviews
  • Very economical
  • Smooth to drive
  • Practical and spacious
  • Some cheap-feeling plastics
  • Not much fun
  • Dull styling

£10,995 - £18,100 Price range


5 Seats


55 - 78 MPG


The Nissan Note is a small MPV with a spacious interior and frugal engines. Its main rivals are the Kia Venga, the Honda Jazz and the Ford Fiesta.

Prices start from £10,995 and if you buy your new Note using carwow you can save £4,020 on average.

Practicality is the biggest selling point of the Note. Thanks to its boxy shape the boot is bigger than most other superminis and there is ample room for four adults to travel in comfort. However, the quality of the interior leaves much to be desired – there are hardly any soft to the touch materials.

The Note isn’t as exciting to drive as a Fiesta, but the small MPV’s light controls make it very easy to drive and the suspension is comfortable. The diesel engines can occasionally be heard in the cabin, but other than that reviewers say it is a very quiet car on the motorway. There is a “warm” DIG-S version that has bigger wheels and suspension tweaks that liven up the handling.

There are three engines to choose from  – a non-turbocharged 1.2-litre petrol that is the cheapest to buy, a supercharged 1.2-litre petrol and a very fuel efficient 1.5-litre diesel. Our pick would be the diesel because it offers adequate pace and is very cheap to run.

The basic version called the Visia comes with remote central locking, Bluetooth phone connection and cruise control. Our trim of choice would be the n-tec because it comes with sat-nav, automatic headlights, climate control, rear-view camera as well as Nissan’s Safety Shield system, which adds a lot of active and passive driver aids.

We have prepared handy colours and dimensions guides to see if the Nissan Note will fit in your life.


It all starts positively inside, with a cabin that one tester calls a “vast improvement” on the old car. The design is more interesting – with a hint of some of Nissan‘s recent models in here – and it all feels a little more upmarket than before. Not too much, though, with a few reviewers criticising the cheap feeling of some plastics and in one case, noted poor ventilation.

Nissan Note passenger space

With a tall body the Nissan Note looks like a mini MPV in profile and that does wonders for interior space. Headroom on all five seats is excellent and it’s easy for tall adults to get comfortable in the front. The back seat’s also suitable for six-footers, but will prove at its most accommodating when it is slid as far back as it will go on its runners. Otherwise, knee room could prove a little tight on longer journeys.

Nissan Note boot space

A 325-litre boot (expanding to 411 litres by sliding the rear seat forward) beats that of its predecessor and most other superminis, and the rear seats split 60/40. With all of them folded into the floor maximum boot space sits at 1,495 litres.

The previous-generation Nissan Note was competent but rarely exciting on the roads. The new model isn’t exciting either, but Nissan has definitely sharpened up its responses, with some suspension tweaks to spice up the handling. Reviewers say it feels “tautly controlled over undulations but still rides comfortably over bumps” – pretty much the balance you’d hope for in a car like this.

Cabin refinement is “better than competitors” too, and although the diesels can be a little rumbly around town, things get better with speed. Above all, it’s a “sure-footed and very capable car”.

Opt for the DIG-S model, and Nissan assumes you’ll appreciate a little more sporting flavour. As a result, DIG-S models come with 16-inch (rather than 15-inch) alloy wheels, as well as steering and suspension tweaks. It’s the most fun of the lot, and doesn’t compromise the ride quality too badly. Seems a bit out of place on an otherwise un-sporty car though…

The Note comes with a choice of three engines. These include a basic 1.2-litre petrol, the “Miller cycle” supercharged 1.2-litre DiG-S petrol, and a familiar 1.5-litre dCi diesel found in around a dozen other Nissans and Renaults. It’s worth noting that all engines in the Note come with stop/start technology to save fuel in stationary traffic.

Nissan Note petrol engines

The basic 1.2-litre is criticised for lacking performance, and could be the model to go for if you don’t intend to drive many miles per year, since it’s the cheapest to buy and still returns fuel economy of 60.1mpg and CO2 emissions that mean road tax is just £20 a year.

Thanks to its supercharger, the 1.2-litre DiG-S makes an interesting sound, but doesn’t bring the performance boost you may have hoped for. Testers feel it’s a little overwhelmed by the Note’s bulk and 0-62mph takes a lacklustre 11.8 seconds. Still, few would complain about average fuel economy of 65.7mpg and low CO2 emissions that mean the car is free to tax.

Nissan Note diesel engines

With fuel economy of 80mpg and free annual road tax, the diesel Note is the obvious choice and feels the quickest of all, even if the supercharged petrol is faster on paper. It can be a little noisy around town, but smooths out with speed.


Review coming soon!
Review coming soon!
The Note's 1.5 dCi diesel engine is a familiar unit, found under the nose of virtually every small-to-medium sized Nissan and Renault on the market. That's no bad thing - it's impressively frugal, with combined economy of 78.5 mpg, and free to tax as a result.

In general, the 1.5 dCi is rated highly. The healthy 147 lb-ft of torque means decent real-world performance is available, and it feels "livelier" than even the supercharged 1.2 petrol. The engine is "hushed on the motorway" according to one reviewer, though a few testers note (no pun intended) that the engine does sound a little grumbly at lower speeds. A small price to pay though - it's probably the Note's best engine.

The Nissan Note is a sensible car and it’s a sensible place to put your family, too. Ever more stringent crash test regulations mean it misses out on Euro NCAP’s full five-star score, getting four instead, but it’s still a safe car.

Electric stability control is standard, there’s a seatbelt reminder for front-seat passengers, and the Note comes with an optional speed limiter to help prevent you straying over the limit.

The Note also has several big-car safety features as part of Nissan’s ‘Safety Shield’ pack. These include Blind Spot Warning, which alerts drivers of vehicles crossing through your blind spot, Lane Departure Warning to give you an audible warning as you stray over white lines on the road above 45mph, and Moving Object Detection. The latter gives a warning if, for example, you’re reversing from a parking space and there’s a vehicle, or even a small child hidden behind the cars alongside yours.

In true Japanese fashion, Nissan has not scrimped when it comes to equipping the Note. So, whichever of the seven trim levels – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Style, Acenta Premium, n-tec, Tekna and Tekna Style – you choose, you can expect plenty of kit for your money.

Nissan Note Visia

For simplicities sake, we’ll only breakdown the most popular models, one of which is basic Visia trim. Despite its lowly status, it’s well kitted out with items such as cruise control, a Bluetooth phone connection, electrically heated and adjustable door mirrors, and electric front windows.

Nissan Note Acenta

Body coloured wing mirrors and door handles, along with 15-inch alloy wheels mean the Acenta looks smarter than the basic model, but standard air-conditioning is the biggest reason for choosing it over its cheaper alternative.

Nissan Note Tekna

Even the generous equipment levels of the rest of the range won’t prepare you for what you get with range-topping Tekna trim. It comes with sat-nav as standard and an around-view camera system that you can play with while you enjoy the part-leather seats and climate control system. Even getting in is hassle free, thanks to i-Key keyless entry. More importantly, Tekna models also come with Nissan’s Safety Shield, which includes safety features such as blind spot and lane departure warning systems.

Nissan Note Black Edition

The Sportiest looking Note is the Black Edition. This model comes as standard with black-painted alloy wheels, revised bumpers and skirts, a new rear spoiler and black headlight surrounds. Being based on the Acenta trim level, the Black Edition comes as standard with a broad selection of equipment including air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity and a leather-trimmed steering wheel.

The service interval for the Note is 12,500 miles, or one year – whichever comes soonest.


The new Note isn’t difficult to recommend. It’s spacious, drives well and offers good value for money, improving on its predecessor in every department. While few reviews mark it out as being fun – you’ll still need a Fiesta for that – it fights back with practicality and equipment.

Like the previous Note, it’s a resolutely sensible choice that should appeal to anyone who values practicality, ease of use and the promise of reliability over more frivolous pursuits.

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