The previous-generation Nissan Note was competent but rarely exciting on the roads.
The Nissan Note comes with a choice of three engines. These include a basic 1.2-litre petrol, a 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.
The basic 1.2-litre is a bit on the slow side, 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.
Thanks to its supercharger, the 1.2-litre DiG-S makes an interesting noise, but doesn’t bring the performance boost you may have hoped for. 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.
The diesel is the only one that really makes sense
With fuel economy of 80mpg, the Nissan Note diesel 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.
Nissan has definitely sharpened up the Note’s responses, with some suspension tweaks to spice up the handling. It hasn’t transformed the car – this still is a leaning small MPV but it does deal with bumps quite well.
Cabin refinement is better than class average, 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…