Note Acenta 1.5 dCi
has doubled its challenge
small car segment with
the roll-out of the new British-built
Note and the Micra (previously built
in the UK but now built in India).
new about the Note?
IMPORTANTLY FOR MOST NEW BUYERS, both sport new looks with sector-first technologies
and innovation. Reviewed here is the new Note five-door supermini-cum-compact
MPV which, for the first time, brings a number of innovative premium features
to the small car market.
Also noteworthy is the new car's boot/load space: 325 litres with the rear seats
in use; 411 litres with them folded; and up to 2,012 litres if loaded to the
the Nissan Safety Shield which creates a comprehensive protection and
driver assistance package by linking together three safety systems to
the advanced 'around view' monitor (this provides a 360-degree bird's-eye view
when parking), the new Note sets the benchmark for accessible premium technology.
Our 1.5 dCi diesel
powered Note returned a
real-world 67.7mpg on
its brief test.
Not bad for a supermini-
Safety Shield just mentioned uses a combination of active safety features (Blind
Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning, and an advanced Moving Object Detection
system) to deliver a new level of assistance to the driver.
The latest Notes are powered by a range of engines offering low strong performance
alongside low running costs. Three units are available: a 78bhp 1.2-litre petrol;
a supercharged 1.2 DIG-S petrol pushing out 96bhp; and a 1.5-litre dci turbodiesel
with 88bhp. A CVT auto 'box is available on the DIGS model; the default is a
five-speed manual gearbox.
All versions come as standard with a stop-start system that helps them post
record CO2 emissions as low as 92g/km for the diesel and 99g/km for the
petrols. Combined fuel economy figures range from 65.7mpg for the 78bhp 1.2-litre
petrol engine to 78.5mpg for the 1.5-litre dci diesel.
The new Notes come in familiar (to current Nissan customers) trim levels
Visia, Acenta and Tekna. Prices range from £11,900 to £16,950, plus owners can
spend more by specifying a Family or Performance styling pack.
The Note is also being introduced with a strong promotion on personal contract
finance plans based on a 30% down-payment deposit and £149 a month, and a 6.9%
interest rate for hire purchase.
For this pre-launch test drive of the Note supermini, which could also be described
as a compact MPV, my Acenta-specced version with its 1.5-litre dci diesel engine
achieved a remarkable real-world 67.7mpg on a brief test.
The 1.5-litre, four-cylinder, direct injection turbodiesel was sometimes slow
accelerating its 147lb ft of torque comes in at 1,750rpm and you
have to ensure you've selected the best of the modest five gears when overtaking
as it takes time to build up power. The top speed is 111mph with zero to 62mph
taking 11.9 seconds.
the steering and gearchange felt not as refined as the powertrain with the easy
clutch contrasting with the direct but notchy long-travel gear lever and slightly
dead-feeling steering. That said, the quality feel to the secondary controls
and the high-visibility large instruments was good.
Pleasantly roomy with
a good-sized shopping
boot and very good
access to the rear seats
for fitting child seats
or strapping in their
ride was reasonable and only really comfortable on motorways, and while the
handling was rather lifeless I felt I was riding on it rather than in
it the grip was reassuringly safe.
Drive the supercharged 1.2 DIGS petrol unit and the extra urge is apparent from
the off and welcome on country roads as much as on busy motorways, making it
a considerably livelier car enhanced by a very good turning circle in town.
Driving this version saw an average 43.2mpg being returned.
The Note is a B-sector car and in that market slot it's pleasantly roomy with
a good-sized shopping boot and very good access to the rear seats for fitting
child seats or strapping in their occupants.
While considerably improved over its predecessor, the Note does suffer from
a surprising amount of road noise; there seemed little insulation to speak of
to protect the under-body from flying stones.
On the other hand Nissan have clearly put a lot of technology into the latest
Note which brings class-leading safety and premium visibility features to this
segment. Mid-range models are well priced, and you get low running costs and
taxes plus the generous passenger and load carrying space is packaged in a smart
exterior. Robin Roberts
Nissan Note Acenta 1.5 dci
Top speed: 111mph | 0-62mph: 11.9 seconds | Average Test MPG: 67.7mpg
Power: 88bhp | Torque: 147lb ft | CO2 92g/km