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Nissan Note Review 2021

Nissan Note
Nissan Note
Nissan Note
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1/10

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10/10

1 / 10

  • Launched in 2013
  • Small hatch
  • Petrol, Diesel
  • Launch year
    2013
  • Body type
    Small hatch
  • Fuel type
    Petrol, Diesel

Interested in buying a Nissan Note?

View Nissan Note cars for sale
heycar editorial team

Written by

heycar editorial team

00/10
heycar rating
Unexciting but versatile little hatchback

Best bits

  • Usefully big boot
  • High levels of standard equipment
  • Low running costs

Not so great

  • Drab interior
  • Not as good to drive as a Ford Fiesta...
  • ...or as reliable as a Honda Jazz

Read by

Nissan Note front

Overall verdict

Nissan Note Review 2021 interior dashboard

On the inside

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior front moving

Driving

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior rear moving

How much does it cost to run

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior rear

Prices, versions and specification

Overall verdict on the Nissan Note

"Nissan had the Ford Fiesta and Volkswagen Polo in its sights with this generation Note. It failed, in some ways, being axed from the range in 2016 – just three years after it went on sale. However, with generous equipment levels and Honda Jazz rivalling practicality, it can make a very sensible used car purchase."

Nissan Note front

It's surprising that the Nissan Note small car wasn't more successful than it was. It looked much more stylish than the Micra, with a hint of Juke to its styling. Here's what we think in our Nissan Note review.


The Nissan Note's sloping roofline and the design of the rear windows do give the impression that passengers sitting in the rear might be fighting for head and legroom, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. Nissan boasts the Note has more legroom than anything else in its class - the generosity of rear passenger space makes it difficult to disbelieve them. The rear bench, very cleverly, slides forward, to increase boot space, from 325 litres to 411 litres.


Yet despite all its spaciousness, the Nissan Note's cabin is still quite a drab place, not helped by the acres of cheap, scratchy, dark plastics which seem to dominate. The Note's seats, both front and back, are less than comfortable, making a long journey seem even longer. Even scaling-up the trim levels doesn’t buy that much more interior colour - or a soft-feel dashboard - or seats covered in unicorn leather, stuffed with fairy dust and stitched together with vine taken from the enchanted forest.


Instead, there are a few more basic niceties like privacy glass and Nissan’s new Safety Shield package. This is a clever piece of kit which uses the Note’s rear-mounted cameras to umbrella the Blind Spot Warning, Lane Departure Warning and Moving Object Detection into one easy-to-use system.


Not that the Nissan Note Visia, the entry-level model, is lacking in the standard equipment department. Granted, the door mirrors and door handles won’t be colour coded, nor will it have front or rear armrests, or air-conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, that sliding rear bench or and a decent set of 15-inch alloys - these are the preserve of the Note Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna. 


Nonetheless, the Note Visia gets an acceptable radio/CD player, remote locking and, for the first time, cruise and speed control, plus electric front windows (those in the rear have to revert to the old-fashioned, on-board arm-strengthening method). But, more importantly, it will have six airbags, exactly the same as the rest of the range.


There’s a three-engine line-up to choose from and all have eco stop/start. They consist of an 80PS, 1.2-litre three-pot petrol, which is appealing as a starting price point but struggles to adequately shift the Note’s bulk. Then there’s the DIG-S version of the same engine. It shares the same block and displacement, only this time, and essentially, it has been gifted with a turbocharger to produce 98PS.


There is a noticeable difference in the handling between the two, assisted in part by the DIG-S handling pack, but it’s still not the sporty driving machine Nissan billed it as. Even when either is being pushed to their limits, neither feels as though they are ever likely to endanger a clean driving licence.


Then there’s the Renault-sourced diesel. Out of the three, it is this 90PS 1.5-litre dCi turbodiesel which is most suited to the Note. It is marginally slower, taking 11.9 seconds to reach 62mph from a standing start (11.7 seconds for the DIG-S). However, being able to dollop-out 200Nm of torque does have its advantages, more so in this car, because the transformation is immediate, disguising its modest output and making it feel much faster than it actually is. The dCi is also the most efficient, emitting just 95g/km of CO2 with official fuel consumption of 78.4mpg.


Irrespective of engine, the Nissan Note's ride is best described as compliant. There’s a tautness that keeps it true and level on the motorway straights, yet shows little sign of any prevailing bodyroll through the corners. The centrally-weighted steering is a bit too light, and a bit vague, and never truly communicates with the driver. But is that really important? Probably not.


Most buyers of the Nissan Note won’t be too bothered by such trivial matters. They will be swayed by its many other and obvious attributes. Immense practicality, build quality, friendliness towards the family, cheap running cost and Nissan’s reputation for reliability.

Ready to get your top quality Nissan Note?

  • All cars come with a warranty
  • Selected dealers only
  • All quality checked
Nissan Note
Nissan Note
Nissan Note

Nissan Note

1.2 DiG-S Tekna 5dr [Style Pack]

  • 2014
  • 42,017 miles
  • Bristol Street Motors Ford Durham
  • Durham, DH11AU
Price:£7,295
HP: £198.56/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £198.56, Customer Deposit: £1,094.00, Total Deposit: £1,094.25, Total Charge For Credit: £947.41, Total Amount Payable: £8,242.41, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.48%

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Nissan Note

1.2 DiG-S Acenta 5dr Auto

  • 2016
  • 40,725 miles
  • Bristol Street Nissan Widnes
  • Lancashire, WA87AL
Price:£7,490
HP: £203.87/mo

Representative example: Contract Length: 36 months, 36 Monthly Payments: £203.87, Customer Deposit: £1,123.00, Total Deposit: £1,123.50, Total Charge For Credit: £972.82, Total Amount Payable: £8,462.82, Representative APR: 9.9%, Interest Rate (Fixed): 9.48%

Learn more

Nissan Note Review 2021 interior dashboard

On the inside

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior front moving

Driving

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior rear moving

How much does it cost to run

Nissan Note Review 2021 exterior rear

Prices, versions and specification

Ask the heycar experts: common questions

Is the Nissan Note a good car?

The Nissan Note is a good value small car with more space than conventional alternatives like the Ford Fiesta. It's well-built and generously-equipped for the money.

Andy Brady

Answered by

Andy Brady

Has the Nissan Note been discontinued?

Nissan dropped the Note from its range in 2017, saying that its more popular Micra and Juke models would cater for traditional Note buyers.

Russell Campbell

Answered by

Russell Campbell

What engine does a Nissan Note have?

Nissan Note buyers can choose from two 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol motors or a 1.5 DCi diesel.

heycar editorial team

Answered by

heycar editorial team

Interested in buying a Nissan Note?

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