First Drive – Nissan Note

note1We travelled to Bratislava to drive the new Nissan Note ahead of its October launch

What is it? The new Note is no longer a mini MPV. Armed with better looks, more space and equipment it is now has its sights firmly set on  the Ford Fiesta, Toyota Auris and the Volkswagen Polo.

First impressions of the new Nissan Note?  Not quirky like the Juke nor curvy like the Micra; the Note is now more aggressively styled than the old one but it is still very much a case of practicality over style with the exterior design. This is a car intent on wooing customers with functionality and equipment.

What about the interior? Practicality is what the Note is all about. The high-set driving position is both comfortable and great for visibility.   Inside it is sensible and stylishly laid out. Space is excellent throughout in the front and particularly generous in the back. Boot space is a decent 295 litres and extends to an enormous 2,012 litres when all the seats are folded.

And on the road? At the launch we drove both the diesel (1.5) and the petrol (1.2 DIG-S (direct injection gasoline – supercharged). Both feature a five speed manual gearbox.
Nissan Note and the city:
  Around town the light steering and excellent visibility makes it simple to drive and park.The diesel has good punchy power but tends to be little noisy at low speeds.
Nissan Note and the open road: The petrol is lively around town but runs out of steam quickly on the open road, the diesel is the better option of the two here but it is unlikely to a big seller and will be somewhere in the region of €2,000 more than the petrol so unless you do a lot of driving it would be hard to justify.


How Much? Prices are unconfirmed at this stage but are likely to start below €16,000 for the petrol. The diesel is more frugal, with 78.5mpg and has CO2 emissions of just 95g/km but will carry a higher price tag.

How Safe?  The Note is crammed with hi tech equipment  that is designed to make the car both easier to driver and safer to be in.  Opt for the Technology Pack (approximately an extra €1,000) on the Note and benefits  include the 360-degree camera system known as Around View Monitor, Nissan Connect 2 and a Safety Shield system that incorporates lane departure warning, blind spot assistance and moving object detection.

 What about my options? Three engines are available; a 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol with 79bhp, a supercharged version of this engine with 98PS, and a 1.5 dCi with 90PS.

3 words to describe the Nissan Note: Economical; Practical; Reliable

For more information check out or the Nissan Ireland Facebook page.


Geraldine Herbert

17th July, 2013

Author: Geraldine Herbert

Motoring Editor and Columnist for the Sunday Independent and editor of wheelsforwomen. Geraldine is also a regular contributor to Good Housekeeping (UK) and to RTÉ Radio One, Newstalk, TodayFM and BBC Radio. You can follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GerHerbert1

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