- Efficient engines
- Cheap to run
- Solid build quality
- Interior quality not class-leading
- Not as safe as some rivals
- Entry-level trim lacks equipment
Cheap to run mini-MPV
The Nissan Note is one of many competitors in the mini-MPV sector. First introduced in 2005, the Note now competes with the Ford B-Max, the Kia Venga, and the Honda Jazz in the small family car market. This sector offers those with small families plenty of interior space, as well as enough practical storage space for day-to-day needs, all at a reasonable price. The Note is one of the best options in this market, providing everything a small family will ever need. It’s not the most fun to drive, but it’s incredibly practical.
The second-generation Note, introduced in 2012, featured a completely new chassis, as well as new engines, an updated exterior design, and interior.
Solidly built, but sadly lacking in quality
The interior of the Nissan Note is one that is pitched primarily to the family market. Everything is solidly built, but there’s a lack of quality materials on show, which reflect the car’s relatively cheap price.
The dashboard of the Note is designed with simplicity in mind. Controls are placed exactly where you’d expect, and are well-damped, which makes them easy to use. The build quality on display is also pretty solid. Nissan is a brand associated with reliability, and it’s easy to see why. The quality of materials used though is a little disappointing, especially compared to the Ford B-Max. Plastics feel a little hard and cheap feeling, which may disappoint some. It’s a pretty solid package, but it’s far from prestige.
Space wise the Note offers family buyers plenty of useable space. There’s enough room inside the cabin for four adults to travel comfortably, and with 325 litres of boot space, there’s more than enough room for a big family shop, or a pram. It’s not got quite as much storage space as a Honda Jazz, but there’s enough here for the majority of small family needs.
Spec levels in the Jazz are also pretty decent. The entry level Visia trim comes with cruise control, electric front windows, and USB and Bluetooth connectivity. There’s not much else however, so it’s probably worth considering the mid-range Acenta trim, which adds air-con, rear electric windows, a moveable boot shelf, and alloy wheels.
Overall the interior of the Note is a pretty solid package. The quality on show isn’t up there with the best in its class, but the Note is spacious, well-equipped, and is built to last.
Composed and comfortable
The Nissan Note isn’t the most entertaining car to drive, but it’s composed enough in nearly all situations, and ride refinement is decent. All of this makes for a great family car. It’s not a car for sunday b-road dashes, but it’s perfect for day-to-day family motoring.
Compared to a lot of rivals, the suspension system in the Note is quite stiff. This means that the Note handles itself pretty confidently on the road. Similarly, steering is assured, and there’s not much understeer until you get the car up to speed. As the car is quite light, it’s also a doddle to drive around town, making weaving through traffic and parking a piece of cake.
Ride refinement is similarly pretty impressive, though again it’s not the best in its class. The stiff suspension certainly adds to driver engagement, but it can make the deepest of potholes and worst of road surfaces a little bumpy. Despite this, it’s pretty impressive over most surfaces, and handles city speed bumps with ease. It’s also a comfortable motorway cruiser, which makes the Note a solid all-round package.
Gearbox options in the Note come in two guises- a 5-speed manual, and a CVT automatic. The manual box copes with most situations well, though it would be nice to have a sixth gear for motorway journeys. The CVT transmission however has received pretty negative reviews, with most reviewers citing its noisiness and reduced fuel efficiency as downfalls.
Economical engines throughout the range
When it comes to deciding how you want to power your Note, you’ve got the usual two options: petrol, or diesel. All engines in the range are economical, though the lowest powered petrol engine sometimes struggles at higher speeds.
If it’s power that you want from your Note, you may well be disappointed. There’s no ‘hot’ version per se, with the most powerful being the supercharged 1.2 litre petrol engine in the DiG-S. With 98bhp, this version of the Note will get you from 0-62mph in 11.8 seconds. It’s obviously not going to break any land speed records, but it’s a good engine choice for those who want at least some entertainment on country roads.
For the eco-friendly buyer, the best Note in the range is the diesel-powered 1.5 dCi. With only 93g/km of C02 emissions, you won’t pay any money each year on road tax, and you’ll also be helping to save the planet. All engines throughout the range have pretty low C02 emissions however, so you won’t be a huge emitter. The diesel engine is also the best option for money-savers. With up to 78.5mpg on offer, you can save yourself plenty of money at the fuel pumps, which you can spend on life’s other luxuries.
Whichever engine you choose to go for in your Note, you’ll be getting a modern, clean, efficient engine. You’ll save yourself plenty of money in both road tax and fuel, though no option in the range offers genuine entertainment.
Not the safest in its class, but good safety kit
Unlike a lot of cars in its class, the Nissan Note failed to achieve the highest possible 5-star NCAP safety rating. It’s disappointing, especially when you compare it to the impeccably safe Honda Jazz, but the Note still scored a respectable 86% in adult safety and 82% in child safety. There’s also six airbags as standard, along with stability control.
Excellent value for money, so long as you avoid the cost of new-car depreciation
The Nissan Note offers drivers exceptionally good value for money. No matter which option you go for, you’re going to get fuel efficiency levels that will save you a lot of pennies at the pumps. C02 emissions throughout the range are also kept to a minimum thanks to modern, clean engines, with very few models emitting more than 100g/km, so road tax is cheap across the board.
Insurance is also reasonable with the Nissan Note. Every car in the Nissan Note range sits in group 8, which makes the Note an incredibly good value car to insure. It’s perfect for families on a budget, and especially good for younger drivers.
Depreciation is one area that particularly affects the Note, but only for the first year. With first year depreciation as high as 40%, you’re better off opting for an inspected used equivalent.
The Nissan Note is a very solid small family MPV. It offers great practicality to small families, as well as efficient engines, and an impeccable reliability record. It may not have the highest quality interior, but it is one of the market leaders in this sector.
Buying a used Nissan Note online with Carspring
If you’re after a used Nissan Note for sale, it can all feel like a bit of an ordeal. What, with long days spent around gigantic car supermarkets, or time spent trawling through classified websites, looking for that ideal used Note. Carspring makes it simple. Buy your next used Nissan Note online with the touch of a button. Simply decide on the model you want and choose how you want to pay.
Looking to finance your used Note? Not a problem, we work with our carefully selected finance partners to ensure that, if you’re paying monthly for your used Nissan Note, you know you’re getting the best rates. What’s more, with any Carspring used Note, you also get our 14-day money-back guarantee and 6 months’ free Warranty. Plus, you don’t have to leave your home. We’ll deliver your used Nissan to you at a time and place of your choice.
*This is an approximate figure based on the range of the car’s list price and the AA’s average 1st-year depreciation cost of 40%.