What is it?
With Nissan preparing the Nissan Invitation for launch in summer 2013 the writing is on the wall for the practical Note. As a last hurrah Nissan is throwing equipment at its compact MPV, and has added this luxuriously specified N-TEC+ model to the top of the range. From Acenta trim upwards the Note now come specified with climate control, 16-inch alloy wheels, automatic wipers and headlamps and body coloured door mirrors. The new N-TEC+ trim adds rear parking sensors, privacy glass and Nissan Connect - incorporating touch screen sat nav, audio and Bluetooth connection - to the mix.
What’s it like?
Inside it’s as sensible as ever, the softer touch materials of its 2010 refresh remaining, the interior functional rather than daring in its design. Hugely practical though, with the split-folding and sliding rear seats giving estate car like carrying capacity when folded and legroom for even the lengthiest of rear-seat passengers when not. A false floor with fold up ‘flexi-board’ panels allows boot partitioning for the weekly shop, the Note’s carrying capacity still surprising given its relatively diminutive footprint.
It’s not all earnest either as it’s enjoyable to drive too, this 89bhp 1.5 dCi turbodiesel engine the pick of the bunch. Its ample low-rev response makes for easy progress, while an official economy figure of 67.3mpg and CO2 emissions of 110g/km should keep running costs low, too. The suspension mixes ride comfort and control adeptly and the steering, while light on feel, is nicely weighted and accurate enough.
Should I buy one?
Helped by its precise five-speed manual gearshift and decent refinement - at lower revs - the Note makes a case for itself on more than mere practicality.
Nissan Note 1.5 dCi N-TEC+
Price: £14,525; 0-62mph: 12.8sec; Top speed: 104mph; Economy: 67.3mpg; Co2: 110g/km; Kerbweight: 1180kg; Engine type, cc: 1461cc four-cylinder in-line turbodiesel; Power: 89bhp at 4000rpm; Torque: 148lb ft at 1750rpm; Gearbox: 5-speed manual