Nissan is hoping to grab the attention of younger buyers with its new Note mini MPV, which makes its first appearance at the Frankfurt motor show alongside the Micra C+C. Built on the same extended Micra platform as its Renault Modus sibling, the Note should cost around £10,000 when it arrives in the UK next March.
The Note was previewed by the Tone concept car at last year’s Paris motor show, and as with the folding hard-top Micra C+C, the styling has remained identical in the transition from concept to production. The Nissan is almost 200mm longer than the Modus at 3990mm, and the British engineers that have ‘Europeanised’ the Japanese version at Nissan’s technical centre in Cranfield, Bedfordshire, are said to have aimed for a family car that’s also fun to drive, an empty niche Nissan is hoping to exploit.
Four engines are confirmed for launch, two 1.5 dCi diesels of 67 and 85bhp, and two petrols, a 1.4-litre 87bhp and the new 109bhp 1.6 that’s also gone in to the Micra C+C and sporting 160SR.As well as being developed in the UK, the car will also be built here, taking the number of models coming down production lines at the company’s Sunderland plant to six, joining Micra hatch and C+C, Almera and Primera five-door and estate at Europe’s most productive plant.
The Almera and midi-MPV Tino remain in production, although the long-term future for both those two aging models is unconfirmed with rumours that the Almera won’t get a direct replacement as buyers move away from traditional hatchbacks and into niche vehicles.