What is it?
The Note, Nissan’s supermini-sized MPV, has been given a fresher face. We’re testing it in 1.4-litre N-tec guise, the priciest trim level offered with this, the base engine.
Nissan has merely applied an extra layer of make-up to the Note’s face with a new front spoiler design, pretty chrome touches and a host of extra equipment to ensure the Note remains a worthy class adversary.
As for the engine line-up, there’s not much change here either. The Note’s 1.4-litre and 1.6-litre petrol engines both now comply with Euro 5 emissions regulations which diesel variants have complied with since autumn 2010.
Incidentally, it’s now also the smallest car built at the UK's Sunderland factory, with the Micra being shown the door to make way for the bigger and more profitable Juke.
What’s it like?
The Nissan Note is as spacious and practical as ever, thanks to its tall roofline and clever packaging, offering plenty of space for four, an array of cubby holes and sliding rear bench.
Inside, its cleverly thought out dash is simple and effective, with easy-to-use buttons and no frills. Sitting behind the wheel, however, could be better. Flat seats make getting comfortable quite a chore and you find yourself sitting on them, rather than in them.
The N-tec gets plenty of toys though. Included is Nissan’s connect package with simple-to-use sat-nav, cruise control, automatic wipers and headlights, 16-inch alloys, Bluetooth and for lovers of acronyms, MP3 connectivity and USB ports. If that gets you hot under the collar, you’ll be pleased to know that climate control features, as do tinted windows.
At town speeds, the 1.4-litre Note makes steady progress and feels lively enough to flit around traffic confidently. On the motorway, too, it’ll cruise along happily at 70mph but does run out of puff when faced with a delicate incline. Steering is light and offers good feedback through the wheel and the suspension hits a fine balance between ride quality and handling.