Mid-life tweaks up the quality while keeping the Note's no-nonsense core appeal

What is it?

This is the freshly facelifted Nissan Note 1.5 dCi Tekna. Nissan’s supermini-sized MPV has undergone a mid-life tweak, with the changes aimed at increasing the car’s interior quality and freshening up the exterior design.

On the outside the Nissan Note has been given redesigned tail lights, a new bumper and bonnet, restyled headlights, and a new gloss-black grille. Acenta and Tekna trim levels also get new alloy wheel designs.

It’s on the inside, however, where the most significant changes to the Nissan Note have taken place. All models now have better-quality, soft-touch interior plastic and mildly redesigned instrument graphics.

Most important is that the Nissan Note 1.5 dCi Tekna now has the new Nissan Connect entertainment system (it’s also an option on Acenta models). This is a five-inch touchscreen that offers sat-nav, a CD player, full Bluetooth connectivity and a USB/aux-in connecter for MP3 connectivity.

Tweaks to the drivetrain are limited to revised gear ratios, which allow the Nissan Note 1.5 dCi Tekna to dip under 120g/km CO2, and fuel efficiency to rise to 62.8mpg.

What’s it like?

Mechanically, the Nissan Note feels almost unchanged. The Renault-sourced 86bhp turbodiesel is as smooth as ever, the handling is still surprisingly entertaining for a car with such a humdrum remit, and the whole package is still impressively refined.

The quality changes to the interior actually make quite a difference to the overall feel of the Note, however. The cabin now feels half a class above the old car’s, while the array of gadgets that comprise the Nissan Connect system makes the car very well specified for the class.

Should I buy one?

The Nissan Note has always had plenty of appeal as a spacious, no-nonsense compact MPV. The changes to the car for the 2009 model year do nothing to detract from that, while at the same time adding a touch of classy sparkle to the ownership experience.

Matt Rigby

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scottMerc 13 March 2009

Re: Nissan Note 1.5 dCi

Insipid little car, but fit for purpose I presume, must say the 1.5dci engine is a cracker though, rented a Megane with the same lump in on holiday and was quite shocked at how smooth and revvy it was for a diesel lump, albeit was the cars only redeeming feature.

Lee23404 10 March 2009

Re: Nissan Note 1.5 dCi

Orangewheels wrote:
An enforced lifestyle buying decision I suppose, and maybe I'm not giving credit where it's due, there may be some lovely surprise and delight features I don't know about, but still...

Sadly not. My mother in law has a pre-facelift 1.6 pertol and it's bloody awefull. Its noisey, uncomfortable, the ride is overly firm and the boot is small. Yes I know the seats slide forward to increase boot space but I don't want to have to sod about with seats every time I want to put a weeks shopping in the boot. I really don't know why the motoring press rave about these things.

Orangewheels 10 March 2009

Re: Nissan Note 1.5 dCi

I'm not sure how you would go about choosing a mini-MPV from the current marketplace. There's so many worthy but rather dull offerings out there with styling enforced by the requisite shape, all worth 3 to 4 stars, nothing poor but nothing great.

Being a car enthusiast I sometimes find it hard to get my head around spending a £15-£20k chunk of money on a new one of these MPV's, regardless of which one, as it just wouldn't excite me, and spending £15k on something, anything, should at least give you a little pleasure, other than the knowledge that it will make your life 1% easier, work properly, and get you where you want to go reliably every day.

An enforced lifestyle buying decision I suppose, and maybe I'm not giving credit where it's due, there may be some lovely surprise and delight features I don't know about, but still...