The Nissan Note is proof that an MPV needn’t be enormous to be effective.
The distinctive high-roofed supermini is small enough to feel at home in narrow urban streets, yet big enough inside to cope with four decent-sized adults and their clutter. The rear bench seat slides on runners, so you can choose between rear legroom and boot space.
The Note has petrol and diesel variants, but the 1.5-litre dCi diesel is a particularly green offering. It manages just 110g/km of CO2 emissions on the Government test, and while it can’t match its official figure of 67.3mpg in our True MPG evaluation - which is calculated on real UK roads instead of in a laboratory - it still breaks the 50mpg barrier, at 51.2mpg.
The Note has been set up to be easy to drive around town, with relatively light steering and a suspension setting that gets caught out by only the worst urban potholes. The diesel engine can be a bit vocal when you rev it hard, but it quickly gets up to pace and fades into the background once you’re cruising.
We also like the Note’s high-quality cabin materials, its strong performance in the most recent JD Power Reliability Survey, and the fact that, as a car that’s likely to be used for family travel, it comes with twin front and side airbags and, on all but the entry-level models, twin curtain airbags and stability control.
Our recommended trim is mid-spec Acenta, which brings air-con, alloy wheels and electric windows all round. It’s a shame that you have to spend more on N-Tec to get Bluetooth and parking sensors, though.
Still, with a Target Price of well under £14,000, the 1.5 diesel Note is a spacious, practical and efficient choice. It gets our Green COTY nod as a recommended small MPV here.