The Note is very keenly priced, putting it on a par with many much smaller, less practical superminis. Even the most expensive models are good value for money. Dealer discounts are available, although not that generous, and although the Note is unlikely to hold its value as well as a similarly priced premium supermini, long-term ownership costs are very affordable.
We haven’t yet put the petrols through our True MPG tests but we have tested the diesel, which returned an impressive 55.2mpg. Mind you, that was still some way adrift of its claimed figure of more than 80mpg.
All of the engines attract a zero, or very low, tax charge; only the entry-level 1.2 petrol and CVT-equipped 1.2 DIG-S emit more than 100g/km of CO2. Insurance groups are impressively low, too.
Nissan Note equipment
Every Note comes with cruise control, Bluetooth, front electric windows and a USB socket, but the entry-level Visia model is a little spartan and misses out on desirable features that some rivals have as standard.
Mid-range Acenta trim adds useful features such as air-con, rear electric windows, a multi-position boot shelf and 15in alloy wheels. It���s also the entry point from which you can specify the supercharged 1.2-litre petrol engine.
If you have a bit more money to spare, Acenta Premium trim gives you automatic lights and wipers, climate control, front and rear armrests, a digital radio and a 5.8-inch touchscreen sat-nav, making it extremely good value. Tekna models have some desirable high-tech kit including safety assist features and a rear-view camera, but they’re pricey, at least in Note terms.
Nissan Note reliability
It’s too new to assess the latest Note’s reliability with any real accuracy, but the previous model finished in the top half of the 2014 JD Power customer satisfaction survey. As a brand, Nissan has a generally good record for reliability. It finished near the top in the latest 2015 reliability survey, conducted in association with Warranty Direct.
New Nissans come with a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, and three years’ breakdown cover. That’s a decent offering, but is short of the cover you get with the equivalent Honda or Kia.
Nissan Note safety & security
All Notes come with six airbags and stability control as standard. It’s nothing exceptional and about on a par with all new cars. When tested by Euro NCAP in 2013 the model scored four out of five stars overall, with a not especially impressive 86% rating for adult occupants and 82% for child occupants.
Things improve on higher-trim cars, which can be specified with Nissan’s Around View Monitor with Safety Shield (it’s also an affordable option on the mid-range Acenta model, too, but not available at all on versions lower down the range). Not many of the Note’s rivals have a similar system. It uses cameras around the car to give a virtual 360-degree view of the surroundings, helping to make parking and low-speed manoeuvres easier and safer. It also includes lane-departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.
Security kit includes an engine immobiliser, but an alarm is an optional extra across the entire range. Security firm Thatcham awarded the Note good marks for its resistance to being driven away, but only average marks for its resistance to being broken into.
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Entry-level Visia trim keeps the Note’s price low but the standard kit level is a little mean. Bluetooth, front electric windows and a USB socket are included, but air-con, rear electric windows, alloy wheels, driver’s seat height adjustment and steering wheel stereo controls are absent.
Our pick Acenta
In terms of price and equipment level, this trim represents great value for money and is our top choice.
Standard kit includes everything you get with entry-level Visia plus desirable extras such as air-con, electric rear windows, steering wheel stereo controls, a height-adjustable driver’s seat and alloy wheels. You also get a handy multi-position boot floor, heated door mirrors and upgraded exterior trim.
This is a trim for those that place sporty looks above value for money. The additions over Acenta are purely cosmetic, including larger alloy wheels and a body kit. We think you’re much better off saving your money or choosing more luxurious Acenta Premium trim.
This trim level provides a surprising amount of luxury kit for such a little car. Standard features include a touchscreen sat-nav system, a DAB radio, automatic headlights and wipers, and climate control. It pushes the price up, but even this high-spec Note represents decent value for money.
This trim is reserved for the entry-level engine and blends most of Acenta Style’s cosmetic upgrades with Acenta Premium’s luxury kit, so it’s very well equipped. It also comes with a useful rear-view camera, and blind spot and lane departure warning systems. However, despite all this kit, you’re still left with the weakest engine in the range. A 1.2 DIG-S or 1.5 dCi model in Acenta trim is a more sensible choice.
This trim level is reserved for 1.2 DIG-S and 1.5 dCi models, and gives buyers an impressive quantity of kit including part-leather trim, climate control, automatic headlights and wipers, sat-nav and DAB radio. You get a wide range of safety and convenience features, too, including an Around View Monitor that gives you a handy bird’s-eye view of the car – useful when parking – and moving-object-detection, and blind-spot and lane departure warning systems. All this pushes up the Note’s price, however. We’d recommend forgoing some kit for cheaper versions that are better value.
This is the top-spec model in the Note range. It adds cosmetic exterior upgrades to the lavish kit you get with the standard Tekna model. It’s not hugely expensive but cheaper Note models make a lot more sense.