Mention the brand Nissan and many models come to mind, the Micra, Juke and the GT-R.
Mention the brand Nissan and many models come to mind, the Micra, Juke and the GT-R. One less likely to be uttered in the same breath as ‘Our survey says’, is the NOTE.Despite this, over 100,000 have been sold in the UK since they drove off the assembly line at the Nissan plant at Sunderland back in 2006. Described by them as a supermini MPV, it’s appeal lies in the fact that it’s a small car and once you’re inside there is oodles of space. It’s less likely to appeal to the younger generation, more for families and those with a history of favouring Japanese cars. There is no chance of it winning awards for its looks. Enormous lights dominate the front of the car overpowering the box like shell. Add to this, the darkened rear windows on the n-tec+, the shuriken designed alloys and it looks like something halfway to being pimped. Once inside and you realise what a good job Nissan have done. They say looks can be deceiving and this car proves the point. Ensconced in the driving seat and I felt like I was operating a far larger car. Seats are very comfy and you don’t feel like you’d be rubbing shoulders with your passenger. In the rear the depth of the bench seats are vast, and they can be easily moved to give more boot space. The dashboard is kept simple and there aren’t too many buttons to make you wonder what exactly they operate. Windscreen wipers and lights are also automatically activated and there are even rear parking sensors. The touchscreen sat nav got me from A to B without a hitch and there are various connections for USB, iPod and iPhone. I liked the little detail of a few circles embedded into the leather on the handbrake, pedals and door handles. Might not be noticeable by many, but goes to show how much effort Nissan go into designing and producing their cars. Little things and all that. The boot has the added benefit of the Flexi-Board storage system. A bit like finding a concealed entrance in a bookcase, underneath the boot floor is more room to put your shopping in. Just remember it’s in there. I drove the n-tec+ 1.5 dCi and it did not disappoint at all. Half the time I felt like I was driving a saloon; it was so easy to drive. And it was fun. It was nippy through town, steering is light thanks to the electric power steering and the ride was comfortable, even on a road full of speed bumps. Whilst on the motorway I was hitting 80mph without even realising as it’s so quiet. You can get an average of 67.3 mpg on this model, with 47.9 mpg for the 1.4 petrol and 42.8 mpg for the 1.6 petrol. The diesel falls into the Nissan Pure Drive category as it produces less than 130g/km. With the cost of fuel rising, it’s not the cheapest car to buy and this one was priced at £15,014. They do start from £11,300 which is still slightly more than it’s rivals, the Renault Modus and Citroen C3. Although the pricing for this car is the downside for me, if you’re looking for something fun to drive, spacious and has a good amount of standard equipment, then this hits the right note.
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