NO, YOUR eyes do not deceive you. We’re starting the clock on this used test in 2009, fully three years after the Note was first launched in the UK because the model we’re looking at here is the updated car which was launched in mid 2009 and which incorporated a suite of changes not only to the styling but also to equipment provision and also to the efficiency of the powerplants.
Revised gear ratios boosted fuel economy and improved emissions of the 1.4 and 1.5dCi models. Further incremental improvements were visited upon the car’s emissions for the 2011 model year petrol- engined Notes which became fully compliant with the Euro 5-emissions requirements.
The styling changes are the key clue-in that you’re looking at one of the facelifted cars. Look for a chrome strip running along the bottom of the front grille beneath the big Nissan badge. The 3008 is certainly an One interesting but useless nugget of information is that this car was designed by Toyota - Taiji Toyota that is - one of Nissan’s most talented stylists.
On paper, this car is roughly equivalent in size to its immediate rivals at just under four metres long, 1.53m high and 1.69m wide.
The facelifted model we’re looking at here got a 2009 package of tweaks including a reshaped bumper and bonnet, revised headlights and a shiny black front grille.
At the back, compared to the original Note, the tail lights are darker and models with parking sensors got them incorporated more neatly into the bumper.
It’s on the inside, however, where owners of the original 2006 to 2009 Note model will notice the most significant changes. After that date, all models got better-quality, soft-touch interior plastic and mildly redesigned instrument graphics.
As before, this Note is squared-off at the rear with the natural roofline taking an unusual lastminute jerk upwards to maximise cargo capacity in the back. There really is very little to report here.
The Note is a very reliable car and runs on mainly tried and tested mechanicals. Try and imagine a GTi hot hatch version of the Note. You can’t can you? And that’s just the point.
Giving a car like this a powerful engine or stiff suspension would be as pointless as giving a fish legs. It’s not what it’s about.
Still, the Note always feels highly nimble on the road with ride firm enough to resist roll and steering that’s light but accurate.
It’s perfect for buzzing through the city streets and it inspires confidence thanks to good all-round visibility and a tight turning circle.
If you really value syrupy, supple suspension, one of the Note’s rivals may be a better option but otherwise, this Nissan should suit its intended buyers pretty well.
Three main engine choices are offered, all shared with the model that at launch was this car’s arch-rival, the Renault Modus.
Low mileage buyers will choose between a 87bhp 1.4-litre and 108bhp 1.6-litre powerplants, but those who might want to take their Notes further afield may want to consider the improved diesel engine, a 1.5-litre dCi common rail unit borrowed from the Micra range with 85bhp. There’s so much that can go wrong with buying a used car that many people are completely deterred. The Nissan Note reliability and sheer practicality means that it’s a car that you can buy used without too much worry.
They’re usually owned by mature or family buyers who have the cars diligently serviced.
Just as long as you don’t chance upon one that’s been ravaged by unruly kids or pets, you shouldn’t go far wrong.