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Car reviews driver power 2008 nissan note
It’s little longer than a Ford Fiesta or VW Polo, but the Nissan Note offers an interior that’s got space for a family of four, with a big boot, tall roof, and flexible seating that allows you to boost either legroom or luggage space.
The Note is as much a mini people carrier as a supermini such as the Fiesta, mixing compact dimensions with practical features that enable it to adjust to the demands of family life.
There’s up to 411-litres of space in the boot with the seats up, which is 130-litres more than in a Polo and only slightly less than the Kia Venga, another mini people-carrier. The opening is wide for bulky items, and on more expensive versions, you can slide the rear seat backwards to increase legroom, or forwards to boost bootspace. On most models, there’s also an adjustable divider called Flexiboard to divide the boot into different compartments.
It all makes the car very adaptable, but you pay for it. Official prices might start at just under £11,000 but cars with the sliding rear seat fitted as standard are a further £4,000
This makes the car more expensive than the Kia Venga or a Honda Jazz, which has its own clever flexible seating system as standard, a similar amount of space for front and rear passengers, and feels better-made. You should be able to pick all of these cars up for less than their list prices, with new car discounts.
On the road, the Nissan Note strikes a good balance between comfort and stability, soaking up the worst of bumpy roads, while remaining composed without too much of the bouncing around that can induce car sickness. You’ll find a Jazz more comfortable, though.
The Note’s steering is light, which makes it easy to manoeuvre at low speeds, but it doesn’t feel particularly sharp or precise when cornering on faster roads. Instead, the Nissan feels best-suited to steady and smooth driving - ideal for a family car.
All Notes come with air conditioning, alloy wheels, a wireless Bluetooth phone connection for music and calls, as well as heated door mirrors.
They can be fitted with sat-nav, reversing camera, part leather seats and that sliding rear seat, but this brings the list price to over £14,000, which is more than a Mini.
The Note has four out of five stars for safety after being independently crash tested by Euro NCAP, which is a reasonable result for this type of car, but owners have raised concerns about the car's reliability.
- 2013 The current Nissan Note is launched with choice of three engines (two 1.2-litre petrols and a 1.5-litre diesel)
- 2015 Notes built between July 2013 and March 2014 are recalled for a possible malfunction of engine push start switch.
- Engine 1.2 DIG-S
- Trim Acenta Premium
- Gearbox CVT
- Engine The size of the engine is given in litres (here it’s 1.2). Petrol engines either have no letters after the size or DIG-S, which indicates a more sophisticated and efficient design. Diesels are badged dCi.
- Trim The trim level dictates how much standard equipment is included with your Note. There are seven trim levels ranging from basic Visia to top-of-the-range Tekna Style.
- Gearbox The automatic gearbox is called a CVT. This doesn’t have a set of gears but can constantly adjust its arrangement for the most efficient set-up. It means that the engine can sound like it’s droning because it doesn’t rev as frequently.
The cheapest engine available in the Note is the standard 1.2-litre petrol. With acceleration from 0-62mph taking a tortoise-like 13.7 seconds and fuel economy of 60mpg, it's off the pace in terms of performance and fuel economy. However, you can often find some extremely good deals on nissan notes with this engine.
The more advanced 1.2-litre DIG-S is a better choice, feeling much more energetic, with less dawdling and better official fuel economy figures of up to 65.7mpg. In real-world driving, this will be closer to 50mpg. Fitted with a manual gearbox, it’s exempt from road tax. But if you choose the automatic, fuel economy drops, emissions increase and tax is £30 a year. The automatic is also noisy.
The diesel engine is a good option if you regularly travel far because its extra efficiency is more likely to cancel out the £1,000 higher purchase price. You don’t need to rev the engine hard for powerful acceleration and it’s quiet at steady speeds, if a bit rough when pushed.
Acenta Limited Edition, Acenta, Acenta Premium, Tekna
The Nissan Note range starts with Acenta Limited Edition trim, featuring air conditioning, cruise control, electric front windows, Bluetooth and alloy wheels. It's only available with the slowest 1.2-litre engine but is by far the cheapest Nissan Note.
Acenta trim costs at least £3,000 more - going by the list price - but you only have the option of the diesel engine with a manual gearbox or the DIG-S petrol engine in automatic. You also gain steering wheel audio controls and the flexiboard to divide the boot.
Acenta Premium adds a 5.8in touchscreen with sat nav and DAB digital radio, as well as the very useful sliding rear seat.
The range tops out with Tekna which adds safety technology, including a warning if someone is in your blind spot on a multi-lane road, as well as lane departure warning that alerts you if the car drifts out of a road’s white lines.
The Nissan Note has a three-year or 60,000-mile warranty, whichever comes first. It’s not got a great reliability record In the 2015 Auto Express Driver Power satisfaction survey, it was ranked 123rd out of 200 for reliability and a dismal 193 for build quality.
Compact, practical and economical it may be but these virtues don’t stop the Note from losing money quickly. You can pick up a year-old Note 1.5 dCi Tekna with almost 40% off the list price, which makes the car a bargain - particularly in this high specification, with sat-nav and climate control.
After three years, the car has lost well over half of its value, making it an economical proposition.