Is the 2014 Nissan Note Really A Supermini?
Just because you drive a supermini, doesn’t mean you’re a nonentity content to live a life devoid of excitement. Nissan realised this when they began to lose ground to the striking Ford Fiesta, and decided to give their mini an overhaul, so here we have the 2014 Nissan Note.
To match the newfound beauty with brawn, Nissan stuck some new mechanical bits under the 2014 Nissan Note’s sheet metal. There are two new 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engines and the front-wheel drive chassis has been returned for better performance. Nissan also added some tech to aid in navigating the big car, including a surround view camera system, lane departure warning and blind spot monitoring. Even with all of the latest binary number crunching goodies, the Note still doesn’t break the bank, with a starting price of just £11,900.
In order to prevent the Note from becoming just another side note in history (pun intended), Nissan has attempted to give the supermini a more upscale look, adopting softer curves, a lower profile, bold redesigned headlamps, and new character lines cut into the flanks. Base models get black door handles and mirror housings, but if you step up to the Acenta model, these items are painted to match the body. Despite this, you can’t put lipstick on a pig, and there is no hiding the fact that the 2014 Nissan Note is still a big honking MPV. Inside the swine pen, a curved dashboard design, and white backlit dials are the most obvious changes. The hard plastics and uninviting steering wheel, add to the interiors chintz. These downfalls are offset somewhat by the cornucopia of standard equipment including Bluetooth and cruise control. The Acenta Premium gets satellite navigation, climate control, steering wheel-mounted audio controls and rear privacy glass.
So, what’s it like behind the wheel of this sweet ride? Well, thanks to its compact dimensions and layout, the Note is comfortable to drive around town. The experience is enhanced even more if you opt for the £400 Safety Shield option, which includes a surround view camera system to prevent you from taking out any innocent bystanders while parking. Scooting around town, the 2014 Nissan Note feels agile and poised with limited body roll. Three cylinders working together to produce 79bhp might not sound like much on paper, but the 1.2-litre puts some serious pep in the Note’s step, enhancing the fun to drive factor. If you’ve really got a need for speed, you can pick up the supercharged DIG-S, which delivers 98bhp and 147Nm of torque. Out on the motorway, the Nissan loses its composure a bit. The ride gets squirrely, wind noise picks up, the engine struggles, and should you actually need to stop, the brakes get spongy.
Nissan has always been known for its reliability in the UK. The chassis is shared with the company’s Micra supermini, which tends to fare well in owner surveys. All cars have a three-year/60,000-mile warranty, with a breakdown recovery package included. Safety is up to snuff too, with all models getting six airbags, stability control and tyre pressure monitoring.
Practicality is the name of the game when it comes to superminis, so it’s no surprise that the Note is full of useful design tricks. The exterior features large, wide-opening doors for easy access, as well as big side windows for an excellent view of scenery whizzing by. It’s obvious the interior was designed by engineers with compassion for cramped legs and twisted necks, legroom and headroom is more than generous. Boot space is 325 litres normally, but that figure can be increased to 411-litres with the rear seats folded. A couple of other nifty touches include shopping bag hooks (or purse hooks if you’re a sissy) and a 12V power supply. Nissan’s novel Flexiboard system can be used to divide the boot area and prevent junk from roaming around unattended, and there’s a deep cubby beneath the floorboard for hiding that previously mentioned purse. The nooks and crannies don’t end there, you’ll find a double-decker glove box, and more cup-holders than you’ll know what to do with, even after a family trip to Costa Coffee. One caveat might be that the steering wheel is not height-adjustable, but the fixed position is comfortable and shouldn’t bother most drivers.
The 2014 Nissan Note consumes fuel in dainty sips, and emits minute amounts of CO2. The entire lineup of engines is equipped with start stop technology, meaning the 1.2-litre DIG-S petrol and 1.5-litre dCi diesel models contribute CO2 emissions of less than 100g/km, while the naturally aspirated test model emits 109g/km. There’s also an Eco function that allows you to compulsively monitor your fuel consumption via the dash lights, and adjust your driving habits accordingly. If you heed the Eco Function’s advice, you will be rewarded with 48.3mpg. Finally, there’s a £199 pre-paid servicing pack, giving three years/36,000 miles of routine maintenance. However, should you purchase the Note, you better intend to keep it until death do you part, since the car only holds on to 39.8 per cent of its value over three years.
What do you think of the 2014 Nissan Note?
Andrew has been in the motor trade for over 20 years. What he enjoys most about his job is the team spirit and the dedication of his work colleagues. He also appreciates the teams input in the improvement of the company.
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