2015 Nissan Note Compact MPV Review

Oft-overlooked Nissan Note is a clever small but big car.

Nissan bundles the Note in with the regular superminis, but it’s more than that, particularly when it comes to space. It might lack fun behind the wheel, but on a space-to-value ratio it’s a tough act to beat, with passenger and luggage space to rival larger family hatchbacks.

Review

What is it?
The second-generation Note, which, if it’s anything like its predecessor, will be largely overlooked. That’s to do it a disservice, as under the neat exterior is a car with ample interior space. So it’s less Fiesta in size inside and more B-Max, though its most obvious rival is the similarly usefully proportioned Honda Jazz. The Note was once touted as a mini-MPV and despite its repositioning by the marketing people it remains such, which is why we can forgive it its lack of driving thrills. 

What is it like?
Useful. Few cars with the Note’s small footprint can accommodate a couple of six-footers sat behind each other. The Note can, which means if you’re tight on parking space and lanky of child then it could be the perfect solution. That supermini positioning means it’s cheap for its size too, and don’t think that all that passenger space means a tiny boot - it’s massive as well. The trade off? A cabin that’s a bit cheap feeling, if decently equipped, and it’s uninteresting to drive.

Carzone verdict: 3.5/5
Although it's not fast in any form (though the 1.2-litre petrol engine is enthusiastic despite the less than eye-widening performance figures associated with it), the Note’s appeal lies elsewhere. If you want space you’ll struggle to buy more for the same amount of money. The rear seats slide too, meaning if your kids aren’t yet on the basketball team there’s more room in the already vast boot. The cabin is functional, the drive unexceptional, but the Note’s inherently clever in its design, even if it doesn’t shout about it.