NOTE TAKEN TO NEW HIGHS
Small but highly effective changes will keep the Nissan NOTE at the forefront of the family car market. Stylish, fun to drive and highly practical, the award-winning NOTE now has a new look, new equipment and a new low emission diesel engine.
At a glance
With a new EU5-complaint diesel engine offering even lower CO2 emissions, more equipment, subtle new looks and a new highly specified special version, the award-winning Nissan NOTE has increased still further its appeal to family motorists looking for something different.
Built in the UK, NOTE has the comfort, practicality, interior space and equipment of a C-segment hatchback with the agility of a B-segment car. Since its launch in 2006 more than 250,000 examples have been sold across Europe. The changes for 2011 are set to continue NOTE's winning ways.
One of the most significant improvements is the arrival of a re-engineered version of the popular 1.5-litre dCi turbo diesel engine. Now fully compliant with Euro-5 emissions requirements, power has increased from 63kW to 66kW (86hp to 88.5hp) while CO2 emissions have fallen to just 110g/km from 115g/km. The revised unit is capable of a wallet friendly 4.2l/100km.
The new diesel gives NOTE buyers a choice of three different engine options. There are also two petrol units: a 1.4-litre with 65kW (88hp) and a 1.6-litre with 81kW (110hp). All three units are EU5 compliant.
Visual changes are subtle but effective and further enhance the new look introduced last year when a new nose with a restyled bonnet, bumper and headlights and shiny black finish to the grille sharpened NOTE's on street presence. NOTE now adds a luxurious silver finish to the door handles plus glossy black finish to the B and C pillars as well as a silver coloured trunk finisher.
NOTE's colour palette comprises ten colours with two new shades - a metallic red and a metallic grey - added to replace three outgoing colours. The palette has two solid colours with the rest being metallics.
On the equipment front, the mid-range Acenta model now has USB, MP3 and Bluetooth connectivity for the audio system which has the added benefit of remote controls on the steering wheel.
Acenta sits between the entry level Visia and luxurious top-of-the-range Tekna models and also serves as the starting point for a special version of the NOTE that adds a significant amount of extra equipment for a modest price increase. The special version will be given different names depending on the market - the French version is called Connect Edition for example - but the generous increase in equipment remains across Europe.
On top of Acenta's benefits - which include ESP, cruise control and speed limiter, front fog lamps, electric windows all round and clever storage solutions including a secret tray under the passenger seat and the innovative and versatile Flexi-Board luggage floor - the special version upgrades the standard air conditioning to automatic climate control. It also adds automatic lights and wipers to the mix, as well as handsome silver-finish 16-inch alloys and rear privacy glass.
Other visual changes include a silver painted front lip finisher and a unique light brown and black interior trim combination.
Arguably the most important addition, however, is the adoption of Nissan Connect, a fully integrated and highly sophisticated entertainment and navigation system. Among its features are a five-inch full colour touch screen, a single slot CD player, radio and USB, and Aux-in facilities allowing iPods and other MP3 players to be operated.
It also has Bluetooth connectivity which not only allows instant integration of mobile phones into the system but will also wirelessly stream audio files from compatible equipment.
The highly intuitive satellite navigation system offers 2D or 3D maps, voice guidance, the Traffic Message Channel and an ‘Eco' route finder setting aimed at maximising fuel economy.
Connect is also standard on Tekna models, along with part leather trim, reversing sensors, folding door mirrors and Nissan's pioneering Intelligent Key, which offers genuine keyless entry and starting so long as the driver is in possession of the key fob.
The one area where NOTE has not been changed is its practicality. It has more interior space than many ‘larger' rivals and offers a truly versatile interior. The rear bench slides fore and aft by an impressive 160mm to increase luggage space or rear leg room as required. On all but the Visia version, the luggage area has a false floor covered by twin steel-frame boards. Capable of carrying loads of up to 50kgs, the Flexi-Boards hide a secret compartment in which valuable items can be carried out of sight.
With the board removed altogether, luggage space rises from 280 litres (VDA) to 380 litres or, with the seat slid forward, to 437 litres. With the seats folded, load volume increases to 1,332 litres.
The boards are also reversible, with carpet on one side and an easy-to-clean waterproof surface on the other, and they can also be positioned vertically to prevent items from shifting during the journey.
"NOTE remains one of the most practical and versatile family cars available," says Vincent Wijnen, Nissan's European Vice President of Marketing. "The 2011 model year changes will help keep it at the sharp end of the sales charts while the special version offers remarkable levels of equipment at an equally remarkable price."