Nissan Note (2013 – 2016) Review

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Nissan Note (2013 – 2016) At A Glance


+Practical design and spacious cabin. Reasonably comfortable. Clear instrument binnacle. Some clever technology on upper grades

-Not very good to drive. Refinement isn't great. Material quality could be better.

Insurance Groups are between 6–11
On average it achieves 72% of the official MPG figure

The Nissan Note follows a very Japanese formula, maximising the use of space in a small package. It’s designed to seat four or even five adults in comfort, with a good level of leg and head room and a spacious luggage area, but in a car not much longer than a Ford Fiesta.

It’s full of clever ideas like a sizeable under floor storage area in the boot and a rear bench seat that can be moved forward and backward depending on how much legroom or load space is required. There’s a double floor in the boot, too, which gives more load space when it’s in the lower position or sits flush with the load lip to aid in loading bulky, heavy items.

Unfortunately it’s not all good news for the Note. The cabin is finished in a dull, hard touch plastic that while hardwearing is not as plush as the soft-touch material you get in European rivals. Furthermore some of the best gear, like the sliding rear bench, isn't offered on base models.

On top of that the driving experience isn’t enjoyable – the steering feels disconnected and the gearchange isn’t very accurate. Additionally the refinement isn’t great – gearboxes can be heard whining, engines are a little gruff and wind noise is noticeable at motorway speeds. 

There are two engines from launch – a 1.3-litre three-cylinder petrol with 80ps and a 1.6-litre dCi diesel with 90ps. Both offer decent if not scintillating performance, paired with reasonable fuel economy. From December 2013 the range is joined by a more powerful, supercharged version of the petrol engine with 98ps. Four trim levels are offered – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna. The entry level model has a decent level of standard gear but those who want the best technology will need a higher trim level.

Road Test Nissan Note 2013 Range

Road Test Nissan Note 1.2 DIG-S Acenta Premium

Looking for a Nissan Note (2013 - 2016)?
Register your interest for later or request to be contacted by a dealer to talk through your options now.

Real MPG average for a Nissan Note (2013 – 2016)


Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

28–78 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

Satisfaction Index

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Ask Honest John

What's the best used, small, automatic car?
"I'm looking to buy a used, automatic, small car for my 22-year-old son. It will be his first car and our budget is £3000 - £4000. Ideally it will be a low insurance group, but I mostly want you to recommend the best alternatives in terms of smooth automatic transmissions."
As you've probably discovered, finding a good automatic gearbox in a small car for that budget is tricky. A Nissan Note would be a sensible choice and there's a number around to choose from, although might not be considered cool enough for a 22-year-old depending on whether he's bothered about such things. A Ford Fiesta would also be good and might be considered a little trendier. Hunt out a 2009 model for your budget.
Answered by Andrew Brady
An electrical part supplied by Nissan failed after five months - are Nissan liable?
"The heater resistor pack on my Nissan Note failed and was replaced by my local Nissan garage for £172. The part supplied consists of two parts, the resistor and heat sink, and the wires and plug that go into it. The wires are soldered onto the stubs of the old wires. However they couldn't fit it quickly as it was February and I needed the car, so I got a local auto electrician to fit it. The wires on the part that was supplied by Nissan have not been properly crimped and set up a point of high resistance. The resulting heat has caused the plug to fail after five months. My second auto electrician sees no problem with the workmanship. The damage is consistent with high contact resistance. The garage tell me that, as they didn't fit it and Nissan don't take electrical parts back, they are unable to refund the money. What are my options?"
You would need to prove that the part was fitted correctly. But you could then take the supplier of the resistor (whoever you bought it from, not Nissan) to Small Claims:
Answered by Honest John
What is a fair price to have air con re-gassed?
"Is £600 a fair charge to have the air conditioning re-gassed on a three year old Nissan Note? The condenser needed renewing, but the main cost was £300 for the gas."
Definitely not. The reason is an EU Directive that forced Nissan to use R1234YF refrigerant instead of R134a. The new gas is highly prone to leaking, is highly flammable and costs five times as much as R124a. Questions need to be asked of the EU as to why it succumbed to the lobbying that led to the imposition of this new gas. They will probably claim 'the Paris Agreement' for which hundreds of delegates from all over the World jetted into Paris creating more air pollution than switching from R134a to R1234YF in vehicles will reduce over a period of 20 years.
Answered by Honest John
How often does the pollen filter in a Nissan Note N-Tec 1.4 need changing?
"How often does the pollen filter in a Nissan Note N-Tec 1.4 need changing?"
Every year if you want a decent supply of fresh air in the cabin of the car. If it isn't changed often enough, it will be trying to pull air through a blocked vent and cause the heater fan resistor to overheat and fail.
Answered by Honest John

What does a Nissan Note (2013 – 2016) cost?