Nissan Note (2013 – 2016) Review

Nissan Note (2013 – 2016) At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
The Nissan Note is practical and has a roomy cabin, but it’s let down by a dull drive, and the material quality is distinctly average.

+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 decent level of legroom and headroom and a spacious luggage area, but in a car not much longer than a Ford Fiesta. It all seems fine, until you examine cabin quality, which is not its strong suit. Read on for our full Nissan Note review.

The Nissan Note is 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. All very useful.

Unfortunately, it’s not all good news. The cabin is finished in a dull, hard plastic that doesn’t match the soft-touch material you get in European rivals. Furthermore, some of the best gear, like the sliding rear bench, wasn’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, refinement isn’t great – gearboxes can be heard whining, engines are a little gruff, and wind noise is noticeable at motorway speeds. When you can have a Ford B-MAX, or the excellent Honda Jazz, for similar money in the used market, it makes you question why you’d pick the Nissan.

There were two petrol engines to choose from – a 1.3-litre three-cylinder petrol with 80PS, and from December 2013 a more powerful, supercharged version with 98PS.

There was also a 1.5-litre dCi diesel with 90PS.

All offer decent, if not scintillating, performance, paired with reasonable fuel economy.

Four trim levels were initially offered – Visia, Acenta, Acenta Premium and Tekna – joined later by a Black Edition.

Even the entry-level model has a decent level of standard kit, but those who want the best technology will need a higher trim version.

Fancy a second opinion? Read heycar’s Nissan Note review.

Ask Honest John

Will a broken DRL be an MoT failure?

"One DRL light is out, will this cause a fail for an MoT? It's on a 2013 Nissan Note."
No, the car will not fail the MoT. Daytime running lamps are only inspected on cars first used on or after 1 March 2018.
Answered by David Ross

Best small car with a big boot?

"Can you suggest a small car with a boot, capable of taking a golf bag and electric trolley?"
We could do with a budget to be specific, but check out the Nissan Note or Honda Jazz as two small cars with larger-than-average boots.
Answered by Lawrence Allan

How can I find out the service schedule for a Nissan Note?

"My wife's Nissan Note used to be serviced by a Nissan dealer but since our nearest one went into receivership, we need to use our local garage. Unfortunately, neither the service book nor the manual contains the service schedule. In fact there are blank pages where it should be. I have Googled it and can find only limited information. Can you help please with where I can find the information so I can request from the garage what work we need doing? Last year we just had the oil and filter replaced but now we are using the vehicle more, after little use during Covid, we think we should get a more thorough service."
It seems very odd that the previous Nissan dealer did not update the service schedule in the book. Perhaps try ringing a different Nissan dealer (or Nissan's general Customer Services line) to see if they have access to a national dealer database for service history?
Answered by Lawrence Allan

What causes rapid tyre wear?

"I have a 2016 Nissan Note that’s only done 14,400 miles and the two front tyres have almost reached their end. Surely this is not normal life span for a tyre? Can you suggest what may be the cause, and what should I do before I replace them? "
There are a number of factors that can accelerate tyre wear. Incorrectly inflated tyres is common. If the car is left standing for long periods outside then the tyres will lose air over time. If you drive the car with underinflated tyres it will increase rolling resistance and generate more heat, which will shorten the life cycle of the tread.
Answered by Dan Powell
More Questions

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