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A WEEK off work over Christmas gave me a great opportunity to test the Note at what it does best – city driving.
The Nissan is a great city car as it’s easy to handle, fits neatly into tight parking spaces and has light power steering.
I had several present drops and more than a handful of trips to the supermarket and the Note swallowed everything it was asked to with ease.
The sliding rear seat bench was permanently slid forward to give extra boot space, while the compartment under the load floor (see picture right) was used to accommodate extra loads.
This is the Note’s USP, and part of Nissan’s grand plan to make its cars more appealing to younger buyers by offering adaptible interiors.
The Note is a big car for its class, as is its big brother – the forthcoming Qashqai, which helps Nissan build in this versatility. With younger user-choosers a key target market for Nissan, the Note’s interior, and its high level of build quality, is a big selling point.
My motorway miles dwindled over the Christmas holiday, which has affected my fuel consumption. The Note has been on more city and B-road trips than longer journeys.
Before the break, I was beating Nissan’s combined figure – the first time in four years I have had a higher economy figure than the official manufacturer’s quote – but a few days of city driving saw the figure drop by almost 5mpg. I’m now on 41.2mpg, compared with Nissan’s figure of 44.8mpg combined.
However, that figure is slowly starting to creep up again now that I’m back to my daily A-road commute, giving the Note more time in top gear rather than constantly stop-starting.
But these longer journeys have highlighted how firm the seats are. After a recent 200-mile journey I was thankful to get out of the car for a break.
I’ve had several passengers also comment on how uncomfortable they are.
I’m not sure if it’s the position I have my seat in, but it will be interesting to see how other testers get on.
The Note is definitely more at home in the hustle and bustle of urban life – a key selling point as Nissan has targeted health authority sales as a fleet target.
It would be ideal for health visitors who need an easy-to-drive car with plenty of storage space inside.
Price: £11,240 (as tested £11,615)
CO2 emissions (g/km): 150
Company car tax bill (2007): 22% tax-payer: £29 per month
Combined mpg: 44.8
Test mpg: 41.2
CAP Monitor RV: £3,750/34%
Contract hire rate : £259
Expenditure to date: Nil