2008 Nissan Note Review

This time I am reviewing my Fiancee’s Nissan Note.  This is the top of the range Tekna spec with
the 1.6 16 valve engine.

The Note from the outside looks quite long, tall and
narrow and you might expect it to drive much like a van.  Once inside however and on the road you find
that the Note handles like a car and the higher than most driving position is
comfortable and offers a great view of the road all round.  The wheelbase is long with the wheels right
into each corner which makes for great stability and a massive amount of
useable space inside.

The Tekna comes with automatic lighting and wiper
systems, alloy wheels, part leather trim, privacy glass, climate control, front
fog lights, flex board system, underseat storage, cooled glovebox, 6 disc CD
changer, auxiliary input and Bluetooth handsfree.

The Tekna has sport seats with part leather trim.  The drivers seat is adjustable for angle,
height and reach.  Annoyingly for this
driver the height and angle adjustment are combined so you can sit high but
with the seat angled downwards or sit low with the seat angled up.  There is also no lumbar adjustment which
could be a problem for some.  The drivers
seat does get a fold down armrest.  The
steering wheel is adjustable for height though if you have hand controls fitted
then this necessitates the removal of the adjustment lever so it would be
important to set the height before the adaptation installer gets their hands on
it.

Speaking of adaptations our Note is fitted with Cowal
Mobility push/pull accelerator/brake, Alfred Bekker steering wheel spinner and
Alfred Bekker easy release handbrake.
These were all installed by KC Mobility in Batley who, as ever, have
done a good neat job which works perfectly.

The rear seat is adjustable too – it will slide backwards
or forwards to give either more legroom or a larger boot space.  With it fully in the rear position there are
almost limo like levels of legroom in the back.
The limo theme continues with the rear privacy glass, keeping the rear
cool and kids protected from glare.  The
windows themselves are also large giving passengers a good view of the outside.  The rear seat can be moved from within the
passenger compartment or from the boot and with passengers in place if you are
strong enough!

Again for the rear passengers there are fold out trays to
hold snacks or toys etc and which also contain drinks holders.  There are large storage nets on the back of
the front seats for books and magazines, there is a central fold out armrest
and 3 headrests.  A word of advice though
– if you have kids and plan to use the rear trays to hold food items on a long
journey it might be worthwhile getting some of those gripper mats that hold
items in place on a car dashboard – the trays have a small lip on them but
items still slide about and off whilst driving…..!

The front passenger seat contains a storage box under the
seat base which is billed as a secure hiding space for valuables but as we all
know you should never leave valuables in the car – thieves do know these
supposed secret hiding spaces too!  The
front passenger gets a decent amount of legroom.

Storage up front consists of a large glovebox, which in
this spec level is cooled by the air conditioning when needed.  On the front of the glovebox is a large slot
with a deep hole which is perfect for storing books or paperwork or a Blue
badge.  In the centre console is a large
space with 2 cupholders and beside the drivers seat behind the handbrake is a
small slot perfect for storing your mobile phone.  There is also a useful shelf on top of the
dashboard which runs the whole width of the car.

The Tekna spec in car entertainment consists of a 6 disc
in dash CD changer with radio and auxiliary input, so you can connect your iPod
or other device which has a 3.5mm headphone jack.  It also includes a Bluetooth handsfree system
which routes calls to your mobile through the car sound system.  This system also displays the caller details
on the dashboard and has a microphone just above the interior mirror.  The phone and sound system can be controlled
from the steering wheel.  One noticeable
downside of the sound system is that it does sound a bit tinny and quite nasty
at higher volumes.

The boot has a large, square opening and on the Tekna
model has the flex board system.  This
consists of 2 boards which form a “false” boot floor level with the rear bumper
so there is no lip.  These boards are
carpeted on one side while on the other there is a waterproof wipe clean
surface.  The boards can be removed
completely to reveal more space underneath (as well as the handle to move the
rear seat) and there are recesses in the “real” floor to hold them there.  The spare wheel and tools are underneath this
“real” floor.

Visibility from the driving position is good, even with a
full load of passengers.  The Note is
easy to position and manoeuvre. This makes parking easy in tight spaces.  Overtaking is easy with the 1.6 and when
hitting the kickdown the engine does have a bit of a growl to it and pulls the
car forwards at quite a pace.

Whilst the Note is good in the city and suburbs it is
also versatile and is comfortable and powerful enough to cope with longer
journeys.  One downside though is that
the 1.6 can be noisy at motorway speeds – a point that has been noticed by
other reviewers.

As regards accessibility the Note’s high driving seat can
make access and egress for some easier, the door opening for all doors is wide
and the boot (contrary to Ricability’s report) will take a folding wheelchair
with the rear seats in the upright position.
A rigid chair will also go in with the rear wheels removed and the
backrest folded down.  The only thing
that is necessary to achieve this is to take the flex boards out, place them on
the floor, remove the parcel shelf and slide the rear seat forwards.  This still gives adequate legroom for rear
seat passengers.

What do you think?

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