Driving Report: Nissan Note 1.2 DIG-S

Hardly larger than a small car, but as much space as a mid-size sedan. This is roughly the claim of mini vans. And even if the current note shares the platform with the small car Nissan Micra and is just as short, it wants to be more. And he offers. The high roof and the steep rear end make the note a mini van.

Braked temper, increased joy in charging

Nissan Note 1.2 DIG-S

There is simply no getting around the “little saved” engine. Downsizing has long been part of everyday life. And actually Nissan has a very interesting 1.2 liter turbo four-cylinder in its range. But there is still a special way for the Nissan Note, a 1.2 liter three-cylinder with supercharging. The three-cylinder with an on-going compressor is a solution that Nissan has had for three years. However, the 1.2 liter turbo four-cylinder with its 115 hp is a very fresh engine and could even be used in the Nissan Qashqai, the much larger one Crossover, convince. Can the 98 hp note with its special compressor solution also impress?

I save myself long speeches: No. The three-cylinder with its compressor, which only turns on at 1.600 revolutions, leaves an ambivalent impression. He looks tired and constricted and only when you keep the note happy with revs, something like real draft develops. But was that to be expected otherwise? Yes, but only if you know the 1.2 liter turbo four-cylinder from Nissan. Sure, the Note manages with its three pots, but there would be space for a fourth cylinder. If you only drive the Note, you won't know that there is a better engine on the Nissan shelf, and that's a good thing. Because of course you can come to terms with the 98 HP supercharged engine. You should only avoid the ECO button behind the gear knob, because then the Note will finally run out of air even with a compressor.


The space available in the Nissan Note is impressive. For the first row, especially for Europe, Nissan has swapped the seats and is responding to the high demands in our latitudes. With sufficient seat depth and backrests that also provide support in the shoulder area, the rating stands out from other competitors in the segment. But it gets really princely in the second row. The optional “Family Pack” includes, among other things, a rear bench seat that can be moved in length, with which more space can be allocated to either luggage or rear passengers. With a maximum depth of 640 mm, this creates legroom for the second row, which will impress even full-fledged chauffeur-driven limousines.

Nissan Note 08 DIG-S driving report test

Security for everyone!

Nissan brings with the new note a wealth of fine security details in the class of compact mini-vans and also has a sexy name ready:

Nissan Safety Shield

Based on the Around View Monitor (I wrote an idea of ​​the system for the Nissan Qashqai at the time) Nissan has further expanded the system. The four cameras of the AVM system were strategically installed at the outer points. A camera in the radiator grille, one under the exterior mirrors and one at the rear, overlooks the entire area around the new Note. From these four live images, Nissan compiles a 360 ° all-round view in the 5.8 ″ navigation display. Theoretically - and also practically tested by me - the vehicle can now be maneuvered purely from this bird's eye view.

In the package of the Safety Shield, the AVM and its four cameras now have:

  • Blind Spot Warning 
  • Lane Departure Warning
  • Moving Object Detection

With the Blind Spot Warning Nissan now uses the rear camera to turn the blind spot into a danger-free zone. A glowing yellow symbol in the mirror shows when you want to change lanes while flashing, but the “blind spot” is not free.

The Lane Departure Warning The system is a novelty in this class and is also implemented via the rear camera. While the system still works relatively well on extensive motorways - no two vehicles with the same system are allowed to come across on interurban roads - not if the drivers sleep in it and blindly rely on the system. But, as the saying goes: In the end, the driver always decides anyway. The Japanese manufacturer deserves praise for the “next step” in the democratization of “assistance systems”.

Moving Object Detection: Probably the most useful detail in the new Note's security package. The cameras of the AVM system (which is always included in the Safety Shield package!) Detect movements around the vehicle up to a speed of 8 km / h. Playing children, animals or even rolling boxes that suddenly stand in a parking lot where they weren't a few seconds before. With the wide-angled (180 °) cameras of the AVM system, Nissan gives the driver an extra portion of “safety”.

Nissan Note 38 DIG-S driving report test

test consumption

[tabgroup] [tab title = ”Everyday Driver”] Downsizing has only one goal: to save fuel. The Compressor Note achieves this goal only to a limited extent. While the standard values ​​are just under the 5 liter limit (5.1), the everyday consumption in my test is more likely to be 6.5 liters. [/ tab] [tab title = ”Eco-Expert”] If you drive emphatically defensive, you can manage it to 5.4 liters swiftly heaves through the wind, which also reaches an average of 7.6 liters. [/ tab] [/ tabgroup]

The Nissan Note can do this well:

Nissan has put a lot of effort into the new note. You can tell at every corner. The test car in Dark Metallic Gray stands neatly on the road. Looks mature and solid. The optional “Invitation Sport Package” gives the DIG-S Note an extra roof spoiler, a modified radiator grille, a kind of carbon-look diffuser and 16-inch alloy wheels. That is almost a little “too much”. But hey who likes it.

The functional interior, the clever safety features and the manageable economical engine, together with the attractive price, make for just such an offer on the compact van market.

Family daddies, kindergarten mums and even seniors are likely to benefit from the practical side of the note be convinced.

The Nissan Note is less good at this:

Not only is the 1.2 DIG-S's engine noise almost absent, its dynamics are also neglected in many cases. The 90 HP diesel engine with 1.5 liter displacement and classic four-cylinder provides a remedy. It is much more present in the interior, but its early application and a good 50 Nm higher torque makes driving much more enjoyable.

Nissan Note 47 DIG-S driving report test

What I have missed:

Modern headlamp technology at the front. Once again, Nissan equips its compact class with H4 headlights. This is surprising inasmuch as the rear LED taillights are used.


At the end...

Practical space glider

Between Nissan Micra and Nissan Juke, the note of the practitioner is on offer from the increasingly European brand from Japan. The 1.2 DIG-S has its talents, but moving the note quickly from A to B is not necessarily one of them. The rest of the package fits!


The vehicle registration:
Type:Note 1.2 DIG-S Tekna
Class:B segment, mini van
Transmission:5G manually
Drive:front-wheel drive
displacement:1.1 cc
Power / power (electric motor):98 hp / -
Torque: / Torque (E-Motor):147 Nm / -
Weight ready to drive:1.155 kg
From 0 to 100:12.2 s
Top speed .:172 km / h
Consumption (NEDC):5.1 liter
CO2 output (NEDC):119 g / km
Emission Class:EU 5
CW value:-
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