Car trim reviews

Nissan Note Acenta

"The Nissan Note Acenta comes with all the basic equipment you need, but little else."

The Nissan Note is a tall hatchback that faces conventional rivals like the Honda Jazz, Ford Fiesta and Vauxhall Corsa, but also has to contend with small MPVs like the Hyundai ix20 and Kia Venga. The Acenta trim is one step up from the basic Visia model, and throws in air conditioning, alloy wheels and front and rear electric windows.

The Acenta model is available with one of three engines. A 1.2-litre petrol with 79bhp, a more powerful 1.2-litre supercharged DIG-S petrol engine with 97bhp and a 1.5-litre diesel engine with 89bhp. The diesel engine offers impressive economy, as it can return up to a claimed 80.7mpg. Carbon dioxide emissions are as low as 93g/km, so road tax is free too. The petrol engines do fairly well, particularly the more powerful DIG-S model; a claimed 66mpg is still very good and emissions are under 100g/km, so it still escapes road tax. Just avoid the CVT automatic gearbox - it makes the Note slower to accelerate, less economical and noisier under acceleration too.

The Acenta trim also spawns two alternative variants. For around £500 more, you can have the Acenta Style, which includes a rear spoiler, larger 16-inch alloy wheels and an aerodynamic bodykit. For roughly £1,000 extra than the standard Acenta, the Acenta Premium throws in touchscreen satellite navigation, DAB digital radio, climate control and a very practical sliding rear seat bench. You also get automatic headlights and wipers.

Good points

Fuel economy across the range is pretty decent, with the most economical engine reaching up to a claimed 81mpg.The Note is very spacious inside. Its tall size compared to conventional hatchback rivals means it feels light and airy inside, rear passengers get decent head and legroom and there's some good storage solutions.It's also pretty easy to drive. The controls, like the steering and manual gearbox, are light and responsive.

Bad points

Interior quality isn't quite as upmarket as some rivals. Some of the plastics feel a little cheap and a few of the buttons are a little awkwardly placed.The Acenta trim misses out on some desirable equipment, including a sliding rear seat bench that can improve either total boot volume or rear passenger space. Nissan's clever Safety Shield tech is only available on the higher trims too.Boot space is decent enough, but can't beat more recent rivals like the new Honda Jazz hatchback, which offers 29 litres more.

What you get

  • Alloy wheels
  • Folding rear seats
  • Tyre pressure sensors
  • Passenger & Driver airbag
  • Front side airbags
  • Curtain airbags
  • Manual air conditioning
  • Leather steering wheel
  • Height adjustable driver's seat
  • Front electric windows
  • Single CD player
  • AUX stereo input
  • Cruise control
  • Stop/Start
  • Rear electric windows
  • Bluetooth

Our choice

The diesel engine is your best bet. A claimed fuel economy of up to 81mpg, free road tax and a decent acceleration time of 11.8 seconds means it's a better all-rounder.

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