The Nissan Note is a compact 5-door hatchback multi-purpose vehicle first produced in 2004.
Nissan Note Design and Introduction
The first sight of the Nissan Note came as the Nissan Tone concept car, unveiled at the 2004 Paris Motor Show. The production version began production later that year, and was first sold in early 2005 in Japan. A European Nissan Note variant was released in 2006, sharing some components with the Renault Modus to cut costs. It was built on the Nissan B platform and was a 5-door hatchback with a fairly long 102.4-inch wheelbase. The design was fairly square with an elongated, sloping front end and a tall rear. This maximized interior cargo space. Four engine choices were available in the Note, with three inline-4 gasoline versions ranging from 1.4L to 1.6L and a 1.5L turbodiesel inline-4. The trim levels used different monikers depending on the country sold in, with European versions using the S, SE, and SVE that was later replaced with Visia, Acenta, and Tekna. In Russia, the trim levels were Comfort, Luxury, and Tekna. A small update came in 2007 to European Note models with color-matched bumpers and other small changes. The Japanese versions received an update in 2008, bringing in updated overall front end styling, increased paint choices, and many interior upgrades such as black upholstery with red stitching.
Second Generation Changes
In 2012, the second generation Nissan Note began production, built on the Nissan V platform. It was to be sold as the Nissan Versa Note in the North American markets. The styling received a large overhaul, using more rounded shape with increased aerodynamic qualities and a more modern, sleek appearance. The engine choices included a 1.2L inline-3, a 1.6L inline-4, and a 1.5L diesel. In 2017, a 1.2L inline-3 engine was paired with a 96 kW electric motor shared with the Nissan Leaf to bring a e-Power hybrid version to the market. Notes sold in Japan met the government regulations around engine displacement and overall dimensions to provide customers significant road tax savings.
Third Generation Nissan Note Updates
In 2020, the third generation Note hit the market, moving to the Renault-Nissan CMF-B HS platform. It has moved to an exclusively hybrid platform design, using a 1.2L inline-3 gasoline engine paired with up to two electric motors. The front motor was either 85 kW or 100 kW while the rear was a 50 kW motor on those where it was used. It is now built as a two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive vehicle, with the four-wheel drive model having an extra electric motor to power the rear axle. The four-wheel drive variant was released in 2021. That same year, Nissan released an upgraded Note Aura with a new front and rear end design that added improved styling. Nissan's performance division, Autech, also modified some Note models, using the four-wheel drive variants to produced 25 mm additional ground cleared with enhanced suspension and larger tires, as well as Led headlights and metal-finish side mirrors. The Nissan Note has evolved away from the standard hatchback and inches closer to the fully-electric future that many automakers are ushering in. While it is still using a hybrid powertrain, the design is made to be extremely efficient while also retaining significant capability. The most recent model still has similar overall proportions compared to the initial generations, but the overall look has been greatly improved to create a stylish city car that is also capable of handling slick roads thanks to its four-wheel drive capability.