First-time car owners looking for an affordable, stylish and hassle-free drive, the Nissan Note delivers exactly what you need and nothing superfluous
The true value of owning a car has never changed: They manifest in the many benefits that come with having a vehicle at your beck and call – a trip to Ikea for furniture for your new place, taking your date/significant other/kids to dinner, impromptu supper outings and more.
But in a complex world that often urges shoppers to plump for the best, fastest, and flashiest, we’re advocating something a little different for first time car buyers.
According to the richest man in the world, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, “Convenience, price and utility will never go out of style.
Good then, that we can show you a car that will never go out of style here: the compact hatchback from Nissan, the Note.
It’s good to focus on the essentials and shop with what you really need in mind, and when it’s your first ride you should look for affordability in both purchase and long-term aspects, value for money, and ease of use.
The Nissan Note resonates clearly in all these aspects and here are five very good reasons why.
1. It’s tremendous value for money…
Kicking off at $62,800 (plus COE), the Nissan Note 1.2 Lite will hurt your wallet the least – not only is it one of the most affordable cars in the compact hatchback category, it’s one of the most affordable cars on sale in Singapore full stop. In an economy where the average family sedan will set you back around $80,000 with COE, the Note delivers a lot of car for a small price tag and it’s one of the few cars in this price range that is 100 percent made in Japan.
2. …and it’s affordable in the long run too
Being able to afford a car isn’t just about the price tag, as cars also have their own operating costs in the form of insurance, road tax, fuel, and more.
The Note’s been designed to be big on features and usability, but modest when it comes to price, and that includes the long run too.
For starters, the Road Tax for the 1.2-litre Note will set you back just $508 per year – that’s savings of more than $200 over any common 1.6-litre sedan ($744/year).
As a compact car built by Nissan, drivers can also expect to pay less when it comes to both maintenance and insurance costs – if it’s easy and less expensive to repair, that’s reflected in your insurance premium of course.
It goes without saying that the Note is backed by an industry-standard five-year unlimited mileage warranty. Planning ahead for service and maintenance with Nissan is easy and will save you money too, thanks to a comprehensive menu of service plans and promotions.
If that’s not enough for you, the Note, which has a Vehicular Emissions Scheme (VES) rating of A2 ($10,000 benefit), has a very healthy fuel efficiency of 5.0L/100 km – Hurray for fewer trips to the petrol station and saving the earth too.
3. It’s very simple to drive
Driving around Singapore sometimes means navigating weird streets, badly-designed carparks, or even other road users who may park inconsiderately.
With the Nissan Note, you have far less to worry about : It measures in at a forgiving 4,100 mm in length and 1,695 mm in width, and has a tiny 5.2-metre turning radius. With its classic compact hatchback dimensions and large windows, visibility is excellent, not to mention there’s a rear-view parking camera to help you out further. In other words, with the Note, you can spend more of your time doing what you want, and less time worrying about fitting into parking lots.
The lightweight 1.2-litre engine makes 79hp, which may not sound like a tremendous amount, but consider the fact that the Note has been built with petite-ness in mind: It weighs just 1,048kg, which allied with the engine’s maximum torque of 106Nm means decent agility running around town. A Nissan Xtronic CVT takes care of everything for you choosing the optimum balance of power and efficiency in a smooth blend, all you have to do is step on the accelerator.
4. Its appearance reflects its fun nature
And when you’ve parked that Nissan Note well in record time, step outside to admire the great aesthetic choice you’ve made.
The distinctive Nissan-trademarked V-Motion grille with swept-back headlamps bolsters the ‘sportiness’ factor of the vehicle and makes it instantly recognizable, plus no one will call you “uncle” with the Note’s low roofline and flared wheel arches. If you’re looking for more, the aerodynamic and stylish tail-light should light the path well in your search.
There are 12 enticing body colours for you to choose from (examples include Brilliant White Pearl and Galaxy Gold) and these vibrant colours are well complemented by the external design of the Note. For those who want even more visual verve, there’s even an optional sporty body kit found on the Nissan Note 1.2 Sharp variant. Our test-drive model came with the optional $1,500 package that provides accented colours in and around the vehicle.
5. It makes your life easier and safer
A car should make your life better, and the Nissan Note certainly does so with a broad capability and flexibility. It may be ‘just’ a compact hatch, but the vast utility of the machine far exceeds its price tag.
The interior is simple and easy to use, with all the usual functions clustered in the centre console, it’s the opposite of overly-complex dashboards that look more like a spaceship’s than a car’s. Again, it has all of what you need, and nothing you don’t.
With 325 litres (expandable with rear seats folded) of storage space in the wide boot aperture, you can fit a range of objects, from golf-bags to baby prams.
The Note’s spaciousness is not only evident in the boot – Through some efficient and thoughtful engineering, Nissan engineers have reduced the sizes of all mechanical components in the vehicle just so their customers can sit in greater comfort. As usual, the Note gives you all of what you need – which is space in this instance – and that’s also made possible by its interior length of 2,065mm and its wheelbase of 2,600mm. There’ll be no more squabbles from the back with all that room available!
Turning becomes carefree with side mirror LED indicators on the Note since there’s ample warning for every driver on the road. It’s added safety everyone could do with and to that end, Nissan has also enriched the car with plenty of safety features, including Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Electronic Brakeforce Distribution (EBD, Hill Start Assist (HSA, no more rolling backwards!), SRS airbags and Nissan’s High-Strength Zone Body.