A history lesson…
Nissan was once seen as a slightly boring manufacturer, producing reliable if bland facsimiles of much more innovative models from its rivals. But in the last decade it has finally awoken from its slumber of mediocrity and come up with the goods.
The Nissan Note is a good example of how far it has come. It first appeared at the 2004 Paris Motor Show, but didn't get its official release until 2006.
The used Nissan Note for sale is a tall, quirky looking mini-MPV which gives you plenty of room on the inside and a suitably elevated driving position so that you can survey the road ahead without feeling like you are inside a cramped family cube.
There are technological elements shared by the Note and the Renault Modus, but this model from the Japanese firm is bigger and better, with more leg room in the rear and plenty of happy customers still enjoying their model today.
Strong sales followed, so by now you can expect to find plenty of good quality used models on the market. A second generation Nissan Note for sale went on sale in the summer of 2012, although its newness means that second hand examples are rare.
Bang for your buck
As well as offering a spacious interior, the used Nissan Note has all the expected flexibility when it comes to seating arrangements. You can slide the rear bench about or fold the seats flat to increase the capacity.
Nissan has even integrated a two tier boot, which has a second level beneath the immediately obvious top layer. This allows you to put your expensive items out of sight when you are away from the car and could prove to be invaluable for families that like to travel.
On the outside the Note is modestly stylish, with a friendly-looking front end giving way to a more aggressive and angular back.
Nissan makes its interiors stand out with unusual dash layouts and the use of colour schemes that you might not find anywhere else. The results can divide opinions, but you'll definitely know when you hop onboard a Note.
What you'll pay
Early 2006 model second hand Nissan Notes are now on sale for between £3000 and £4000 if you're happy with the base model S trim with a 1.4 litre engine. You'll pay £675 or so more if you want the SE iteration, which has more kit to offer.
1.6 litre Note cars for sale are more common than their lower powered siblings and if you want the top tier SVE trim then prices start from £4125.
Those who would prefer to drive a diesel model will be spending about £1000 more than the petrol equivalent based on the trim level, although any Note will not cost you too much in terms of insurance thanks to all versions falling into groups 5 or 6.
What to check
Any used Nissan Note with a full service history from an approved Nissan outfit should be completely watertight when it comes to the mechanical elements. This is a reliable range that should be able to cover hundreds of thousands of miles without breaking a sweat.
Of course most used Notes will have been put through their paces in suburban environments, which means parking damage can be an issue that you want to watch out for. But as long as everything is in order then there's no need to be cautious when you buy.
The clutch for a standard Note will cost the best part of £200, while brake pads are about £45 for a pair. If the radiator needs replacing then you'll be looking to spend £175. But the reliability of the Note means that hopefully the running costs should be kept to a minimum.
How it drives
If you choose a diesel-powered version, which is advisable, the Nissan Note offers an acceptable level of performance and a comfortable ride.
While the basic 1.5 litre diesel edition doesn't have the most power in the world, it does have plenty of torque, so if you've got heavy loads to shift it should be able to get you from A to B without feeling overburdened.
There are faster and more exciting mini-MPVs out there, but the Nissan Note is the choice of anyone who wants practical fun.