Discontinued in Europe at the beginning of 2017, the Nissan Note represents the company's best-selling car in the domestic market Japan. The third-generation model is making its debut today, having been originally teased in late May when Nissan previewed all of its future products planned under the Nissan NEXT global business transformation plan.
The all-new model maintains the part minivan part hatchback recipe and adopts what Nissan refers to as the Timeless Japanese Futurism design language. We're seeing Ariya cues here and there for an exterior design thoroughly more modern compared to the eight-year-old outgoing model. While most cars get bigger with the generation switch, the new Note is actually 55 millimeters (2.1 inches) shorter and its wheelbase has been cut by 20 millimeters (0.8 inches).
We're pleasantly surprised Nissan has released images of a lower-spec trim level with glorious 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps and halogen headlights whereas the more expensive ones have 16-inch alloys with a sword blade-like design and four-point LED headlights. There are 13 colors to choose from, including a couple of two-tone finishes.
Even though it has a smaller footprint than its predecessor, the overhauled Note appears to offer a great deal of legroom for rear passengers as a result of switching to the new CMF-B underpinnings. The interior has been redesigned from the ground up and brought up to date with a digital instrument cluster and a large tablet-style infotainment.
The cabin has practically nothing in common with the previous generation and incorporates modern tech like wireless charging and an electric parking brake. Those "Zero Gravity" seats look quite comfy, while the rear ones recline depending on whether you want more room for passengers or to carry cargo.
There won't be a conventionally powered Note as all versions are electrified. The base model adopts a hybrid setup with a naturally aspirated 1.2-liter gasoline engine that serves as a generator to power an electric motor and a lithium-ion battery. Nissan isn't saying how much power the system develops, but Japanese media is reporting the vehicle now offers 114 horsepower (85 kilowatts) and 280 Newton-meters (207 pound-feet) of torque.
At the same time, the engineers have slimmed down the hybrid setup by reducing weight and size. The Note also gets a pure electric variant with all-wheel drive thanks to one electric motor powering the front axle and another motor for the rear wheels.
The new Note will go on sale in Japan from December 23 and is going to carry a starting price of 2,029,500 JPY ($19,500) for the base trim with front-wheel drive.