Nissan’s capacious family hatchback, the NOTE, now offers even greater variety with the debut of a new special edition and the introduction of a more powerful diesel engine into the mix.
Offering supreme value-for money and packed with practical and easy to use additional features, the new five-strong Acenta S line-up slots in between Acenta and the top of the range Tekna grades and starts from £11,995.
The punchy new diesel meanwhile is a higher output variant of the same 1.5 dCi engine currently on offer in NOTE, boosting power from 86 to 103 PS, and available in both Acenta S and Tekna; prices are £14,245 and £14,995 respectively, an increase of £1150 over the 86 PS engine.
Making the grade
Taking over from Acenta R, the new Acenta S is packed with even more kit and carries a premium of just £400 over the standard Acenta grade. For that you get a nicely regulated cabin environment thanks to standard climate control air conditioning, plus a 6 CD autochanger with auxiliary jack to hook up an MP3 player to get the best from your music collection.
Convenience comes in the shape of Nissan’s Intelligent Key, providing automatic locking and unlocking so long as you’ve popped the key into your pocket or bag. Automatic headlamps and wipers – including operation of the rear wiper whenever reverse is engaged in the rain – make for an even more relaxing drive.
Inside, the unique trim is predominantly silver, with contrasting circular black inserts on the outer bolsters of both the seat back and base; complementing it are door linings featuring silver inserts with black surrounds.
Moving to the outside, Acenta S comes in a choice of four vibrant colours: Blade (Silver), Pearl Black or Intense Blue metallics or a Flame Red solid; door handles and mirrors are body coloured.
These features come on top of Acenta’s standard spec which includes 15 inch alloys, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls, trip computer, the unique flexi-board boot storage system, six airbags and active front head restraints, front seat storage nets and foldaway tables, secret storage under the front passenger seat, front and rear electric windows, rear sliding seats, friendly lighting and a cooled glovebox. Acenta’s heated mirrors also have an additional electric folding function on the Acenta S.
Acenta S is offered with all four engine options – 1.4 and 1.6-litre petrol and 86 PS and 103 PS 1.5 dCi diesel engines – while the 1.6 can also be specified with an automatic transmission.
Delivering a useful performance boost but with minimal impact on frugality, the latest 1.5 dCi engine produces 103 PS at 4000 rpm, up from the 86 PS at 3750 rpm of its less powerful sibling. Torque gets a useful increase from 200 Nm at 1900 rpm to 240 Nm at 2000 rpm for enhanced flexibility. On the road, the benchmark 0 to 62 mph figure drops from 13 to 11.1 seconds while top speed increases from 104 to 112 mph.
At 55.4 mpg combined, compared to the 86 PS engine’s 57.6 mpg, economy drops only marginally, while CO2 emissions rise only slightly, from 129 g/km to 136 g/km. And the diesel particle filter (DPF) fitted as standard on the 103 PS engine considerably reduces particulate emissions.
The higher output doesn’t spoil the serenity of the NOTE’s cabin either; the decibels are kept to a minimum by the careful application of extra sound proofing around the dash, in the engine bay and beneath the floor. So effective is it, that noise levels during acceleration easily match the best in class.
A new six-speed manual gearbox makes the most of the new engine’s flexibility, providing long-legged and refined cruising ability. Its smooth action comes courtesy of triple cone synchromesh on first and second, while synchromesh on reverse allows engagement even when the car is moving slowly.
The Acenta S range and the new diesel models are available to order from the second week of July.