2009 Nissan Note

While in America new families often flock to minivans or CUVs for their transportation needs, Europeans have traditionally made do with smaller hatchbacks such as the Honda Fit, or mini MPVs like the Opel Meriva. Also competing in that category is the Nissan Note, which was introduced in 2004 for the Japanese market and made its way to Europe beginning in 2006. At 160-in. long, 66.5-in. wide, and 61-in. tall, the Note is shorter, narrower, and only a bit taller than a Volkswagen Golf, with a longer wheelbase. But after four years on the market the Note is starting to get a bit long in the tooth, so Nissan is unveiling an updated version that will go on sale as a 2009 model.

Changes to the Note are numerous, including an all-new front end and revised taillights, new 15 and 16-in. alloy wheels, and a new pale green paint option called Cider. In an appeal to buyers who want a little more performance in their compact people mover, Nissan has also retuned the Note's suspension to improve responsiveness and revised its gearbox ratios. Currently the Note is available with four different engines, 1.4L and 1.6L gas units making 87-hp and 108-hp, respectively, along with two versions of a 1.5L turbo-diesel good for 67-hp and 85-hp. For 2009 Nissan is offering two new eco-friendly powertrain options in the form of a new 1.5L dCi diesel and 1.4L gas mill, both with lower CO2 emissions.

Inside the 2009 Note boasts a new instrument panel, center console, as well as Nissan's new Connect infotainment system, which uses a touch-screen interface to control the audio (with USB input), Bluetooth communication, and navigation functions in a single unit. Available as a 2009 model, the revised Nissan Note will arrive in European showrooms soon.