It was supplied as a lease car, and I was disappointed when I saw it, as I'd enjoyed my Corolla 1.6 so much.
The interior seemed more utilitarian, and there was little space between the front seats. The stereo was very basic, but it has effective aircon that keeps it cool in the summer, and mist free in the winter. The front cupholders are near to useless, as they will only take a child-sized cup.
Visibility is great, you seem to sit high in the car. Very maneuverable, easy to get in and out of, and to park too.
Rear seats slide forward and backward to give either more legroom or more boot space. The boot is quite modest in size really. Seats are comfortable and the driving position good, although it doesn't allow for a lot of adjustment.
My daughter liked the seat-back fold up tables and cupholders!
So I was led to believe this odd shaped vehicle is a kind of stretched Micra...
It's nothing of the sort. The engine is really responsive, as is (unusually for an auto) the gearbox. You put your foot down, and you find yourself in the comparatively wide power band, and pulling strongly. The engine even has quite a nice sound.
The suspension feels a little lumpy around town over pot-holed roads, but when you get to a corner - this little beast just hangs on and drives round. There's a fair amount of roll, but the suspension is supple and gives you gentle understeer on the limit, when the whole thing can be tempted into a four wheel slide.
It is a forgiving, fun car to drive. The brakes are good enough for the performance of the car, and will bring it to a stop as quickly as you like. The tyres are not low profile, but give plenty of grip, and also aid the car's 'chuckable' forgiving nature.
When you're giving it a bit of welly, the engine is quite noisy, but ease off and the cabin is quieter on the motorway at 90 than say a 00-06 Civic, yet can keep up with the traffic better due to the pokier engine. If you compare the figures, there's nothing between these vehicles, but the Nissan is a driver's, rather than a duffer's car. I have owned both.
And the biggest surprise to me was that no matter how heavy my foot got, it never returned worse than 30mpg. This is probably just as well, given the Note has a smaller tank than a Civic.
This is the most fun-to-drive small hatchback you can get.