Despite the all-new Nissan Note's additions of much technology and a very pointy face, the faintly depressing mini MPV sector is still just that - faintly depressing. The compensating virtues here are practicality and economy - it'll seat five adults, it does 60.1mpg, and it costs £11,900 . But that, and a decent-sized boot (325 litres, 411 litres with the rear bench slid forward), is where our praise ends.
The 1.2-litre 12-valve 3cyl is prodigiously slow. It produces just 78bhp and 81lb ft of torque, which isn't enough. Fully laden with a weekend's worth of humans and oddments, consumption drops by a third, not helped by the fact that any extended uphill sections require a downshift. And bear in mind that, at just 1,036kg, this is not a heavy car.
There's also bad news inside. Half of the instrument binnacle reflects onto the windscreen, an oversight made all the more irritating at night because the lighting changes from green when you're cruising, to blue when you're accelerating. A feature just as aggravating in its own right.
That said, in its price range, the only real competition is the equally joyless £11,695 Honda Jazz. The Note isn't so much better, rather slightly less worse. We'd suggest saving an extra £1,500 for the tolerable Ford B-Max.
Verdict: Underpowered, with several annoying features. Our considered advice is that you save up and buy a B-Max instead.
Stats: 1198cc 3cyl petrol, FWD, 78bhp, 81lb ft 60.1mpg, 109g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 13.7secs, 105mph, 1036kg, £11,900