With features like lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and moving object detection bundled into its Safety Shield suite, Nissan touts the Versa Note as among the safer vehicles on the road. And to highlight that, the Japanese automaker has taken its diminutive hatchback Zorbing.
Nissan's Nismo performance division has been getting more chances to shine recently with tuned models like the Juke Nismo RS and GT-R Nismo. But its latest creation moves closer to the bottom of the Japanese brand's lineup to make a hot hatch out of the (Versa) Note.
Washing the car is an activity like mowing the lawn that some people love and others find to be an absolute chore. For the latter group, Nissan may have an answer. Nissan is testing a nano-paint coating that could make the car wash a very infrequent place to visit.
On December 1, Zydrunas Savickas, a five-time World's Strongest Man champion, pulled 12 Nissan Notes (the equivalent to our Versa Note) weighing 28,530 pounds over 16.4 feet in 32.9 seconds. The feat, performed in Lithuania at the end of the country's Car of the Year test camp, was enough to secure him the Guinness world record for "Most Cars Pulled By One Man."
The Note, along with its new "Squash Line," is an important car for Nissan, demonstrated by the big show the company put on for the little B-segment hatchback. Having done well with the Note so far since its introduction as a 2006 model, the revamped global five-door has taken the lead in providing design cues for other models, like our Versa hatchback.
The second-generation Nissan Note mini MPV debuted in Japan today, featuring a more dramatic design. Nissan is calling the car's deep character line a "Squash Line," perhaps because it looks like someone squashed the side of the car with the prow of a kayak.
For 2012, the funky little Nissan Note is getting some upgrading for its top two trims, the oddly named Acenta and N-TEC+, while the Note lineup itself is getting some downsizing. Outside, the Acenta sits on 16-inch wheels now and gets "chrome-effect" caps on the side-view mirrors and around the front fog lights. Inside, items like climate control and automatic headlights are standard, as is a blue cross-stitching on the seats for "a more premium feel."
The Nissan Note was the smallest of the "big" cars we sampled at Nissan 360. Sold in -- yet again -- Europe and Japan only, the English-built Note hatchback has been on the market for just a year. The car is aimed at "parents who need a practical five-seater," and the inside of the car feels like it's custom made to handle bouncing, throwing, stomping little ones. The front seatbacks even have little tray tables with cupholders in them. It's like coach class, but actually enjoyable.