2021 Nissan Note e-Power with 38.2 km/l mileage breaks cover

Nissan has revealed the much-awaited next-gen Note in Japan. As expected, unlike the previous generation, it’s purely an e-Power model.

Clearly evident from its sharper front end, the third generation Nissan Note embodies the same design language as the Nissan Ariya electric SUV – Timeless Japanese Futurism.

Compared to the second-gen model from September 2012, the 2021 Nissan Note is sleeker and sportier from every angle. The front fascia is reminiscent of the Nissan Ariya due to the similar design of the headlamps, grille and bumper.

On the sides, the greenhouse design has changed but not significantly. The front vent glass is narrower but taller, and it has a quadrilateral shape, while the rear quarter glass is now a triangular piece. The windows have a very similar appearance, and their large dimensions should allow excellent visibility, especially in the front, reducing blind spots.

The 2021 Nissan Note looks sportier from the rear thanks to a rakish back glass, a more tapered roofline and a roof spoiler. A welcome change is the split-type tail lamps in a horizontal layout. While the old Nissan Note has an upright rear-end, the all-new Nissan Note has a hunchback stance. Adding to the fresh and youthful design is a shark-fin antenna (replacing the old car’s micro-pole). The interior is more polished and has minimised footprint of components to free up more space.

The 2021 Nissan Note measures 4,045 mm in length, 1,695 mm in width and 1,505/1,520 mm in height. In comparison, the more MPV-looking old model was 4,100 mm long, 1,695 mm wide and 1,520 mm/1,525 mm tall. The wheelbase of the all-new model is 2,580 mm, and the old model’s same measurement was 2,600 mm.

On the outside, the 2021 Nissan Note features four-element Adaptive LED headlamps, LED fog lights, 16-inch alloy wheels and shark-fin antenna. Interior highlights include 7-inch driver information display, electric parking brake with auto hold function, wireless charger, USB Type-C charging port and 9-inch touchscreen infotainment system.

The all-new Nissan Note e-Power sits on the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance’s CMF-B platform. Its series-hybrid powertrain combines an improved HR12DE 1.2-litre engine and a new ‘EM47’ electric motor. The naturally aspirated three-cylinder petrol engine produces 82 PS (+3 PS) and 103 Nm in the new model. The new electric motor generates 116 PS and 280 Nm, compared to the old motor (EM57)’s 109 PS and 254 Nm. A 4WD configuration with a second motor isn’t available right away, but it should follow in the coming months. The fuel economy rating is as high as 38.2 km/l (JC08)/29.5 (km/l).

As for the improvements not visible in the numerical comparisons, Nissan says that it has used a new inverter that is 40% smaller and 30% lighter. The enhanced HR12DE engine operates at a lower RPM and is engaged less often during a regular drive.

Prices of the 2021 Nissan Note e-Power start at JPY 20,29,500 or INR 14.39 lakh. The 2021 Nissan Note will go on sale in Japan on 23 December 2020.

2021 Nissan Note Aspect2021 Nissan Note Specification
Length 4,045 mm
Width1,695 mm
Height1,505 mm/1,520 mm
Wheelbase2,580mm
Minimum turning radius4.9 m
Fuel tank capacity36 L
Engine1.2L in-line 3-cylinder HR12DE
Engine Power & Torque82 PS & 103 Nm
Motor modelEM47 type
Motor Power116 PS
Motor Torque280 Nm
Main featurese-Power & Propilot with Navilink
Release date23 December 2020
PriceJPY 2,029,500-2,186,800 (INR 14.39-15.50 lakh)
CompetitorsHonda Fit (Jazz) & Toyota Yaris

What is Nissan e-Power?

e-Power combines a petrol engine, electric motor and low capacity Li-Ion battery. The hybrid powertrain acts like a fully electric one and drives the wheels but doesn’t need to be charged from external sources. The battery is charged by the petrol engine and the e-Power system offers instant acceleration like an EV and provides significant savings in fuel bills. The most recent recipient of ePower tech was the Nissan Kicks in May 2020.

The Nissan Note is among the last surviving members of the mini-MPV group that had its dream crushed by the emergence of compact crossovers in the last 10 years. The mini-MPV combined the advantages of the hatchback (easy to park and easy to manoeuvre) and the MPV (higher storage volume, easy ingress and egress) but the Achilles’ heel was the boring shape or design.

The Note was launched in big markets like USA, Canada, UK and Europe only to be discontinued within a few years. However, in one market, the model not just survived but thrived – Japan. Here the Note emerged as the country’s best-selling car in 2018 finding over 136,000 buyers. In 2019, as per data EVW accessed, it was the country’s second best-selling vehicle, thanks to the e-Power technology, Nissan’s series hybrid that offers 30% better fuel efficiency compared to an ICE-powered vehicle of the same class and the torque of a Nissan 2.0L petrol engine.

Nissan launched the first generation Note in 2006 and the second generation followed in 2012. 8 years later, the third-generation model comes out featuring a striking design, advanced electrification and autonomous drive tech. Heavy revisions bring the Note visually up to date with Nissan’s other vehicles (including the freshly designed logo) and a much needed interior upgrade would make the package very appealing.

Nissan Note for India?

Nissan has reserved the Note e-Power for the Japanese market and the redesigned Note III could mark the return of the nameplate in the international market with compelling features like electrification and autonomous drive tech.

The second generation Note was considered for India around 2010 but Nissan launched the Micra, Sunny, Terrano and Evalia to address the mass-market segments. Around the middle of the last decade, Nissan was considering launching e-Power series-hybrid EVs in India, and so, it was testing the previous generation Note e-Power here in 2017. However, there haven’t been any developments beyond that and the company seems to be no longer interested in bringing e-Power models to our market due to the lack of government support. We’d imagine that a lot is riding on the Nissan Magnite and its acceptance would determine the fate of the Japanese brand in this country.