A Sporty Hybrid? - Why Not?

So you find the regular Nissan Note E-Power a bit bland? Well they also do a Nismo edition, and it’s a blast to drive. Unlike most hybrid vehicles, the Nissan Note e-Power is the perfect compromise for those wanting the EV driving experience without the need to plug in. And the fact that it doesn’t plug-in means it’s exempt from the recently introduced EV/Hybrid road user charges. But can it really be a driver’s car? Well yes, actually. Read on...

The Nissan Note e-Power has the same electric motor found in the fully electric Leaf, and like the Leaf, this motor provides 100% of the drive. The difference is with the battery, which in the Leaf is big and charged by plugging it in at home or a charging station. The Note e-Power, however, has a small battery that is charged by a 1200cc petrol engine in the car. Overall it’s substantially lighter than the Leaf.

The result is that the Note has a similar electric driving experience to the Leaf but with the petrol engine acting solely as a generator to charge the battery. But it isn’t exactly sporty or engaging, from a driver perspective, in standard guise. Thankfully there is a version that offers a bit more of a sporting edge while still staying true to its frugal heart. The limited edition Nismo doesn’t offer more power (unless you can find a Nismo S that has 25% more power) but Nismo has worked the suspension and steering giving it a more driver focused feel without making it uncomfortable.

The surprising thing about the Note e-Power is its performance, especially when taking off from a set of traffic lights. Thanks to the torquey electric motor it is very quick off the mark and does it in near silence. And with its regenerative braking you very rarely need to touch the brake pedal. It is also incredibly roomy for its size. The Nismo edition sharpens up the whole experience. It starts with the body hugging seats on the inside and on the outside there’s the body kit and larger wheels, stiffer suspension and quicker steering. On a windy road it’s a fun drive, and the regen braking means you can push on with very little input of the brake pedal. It’s actually a lot of fun.

The Nissan Note e-Power Nismo is a nice compromise, giving you real electric car driving without the need for a charging point and with the comfort of knowing you’ve got plenty of range. And you still get excellent fuel economy while having fun behind the wheel.

This car is available at Turners Wellington now. More details here.

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