MOTORS: Andy Enright reviews the new Nissan Note

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The Nissan Note moves towards the conventional supermini in second generation guise but it’s still set to be a family favourite.

It boasts better quality, sharper styling, interesting safety gear and a fascinating three-cylinder engine with a decoupling supercharger.

Take the petrol engines in this Note. The entry-level is a three-cylinder 1.2-litre 80PS unit, but you can also buy a version of this engine, the 1.2-litre DIG-S, with a supercharger that boosts power to 98PS.

The Note has been extensively developed in Europe to offer a driving experience that’s right for our road conditions.

It has unique steering, suspension and chassis settings. The 1.2-litre DIG-S model has further dynamic tweaks for an even more engaging driving experience.

The new Note has great styling going on and a more expensive look and feel, both in and out. You’ll spot the chrome grille that seems to take a bite out of each headlight, the nicely chamfered wheel arches and the detail lines in the flanks that help avoid a slab-sided look.

The Note marks a change of direction from Nissan. Back when every major manufacturer followed the rigid guidelines of passenger car sizing, Nissan was the first to rebel.

It ditched cars like the Almera and the Primera in favour of a range that majored on sports utility vehicles and people carriers. Now with this latest Note, it finds itself regressing back to the mainstream with a straightforward supermini design.

Is that a bad thing? Probably not. The convergent development of small MPVs and family hatchbacks has blurred the boundaries and the result is that these categories become increasingly ill-defined.

The second generation Note instead concentrates on better fuel economy, an interior that feels better built, more space, increased efficiency and classier exterior styling.