2021 Nissan Note E-Power: how efficient is it in Singapore?

CarBuyer Team

Back to Page 3: Lionel’s jottings on the Note

Day 3 – Managing editor Leow Ju-Len

I may be the oldest man in the office but I’m the most enthusiastic about hybrid technology. It isn’t new-fangled to me, since I was around to cover the birth of both the Honda Insight and Toyota Prius in the late 1990s. I even own a hybrid car myself (guess which one), and consider it a masterful piece of engineering.

If you’ve never driven a petrol-electric car, then consider one for your next set of wheels, especially if you’re looking for a car for all the important reasons – lots of safety equipment, low running costs, ease of use, practicality — the Note e-Power ticks all of those boxes. It’s not fancy by any measure, so don’t buy one to be fancy.

But it does come with a high feature count. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, lane assist, autonomous emergency braking and a frigid air-con system are all present, and all worth having. The Premium version we drove has Nappa leather upholstery, and spending hours behind the wheel certainly wasn’t hardship.

340 litres is what you get in boot capacity (the rear seats fold to expand that to 670 litres), which beats such cars as the Suzuki Swift (updated with mild hybrid tech for this year) and Volkswagen Polo.

But the Note’s secret sauce is its e-Power drivetrain, which is supposed to offer a unique, EV-like driving experience and low fuel consumption. 

Ben, whose attitude to fossil fuels seems roughly to mirror the attitude of those who think they should eat more shark’s fin while they still can, didn’t exactly cover himself in glory with his score of 5.2L/100km — that means he used 13 percent more fuel than he was supposed to, according to the car’s claimed average of 4.6L/100km.

I returned the Note to Nissan’s Nigel with 4.5L/100km on the trip computer. After covering 535.5km, we’d done better than the car’s claim, and the car itself was predicting a total range of 693.5km from its tiny 36-litre fuel tank.

Here’s a couple of takeaways from our drive. One, the technology does work, and if you’re a smooth driver who tries to slip through traffic with anticipation and forward planning, the Nissan will do its part and sip modestly from the tank. Two, by our rough calculations, the average driver here would fill up a Note e-Power twice a month and spend around S$60 each time.

Whether those sums work for you is entirely between you and your household’s financial controller. But the honest truth is that it seldom makes sense to buy a hybrid car purely for the fuel savings. Instead, there’s another reason to seriously consider the e-Power system that Nissan is betting so heavily on: like other hybrid systems, it makes for a better driving experience, especially in a city like Singapore. It’s quieter and smoother, and it has a way of making ordinary combustion power feel crude in comparison.

The pure electric future might be years and years away, but the Note feels like a bridge to that future. When you’re on it, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy the experience.

Nissan Note e-Power Premium

Electric Motor114hp/280Nm
BatteryLithium ion, 1.54kWh
Engine1,198cc, inline three
GearboxSingle Speed Reduction Gear
System Power114hp (electric motor only)
System Torque280Nm (electric motor only)
0-100km/h9.0 seconds
Top Speed150km/h
Fuel Efficiency4.6L/100km
VES BandingA2 / -S$15,000
AgentTan Chong Motor Sales
PriceS$104,800 with COE and VES

Bonus Notes: Why is the e-Power system better for efficiency?

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compact e-power hatchback Hybrid nissan Note

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CarBuyer Team

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