Making a car choice has never been easy, especially for first-time buyers. A sloppy decision can add problems to your life. That is why it is important to take your time before you settle on one. A wrong car choice is as harmful as a bad relationship. Today we take a look at two cars in the same segment, Nissan Note and Toyota Vitz. The Note versions include Note S, X, Rider & Medalist. The Vitz comes in 4 trims; F, U, Jewela, and the RS. How do they compare? We’ll consider 2013 models.
Toyota Vitz is powered by a 1000cc or 1300cc petrol engines. A 1.5l engine is available in the Vitz RS, a performance version of the Vitz.
All the Note trims are powered by a 1.2l engine, which is either naturally aspirated or supercharged depending on the trim. The supercharged Note is more powerful and slightly consumes more. The previous gen. 1.5l has been dropped for the 1.2l for better fuel economy.
TRANSMISSION + DRIVETRAIN.
Both cars come with a CVT transmission or a rare stick-shift. 2WD drivetrains are the most common due to the thirsty nature of the 4WD units.
BODY STYLING + SPACE.
Nissan Note has grown in size compared to the previous model. The headroom has remained more of the same, while the legroom is the biggest improvement.
While other models grow and improve space in each generation, the Vitz designers were a bit economical when it comes to space. The current generation looks somewhat compressed compared to the previous gen. especially in boot space and rear seats. The headroom remains more of the same.
In the interior, the units are more of the same with the Note boasting of a better infotainment system. Some Medalists come with leather seats.
The units have similar ground clearance.
RELIABILITY + RUNNING COSTS.
Both cars can be good daily drives. However, the Vitz has a better suspension and is hardy compared to the Note. The CVT gearbox in the Note tends to give up quickly. It is the main issue with the note. However, if maintained well, it can live long. The 1.0l Vitz can return up to 20km/l, the 1.3l gives about 17km/l, while the 1.5l has a fuel consumption of 14km/l. Nissan note 1.2l NA returns around 18km/l while the supercharged version has a 16km/l fuel consumption. In terms of speed, the supercharged Note can outrun the Vitz except the RS version, which we’ll consider another day.
The two units have almost the same maintenance costs. There is no much difference in spare cost.
High trim Notes have incorporated collision mitigation systems, all-round cameras, and an emergency braking system. On the other hand, the Vitz has remained old-school with basic features, e.g., SRS airbags and ABS, which are still available in the note.
For the Note, a fresh import starts at around Ksh.650k while the Vitz starts at Ksh.750k. The Vitz holds its value well in market and is easier to dispose off in case of an emergency. The Note depreciates quickly and loses a big fraction of its value in a short span.
The Note wins on space, safety, and performance. The Vitz boasts of a better suspension + resale value. Fuel economy is a tie between the two. The Note, especially the supercharged version, is the better car. The fact that it is cheaper has also contributed to their increased sales in Kenya compared to the Vitz. The Note offers a better value for money. Rivals include the Suzuki Swift, Honda Fit, Mazda Demio, and Mitsubishi Colt. With 750k, get the Supercharged Note at 680k or thereabouts and use the extra cash for something else.
Courtesy of 0-60 motoring