The Nissan Note is Thailand’s latest eco car, launched in January. It is Nissan’s third eco car after the March hatchback and Almera sedan, and the company’s final one under Phase 1 of the eco car project, which is now in Phase 2. It has been awhile since there was an all-new model in the affordable eco car segment, so this is notable entry.

But the Note is not a new model, having been around in second-generation form since 2012. The high-roofed five-door hatch was facelifted in Japan late last year, and the Thai eco car is based on this latest version with the V-Motion grille, boomerang rear LED signatures and flat-bottomed steering wheel.

However, the JDM Note e-Power’s unique hybrid system is not present here (it’s meant to be affordable), and in its place is the trusty HR12DE 1.2L used in the March and Almera. With 79 PS and 106 Nm of torque, the three-cylinder engine is mated to an Xtronic CVT automatic. Claimed combined fuel consumption is five litres per 100 km or 20 km/l.

The Note is a Honda Jazz-type of car, and a roomy cabin is one of its unique selling points. At 2,600 mm, the wheelbase is 70 mm longer than the Honda’s, and its 1,535 mm height is 11 mm more. By the way, the 1.5L Jazz is not an eco car in Thailand, and the Note undercuts it in price.

Two variants are available here, the 568,000 baht (RM72,692) V and 640,000 baht (RM81,905) VL. Standard kit includes halogen projector headlamps, keyless entry with push start, auto air con, Fine Vision meter, a five-inch touchscreen head unit, two airbags, ABS/EBD/BA, Vehicle Dynamic Control and Hill Start Assist.

The VL throws in significantly more, including LED headlamps and signatures, fog lamps, rear spoiler, 60:40 split folding rear seats (one-piece in the V), anti-glare rear view mirror with display, a seven-inch LED screen head unit with Bluetooth, and steering buttons.

Active safety features such as Forward Collision Warning (FCW), Nissan Intelligent Emergency Braking, Forward Emergency Braking (with pedestrian recognition), Lane Departure Warning, Around View Monitor and Moving Object Detection are all exclusive to the VL – tech that’s unprecedented in this segment and price point.

You would think that Honda’s success with the Jazz might have tempted Tan Chong into introducing the Note in Malaysia – which should fare well if priced right, as it’s a roomy and versatile car with relatively interesting design (the Nismo-tuned Note received huge attention on this website) – but the the company has decided not to go for it despite official previews and local sightings of the pre-facelift model.

Would the Nissan Note be well-accepted by the Malaysian market?