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It’s been 6 months and less than 4000 miles since we took delivery of our Note SV, and to augment my First Impressions from a few months ago, here are more of my personal observations. I’m sure some or most of these have been discussed in this forum.


  • I’m still quite impressed by the overall ride and quietness of this car for its size.
  • Handling is quite good, it’s fun to toss it around particularly after adding the aftermarket tires and wheels.
  • For our intended use, I found the engine and transmission performance more than adequate. I’ve never had more than 3 people in the car (and without baggage) so it may be a different story if it’s fully loaded.
  • Average fuel economy (approx 95-100% city) was as expected, around 27-29 MPG actual with the dash display consistently 1-2 MPH high. I’m attributing a loss of 1+ MPG on my aftermarket tires. I also noticed a significant drop (around 2MPG) in FE when the AC is used most of the time.
  • Turning radius is not what I would expect in a small car. Understand this is often an issue with FWD cars, just hoping it was better.
  • Electric power steering assist feels just right, nice and light for slow speeds and tightens a bit for faster speeds
  • There’s a marked improvement in the operation of the CVT from when it was new. The overall smoothness is much better particularly when coming to a stop.
  • As others have commented, the best way to launch the CVT is to be gentle on the throttle initially, otherwise the engine would rev up quickly and stay at a high RPM.
  • Engine performance degrades quite a bit with the AC compressor engaged. On the other hand, the AC works great though.
  • The belt chirps occasionally when the AC clutch engages for the first time after the car sat for a while or overnight. Surprised to know it apparently does not use an automatic belt tensioner (possibly a cost saving move).
  • Bluetooth feature on the standard radio works great and synchs up with my iPhone almost instantly. Just drains my phone battery faster (phone issue, not the car). Considering it already has BT, it would have been nice to have the BT audio streaming feature on the radio.
  • Sound quality of the base radio is halfway decent at low to moderate volumes. The sound quality falls apart when the volume is turned up.
  • Had one occasion when the key remote door lock switch momentarily stopped working. It just started working again by itself. It’s been good since.
  • I ended up adding a 5” strip of tint on the top of the windshield. The very small sun visors are worthless at times.
  • Nice to fill up the tank and never have to pay more than $40.

Overall it’s been a good ride, no disappointments and have been quite pleased with our purchase, so far. Looking forward to how it performs over the winter.
 

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I agree with almost all of your comments. I think the ride and handling is quite good for what the vehicle is. I think the low-speed damping is a little week, but that might also be chassis flex. I plan on adding a front strut bar when $$$ allow and see if that makes a difference.

The A/C does eat into the FE, but as you said the system works quite well.

The CVT does get better with mileage and smooths out nicely.

I'm surprised to learn there is no automatic belt tensioner, that will be something to watch as the miles pile on.

The Bluetooth system is great and easy to use.

I also think the back-up camera is quite good and with it and the size of the vehicle you can park it in a phone booth.

Agree on the stereo, I think to get more out of it you have to mount the tweeter higher on the door panel and get better speakers. But it's surprisingly decent for a stock system.

I'm also really interested to see how it performs this winter, little concerned about big windshield and being able to defrost it effectively, but we'll see.
 

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I second the stereo, but I didn't expect much from a cheap car. It only sounds bad with a lot of bass or at high volume.


I wish my 2014 Note had bluetooth....dammit.
 
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