Toyota Ractis vs. Nissan Note: 1st Generation Comparison Showdown

Toyota Ractis vs. Nissan Note: 1st Generation Comparison Showdown

The first-generation Toyota Ractis and Nissan Note are both compact hatchbacks, competing for the same type of car shopper, and both are equally popular used Japanese imports in Africa. While the two hatchbacks share many similarities, they are often compared to each since they are made by competing companies—Toyota and Nissan.

Each car is wealthy in its own way, as side-by-side comparison below shows, but which one is right for you? Keep reading to find out!

The Toyota Ractis

The Ractis is also referred to as the NCP100. Production started in 2005 and was phased out in 2010, and the second generation Ractis called the NCP120 came in. Meant to be a replacement for the Toyota Funcargo that was discontinued in 2005, Ractis is bigger, better, more luxurious and more efficient.

Front view of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Lowest Price Toyota Ractis Listings

The Ractis also features more space thanks to the high roof, the ability to flat-fold the back seats to create more cargo space, all of which have proven to be unbeatable.

The Nissan Note

The Nissan Note 1st-Generation looks like a cross between a hatchback and a small multipurpose van. The first Nissan Note was released in 2006 and was in production until 2013 when it would later be replaced by the Nissan Invitation, an improvement on the Note hatchback. The first Note was based on the Nissan Tone.

Front view of a used 2009 Nissan Note from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Lowest Price Nissan Note Listings

In 2007, the Note underwent an update on many features, but most notably, the Note targeted at the European market got the updates. Some of the improvements included armrests for the driver’s seat, DVD navigation, door and seat trim cloth and many more.

Price Comparison

The minimum price for a used Toyota Ractis 1st generation is about $800 for a 2007 model. The maximum price you should expect to pay is around $2,100.* This is the buying price overseas, so it does not include shipping, clearing and tax charges.

For the Nissan Note 1st-generation, the minimum buying price is $500 and the maximum buying price will be in the $2,500 range.*


Make/Model: Toyota Ractis  1st-Generation

Average Used BF Price: $1,300 to $2,800


Make/Model: Nissan Note 1st-Generation

Average Used BF Price: $500 to $2,500


*Based on average 2018 BE FORWARD pricing

Interior and Exterior Comparison

The 1st-generation Toyota Ractis is a 5-seater hatchback with only second row seats, no third row. This is a very comfortable car and that is why many people love it. Its high roof and big cabin space endear it to many people who buy it for business as well as for family use. Leg and headspace are unequalled in this hatchback. This car also has a lot of cabin storage for mobile phones, books and other small items.

The Ractis features a total trunk/boot volume of 285 kg, which is bigger than most other hatchbacks will offer. If you find yourself needing extra space for cargo, just fold the rear seats. They fold down flat to essentially convert this vehicle from a hatchback to a minivan and increase its cargo space tremendously. With folded rear seats, the cargo space increases from 285kg to 429kg.

Interior of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Interior of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis

The Toyota Ractis comes with some really great features that make driving this car a lot of fun. The 2010 model of the Ractis 1st generation, prior to being replaced by the Verso S, is a marvel to look at. It has six airbags, CD and radio player, and keyless entry. Navigation is an option, but comes standard on some models.

The exterior of the Ractis is indeed pleasing if you love alloy rims, fog lights and some fantastic grooves along the body. The bonnet is nicely slanted and has two visible groove lines that form a v-shape, which meets at the middle of the front. Looking at this hatchback from the front, you will love the streamlined shape. The ground clearance of 5.7 inches is high enough to clear any speed bumps you will find on the road without any trouble.

The Ractis is a 5-door hatchback, (including the boot door) with central locking, and wheels are 16 inches for both rear and front. This car is available in 4WD or 2WD (rear wheel drive).

The interior of the Nissan Note is a delight to drive. It is not as spacious as the Ractis due to a lower ceiling, but it still offers a lot of comfort. It is a 5-seater hatchback and there is enough space for up to five medium sized adults. If you are buying it as a family car, you will be happy to know that it can accommodate a child’s seat easily thanks to the wide opening doors, and provides a lot of legroom at the back. People say that this car could seat seven people, but Nissan deliberately declined adding a third row of seats to give the five passengers lots of room.

The trunk space is 280 kg/liters. However, this can be increased much more to 437 kg worth of cargo space when the sliding rear seats are pushed forward. If you are carrying bigger items, you can recline the front passenger seat to a flat position in order to hold bigger cargo.

Interior of a used 2009 Nissan Note from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Interior of a used 2009 Nissan Note

As for the interior features, there are many. First, there are the storage features that include the glove compartment, the cupholders, along with a place for your cellphones and expanding pockets located on the back of the rear seats. Then there are folding trays, similar to what you would find on an airplane, mounted on the back of the front seats. Other interior features include 4 airbags, remote central locking, airbag switch for passenger, electric windows, cruise control and center armrest. High quality stereo speakers and electric folding mirrors make up some of the other many features.

The exterior of the 1st-generation Note is styled after the Nissan Murano. While Toyota has been known for investing more in functionality than looks, Nissan invests in looks, and that is why the Note looks so pleasing. The Boomerang rear lights make it look like it shares the same features with the beautiful sleek Nissan Juke. The beautiful boxy look makes this car very appealing. The seats are part leather and part cloth and the steering wheel is covered with leather. It is a 5-door mid-sized car with 15-inch alloy wheels.


Make/Model: Toyota Ractis 1st-Generation

Seating: 5 / Doors: 5

Weight (kg): 1,450


Make/Model: Nissan Note 1st-Generation

Seating: 5 / Doors: 5

Weight (kg): 1,200


Engine and Fuel Efficiency Comparison

The latest model of the Ractis 1st-Generation is available in two engine types: The 1.3-liter 2SZ engine, and the 1.5-liter 1NZ engine. The latter is available for the 4WD options and the former for the 2WD options. The 2-wheel drive one is most popular and is actually a front wheel drive. This is a 4-cylinder engine, and the fuel system is multipoint fuel injection.

With a fuel tank capacity of 42 liters, this works nicely with the average consumption of this car, which comes out to 18.2 kilometers per liter (highway and city combined). It can be used as a personal car during the office days, and then be converted into a family car for long weekend drives.

The drivetrain type is front wheel drive and the transmission is automatic 5-speed. The top speed for the Ractis is 200km/h.

Engine of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Engine of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis

The very first engine on the Note was a 1.4-liter petrol engine but later there would come 1.6-liter engines. However, the 1386cc (1.4L) CR Twin Cam engine that is so popular with Nissan is the favorite for most people. It is a 4-cylinder engine, and the fuel system is multipoint injection.

The Note has a tank capacity of 46 liters. It uses petrol, with an average consumption of 15.9 kilometers per liter. The drive train is two-wheel drive and the transmission can either be manual 5-speed gear or automatic. The top speed is 165 km/h.

Engine of a used 2009 Nissan Note from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Engine of a used 2009 Nissan Note


Make/Model: Toyota Ractis 1st-Generation

Engine: 4-cylinder

Fuel Consumption per (l/km): 18.2

Fuel Tank Capacity (l): 42

Fuel Type: Petrol


Make/Model: Nissan Note 1st-Generation

Engine: 4-cylinder

Fuel Consumption per (l/km): 15.9

Fuel Tank Capacity (l): 46

Fuel Type: Petrol


1st-Generation Toyota Ractis vs. Nissan Note: Verdict

So what should you buy? Based on this review, it depends on what you are looking for in a hatchback. If you are looking for more cargo space, features and performance, it seems like the Nissan Note is the ideal car for you, as it has a lot of extendable space. It also boasts good performance with the 1490cc engine, superior to the underpowered 1300cc Ractis.

Rear of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Rear of a used 2008 Toyota Ractis

If you are looking for fuel efficiency, then the 1300cc Ractis is the better choice. The availability of spare parts in places like Africa is the same for both cars.

For your budget, the Nissan Note is far cheaper than the Ractis. Toyota prices go up because most people say they have a resale value, but you are not buying a car to sell. You are buying a car to use.

Rear of a used 2009 Nissan Note from online car exporter BE FORWARD

Rear of a used 2009 Nissan Note

Any way you look at these two cars, the final verdict comes to a draw for both because each offers equally unique features, and either one will be a purchase worth every penny.

Lowest Price Toyota Ractis Listings Lowest Price Nissan Note Listings

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