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Nissan: Versa Note Is A Lot Of Car For The Money

  • October 30, 2013
  • Nissan
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If there was a car out there that had the same rear legroom as a Ford Fusion, offered some of the technology of an Infiniti, and had a base price of $14,000? Would that get your attention? The all-new 2014 Nissan Versa Note might be worth a look then.


With the 2014 MY, the Versa Note is truely an all-new model. Based on an all-new platform, the Versa Note actually shrank by six inches in length over the previous hatchback. The wheelbase length was maintained to keep the limo-like rear legroom. This results in a much cleaner looking exterior with shorter overhangs and a much more fit and tidy overall appearance.

The Versa Note also went on a diet and dropped 300 pounds over the previous Versa hatchback. This huge reduction in weight helped contribute to some very nice fuel economy numbers. Some of that is also due to an all-new continuously variable transmission. Shoppers in this segment will appreciate the smooth acceleration coming from under the hood.


Surprising, the Versa Note has a very quiet interior. At highway speeds there wasn’t the wind noise you’d expect at a car from this price point. On rough aggregate roads, the Versa Note remained hushed and strangely well-behaved. My driving partner also commented that this version of the CVT doesn’t have that rubber band effect that you sometimes get with a CVT. When you take your foot off the gas the RPMs drop quickly, whereas some previous CVTs would hang onto the revs and slowly fall off. It was a weird sensation but the Versa Note shows how Nissan has matured with developing CVTs. Anyone who blew CVTs off as a fad needs to just take a look around. The new Corolla, Chevy Spark, Accord, and Ford hybrids all offer a CVT. Nissan’s commitment and maturity with this technology shows in this application.


The Versa Note is also the first in the segment to offer an around-view camera system. First found on Infiniti’s EX35 years ago, this technology has now trickled down into this entry level car. Packaged with a navigation system, the around-view monitor gives drivers a 360 degree view around the car via four exterior cameras. Found on other Nissan and Infiniti vehicles, such as the Quest, Rogue, QX60, QX70, and QX80, this really helps set the Versa Note apart in the segment. Even loaded up with the SL trim, navigation and camera system puts the Versa Note pricing on par with the Toyota Yaris and Scion xD.

You won’t find a moonroof or leather here. Step on up to the Sentra, if you need that. The Versa Note offers heated cloth seats, an innovative rear cargo organizer and hide system, and even push button start with intelligent key. The rear seat has a fold down arm rest with cupholders. Good luck finding that elsewhere in the segment. If you think no one would ever sit in the rear of this car, think again. Your’s truely, at 6’3″, had acres of room in the rear seat. Plenty of headroom and legroom to spare made the Versa Note look more like a generously sized full-size car rather than a $14,000 entry car.

Nissan has been the leader in this segment for over three years now. With very competitive pricing, the Versa Note looks to give consumers a well-tailored version of everything they’d want or need. Exclusive features, competitive fuel economy, and the lowest pricing in the segment should help Nissan continue to own this market for some time to come.


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