2014 Nissan Versa Note SV – Review and Test Drive

By Jonathan Spira on 26 June 2013
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The signs (as well as the cookies Nissan was handing out) all proclaimed that the Nissan Versa was theDSC_5590 best-selling entry-level car in America and who are we to argue?  Not only this, but the 2014 Versa Note was said to be capable of 40 mpg (5.88 l/100 km) on the highway. Indeed, this piqued our curiosity so we traveled to San Diego to find out more about the car, which is first coming on the market now.

Nissan says it has been able to reduce the car’s curb weight by 300 pounds (136 kilograms), something that contributes greatly to the improved fuel economy.  The Versa Note is equipped with Nissan’s time-tested CVT (continuously-variable) transmission and a 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine that develops 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque.  This all translates to the 31 mpg (7.59 l/100 km) in city driving and 40 mpg (5.88 l/100 km) on the highway that put the Nissan at the head of the class.

Our test car was a fully optioned Versa Note SV, with the SL Tech Package. DSC_5632 Features we typically expect on far more expensive cars, including what Nissan calls the Around View Monitor, push-button start/stop, as well as active grille shutters that improve fuel economy, were installed.  Inside, cloth seats with a comfortable fabric were heated, a rare combination.  The NissanConnect infotainment system featured a 5.8” touchscreen display.  Fit and finish were surprisingly good for a car at this price point.

The Around View Monitor uses cameras placed around the car to give the driver a bird’s eye view of the vehicle on the central display.  The driver can switch between the bird’s eye view and a curb view that is used primarily for parking assistance.  Pairing my Apple iPhone 5 was as fast as in any car I have driven recently and it downloaded my phone book without requiring any extra steps.  The navi worked well, giving excellent guidance along the route while saying the names of highways and streets, but a few commands (such as “turn” instead of “exit” while on a highway) left me wondering.

Click here to continue to Page 2Driving the 2014 Nissan Versa Note

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