2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Laura Burstein
On Sale: Starting at $13,990
Expected Pricing: June 2013
It might not be glamorous, but the entry-level Nissan Versa is one of the most affordable and spacious cars on the market. The old Versa hatchback is gone, replaced by the Versa Note, an all-new hatch with a name that's already familiar in other markets around the world.
The 2014 Versa Note hatch joins the Versa sedan that was completely redesigned for the 2012 model year.
The Versa Note hits on the holy trinity of criteria for subcompact, entry-level cars: Price, space and fuel economy. With a starting point of $13,990, the Versa Note starts $2,000 more than its sedan counterpart, but remains one of the least expensive hatchbacks out there.
Built on Nissan's Global V platform, the five-seat Versa Note is available in four trims: S, S Plus, SV and the line-topping SL.
All 2014 Nissan Versa models will be powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The base model comes with a 5-speed manual transmission, while upper trims get Nissan's Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT).
The Versa Note exterior is updated with new lines and various aerodynamic improvements, including a steeper-raked windshield. Even the one-piece windshield wiper design contributes to the Versa Note's relatively low drag coefficient of 0.298 (with the CVT).
Inside the cabin, the design is clean and simple. The centerpiece of the instrument panel is a triangular arrangement of three large, easy-to-read climate control knobs. Interior space is plentiful, with 21.4 cubic feet of cargo space, making it currently the best in its class. All models come standard with a 60/40-split folding rear seat, which lays completely flat to create an even larger cargo floor.
All trims except the SL come standard with cloth seats, and four-speaker audio system with CD player and auxiliary jack. Options include upgraded cloth seats, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, USB port and wheel-mounted audio controls. The SL Tech Package includes a 360-degree-view backup camera, a first for this segment. Expect all the bells and whistles to add a considerable premium to the base price, however.
As for fuel economy, the Versa Note is expected to achieve an impressive 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway on cars equipped with the CVT. No estimates are available yet for the manual transmission.
The 2013 Nissan Versa Note is expected to hit dealerships in June 2013 with a starting price of $13,990.