Like a clever chef who keeps creating new versions of the same basic dish, Nissan has been adding variations to its Versa Note subcompact five-door hatchback, and the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR is the latest.
One of Nissan's introductions at the Chicago Auto Show in early February 2014, the SR raises the number of Versa Note trim levels to five, a total that includes a new Versa Note SL that was also on the company's Chicago stand.
The SR suffix is reminiscent of some Nissan hot rods of years past (for example, the Nissan Sentra SE R), a subtle suggestion that there's a little more spice in the recipe for this particular version of the Versa Note.
That suggestion is reinforced by sporty cosmetics. But the spice is confined to eye candy; the subdural SR is the same as the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT, S CVT, and SL.
All models share the same econo-oriented 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (109 horsepower, 107 pound-feet of torque), and most of them send power to the front wheels via the same Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). So equipped, Versa Notes are EPA-rated for 40 mpg Highway, a rating that applies to the SR.
All models share the same suspension components, MacPherson struts front, and a torsion beam rear axle, all tuned toward the comfort end of the ride/handling spectrum.
Thus the elements that distinguish the SR from its siblings are all visual.
Exterior trim highlights include a modified front fascia, headlights with smoked lenses, standard fog lights, body color rocker panel extensions, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a unique rear spoiler, and a set of dark 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels wearing 195/55R all season tires.
Interior distinctions include simulated suede-trimmed seats with orange accents and double stitching, a piano black center dash panel, dedicated instrumentation, a floating trip computer, silver accents, and chromed control knobs. There's also a sporty steering wheel, leather-wrapped and characterized as 370Z-inspired.
In addition to the SR trim elements, standard features include a four-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system and a 12-volt power outlet. An optional convenience package augments standard content with Nissan's versatile Divide-N-Hide storage system; NissanConnect infotainment system with and 5.0-inch color screen; NissanConnect Apps for smartphone integration with Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio, and TuneIn radio); Bluetooth streaming audio; hand-free text messaging; a USB iPod interface; satellite radio; and a rearview camera.
The SR will be offered in eight exterior hues, each with interior color coordination.
Although the Versa Note SR will make its appearance in showrooms this spring as a 2015 model, only some six weeks after its Chicago debut, Nissan was not prepared to discuss prices. Pricing for the 2014 Versa Note line starts at $13,990.