The 2014 Versa Note is an entry level hatchback that won’t toss your head back when you floor the accelerator, but what it will do is take you 40 miles down the highway on a single gallon of gasoline. Offered in three trim levels, the Versa Note starts below $14,000.
The engine used in all three trims is a 1.6-liter Inline 4-cylinder that generates 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque. The base model Versa Note S has a 5-speed manual transmission, while the S Plus and SV trims get a CVT transmission.
The Versa Note weighs some 300 pounds less than the outgoing Versa hatchback, significantly helping to boost mileage. The new Versa Note is the first Nissan vehicle to get active grille shuttering, which also helps the Note join the 40 mpg highway club.
And although it is considered an “entry level” vehicle, the 2014 Versa Note gets Nissan’s “Around-View Monitor” camera system that allows a 360-degree view around the car when the gear selector is put into reverse. For our money, it’s the best rearview camera on the market, and we trust it completely to back into or out of tight parking spaces. Other available must-have features on the Versa Note include Nissan’s Intelligent Key system, Bluetooth hands-free phone and heated seats.
The Versa Note is styled differently from its namesake Versa sedan, with very short overhangs and a more raked windshield. The design is also more aerodynamic, which is another reason the front-wheel drive Versa attains mileage ratings of 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway.
The interior feels roomy with 40.8-inches of headroom in front, 112.9 cubic feet of total interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Rear seat legroom is 38.3 inches, which is significantly more than competitor vehicles.
Behind the rear seat the hatchback rises to reveal Nissan’s optional (SL package) Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor that has a removable deck that conceals a hidden storage compartment below. It’s a versatile setup that allows you to place valuables below the floor of the rear deck.
The base Versa Note S with the 5-speed manual transmission starts at $13,990, and the mid-level S Plus with the CVT transmission starts at $15,240. Our test vehicle – the top end SV trim – starts at $15,990.
Factory option packages include an SL Tech option that includes the “Around-View Monitor,” navigation and heated mirrors. The Versa Note rides on 15-inch steel wheels with covers and all-season tires; 15-inch and 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels are available.
When it comes to safety, the Versa Note has dual-stage airbags in front, driver and front passenger side-impact airbags and roof-mounted side curtains, as well as crumple zones and all the required stability and traction control systems. Official safety testing has still not been completed.
Kelley Blue Book named the 2014 Versa Note one of the year’s top 10 back-to-school cars for students, citing the vehicle’s cost efficiency, sleek design and overall technology offerings. The Note should also be considered a family friendly vehicle that presents outstanding value.
2014 NISSAN VERSA NOTE
1.6-liter Inline 4-cylinder
109 / 107
5 speed manual or CVT automatic
S model (M/T) $13,990,
S Plus model (CVT) $15,240,
SV model (CVT) $15,990
($19,545 as tested)
EPA mileage rating
31 mpg city / 40 mpg highway
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