2014 Nissan Versa Note SV drive evaluation: Budget-aware wheels for budget-minded mother and father

Price range-aware wheels for spending budget-minded parents



2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV has a 109-hp I4 engine. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV comes common with a CVT, base models get a 5-pace. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV begins at about $ 14,000 and goes up to about 20k. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV has a 109-hp I4 engine. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV comes standard with a CVT, base models get a 5-velocity. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV begins at about $ 14,000 and goes up to about 20k. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV has a 109-hp I4 engine. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV comes standard with a CVT, base designs get a 5-pace. Photo by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV starts at about $ 14,000 and goes up to about 20k. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV has a 109-hp I4 engine. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV Photo by: Jake Lingeman

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV comes normal with a CVT, base designs get a 5-pace. Photograph by Jake Lingeman.

What is it?

The 2014 Versa Note is a hatchback version of Nissan’;s inexpensive Versa compact sedan, redesigned in 2013. Contemplating its pricing, safety gear and obtainable alternatives, it should be in the running for the teenage/school trip of decision. It does, even so, have a difficult segment in which to compete, with sportier and equally budget-minded offerings like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta.

In addition to reworked front finish styling, the 2014 Versa Note gets an energetic grille shutter to improve fuel economic climate — 31 mpg city, forty highway according to the EPA — and Nissan’;s Divide-and-Hide adjustable rear load floor h7 Navigation, traffic information and rearview/All around See monitors are all optional.

Our check subject is the top SV trim, which adds sixteen-inch wheels, keyless entry, heated front seats, a rearview camera, fog lights, USB port and the Divide-and-Hide adjustable floor. Thanks to navigation and Bluetooth, our total price tag such as location ended up at a rather steep $ 19,545.

All versions of the Versa are powered by a 1.6-liter DOHC I4 generating 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. A 5-velocity guide is offered on the base model — our tester had the optional continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

What is it like to drive?

Even with our tester’;s further gear the Versa Note feels a small chintzy when plopping into the driver’;s place. The seats are flat-bottomed and don’;t provide a lot help laterally or in the reduce back, but at least they doesn’;t generate that falling-forward feeling that we knowledge in some of its rivals (Mazda, we’;re seeking at you).

The dashboard and central controls are largely plain black, but that is to be expected from a auto that comes entirely optioned for significantly less than 20K. Visibility is wonderful from virtually any angle, specially out of the front, thanks to the reduced dash. There is a excellent bit of black difficult plastic on the doors, and the door armrests could use some extra padding. The Versa Note does characteristic flip-down armrests on the inside/center, which perform properly when driving lazily with one hand — even though we strongly advise towards that.

Surprisingly, the 109-hp 4 isn’;t annoyingly underpowered, at least from the starting line. Just push the pedal down about halfway, and let the revs slowly climb right up until you hit about 40 mph. Soon after that, you can just allow off and let the transmission calm down. The issue comes later when striving to gain additional velocity for example, getting into the expressway. The move from forty to 60 mph requires a long time, and obtaining from 60 to 80 mph takes even longer, except if you actually pin the throttle. And it will get truly loud in the cabin when you do that. On the vibrant side, 1 would have to truly perform to attain fewer than 33 mpg. We would have loved to try the 5-speed guide, but which is only provided on the base trim.

There is very a bit of noise from the independent-front, torsion-bar rear suspension, although the sound appeared a lot more intrusive than the real jolt. The Versa soaked up most of the bumps just before they received to the cabin, but there was a bit judder from the skinny steering wheel. Our hatchback took corners remarkably flat, but people skinny tires did not supply significantly peace of mind, particularly when nearing the restrict and hearing a tiny whine from the rubber. The brakes bite early and challenging which is nice, particularly because it doesn’;t consider too considerably force to slow this lightweight: The Versa guidelines the scales at just 2,482 lbs.

Do I want it?

Personally, we would place the Honda Match and Ford Fiesta at the leading of the college frosh checklist, with the Versa Note and Toyota Yaris hatchback right behind. All 4 start off near $ 14,000, and go up to about $ 20K. The Versa is the third most strong of the 4 hatches, trailing both the Fit and Fiesta.

For the enthusiast, or for a person who just wants something entertaining to drive, we recommend the Fiesta. It truly is more tossable, far more powerful and a lot more entertaining. But, as soon as you check out a few boxes, the Fiesta gets into a decidedly non-school-freshman value variety, and storage is not as flexible — for that, the Match will get the nod.

The Versa can be had for almost a song, though with its fuel economic system, it truly is all the vehicle any university kid could need to have. Whether or not that kid desires a Versa Note is a distinct query completely.

Base Price tag: $ sixteen,780

As Tested Cost: $ 19,545

Drivetrain: one.6-liter, 109-hp, 107 lb-ft DOHC I4 FWD constantly variable transmission

Curb Fat: 2,482 lbs.

Fuel Economic system (city/highway/combined): 31/40/35

Options: SL package which includes 16-inch aluminum alloy wheels and 8-spoke layout, Nissan intelligent important like push button ignition, effortless fill tire alert, heated front seats, front fog lamps, variable intermittent windshield wiper blades, AM/FM/CD/USB?Aux-in audio system, 4.3-inch color display, iPod manage, Sirius XM, rear see check, rear seat armrest with cupholder, divide-n-hide adjustable floor ($ 1,700) technological innovation package like Nissan connect which includes navigation, 5.8-inch touch screen show, Nissan voice recognition, NavTraffic, NavWeather, Google send-to-auto compatibility, Pandora radio, Bluetooth streaming audio, hands-free text messaging assistance, close to see monitoring ($ 800) carpeted floor mats and cargo mat ($ 175) rear cargo cover ($ 90)

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