Compact car; Built in
  • 4-door hatchback
  • transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive
Good condition price range: $8,400 – $14,600*


2014 Nissan Versa Note


2014 Nissan Versa Note


2014 Nissan Versa Note

Pros:
  • Cargo room
  • Fuel economy
  • Rear-seat room
Cons:
  • Highway merging and passing power
  • Engine noise
  • Feature and option availability
  • Interior materials

Although the base S and mid-level S Plus versions of the Versa Note are rather “stripped” by today’s standards, the top-line SV has all the expected features at prices that look good even against smaller subcompact rivals. The SV also offers some rare-for-the-class options such as Nissan’s nifty Around View 360-degree camera, along with popular connectivity features. Power can feel meager at higher speeds and interior materials don’t impress, but if interior room, cargo space, and high fuel economy are tops on your list, the Versa Note is a must-see.

Overview

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note replaced the Versa hatchback that debuted for 2007 and carried on through the end of 2012. As such, the old hatchback ended up as a significantly different car than its Versa sedan stablemate, which was redesigned for 2012. And the Versa Note continued this somewhat unusual situation. While it shared its basic front-drive platform–and part of its name–with the Versa sedan, the Versa Note was otherwise unique. Styling was different, as were such “hard points” as the windshield rake. Like its predecessor, the Versa Note was a compact 4-door hatchback, but it was 6 inches shorter and 300 pounds lighter. It was built in Mexico.

As with both the former Versa hatchback and the Versa sedan, the Versa Note was a compact car that was priced to compete with subcompact cars. Therefore, its competitors included not only other compact hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus, Mazda 3, and Kia Forte 5-door, but also subcompacts such as the Ford Fiesta, Honda Fit, and Hyundai Accent.

The Versa Note came in three trim levels: S, S Plus, and SV.

The base S came only with a 5-speed manual transmission, along with air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, split folding rear seat, power mirrors, and a digital-media player connection. S Plus added a continuously variable transmission (CVT) and cruise control. Not until the SV level did you get power windows, remote power locks, height-adjustable driver seat, and wireless cell-phone link–items that were standard in most compact competitors.

Three option packages were available for SV. The Convenience Package included a rearview camera, USB port, satellite radio, and an adjustable-height cargo floor. The SL Package further added heated front seats, keyless access and starting, and alloy wheels. The Tech package included a navigation system, Pandora Internet Radio streaming, Nissan’s Around-View camera, heated power mirrors, and hands-free text messaging.

The height-adjustable cargo floor that was included in the SV’s extra-cost Convenience Package had two settings: The top one placed it level with the folded rear seat backs and allowed for cargo bins underneath, while the lower setting allowed for taller cargo. Offered in the Tech Package was Nissan’s Around-View Camera, which gave an overhead, 360-degree view around the car. A stand-alone option was a vehicle tracking and recovery system.

Only one engine was offered: a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. The base S came only with a 5-speed manual transmission. All other models were sold only with a CVT, which behaved much like a conventional automatic. The manual-transmission S carried an EPA fuel-economy rating of 27 city, 36 highway. All other models (with the CVT) had a 31/40 rating. All used regular-grade gas.

The Versa Note came with all the expected and federally mandated safety features. The only optional safety feature was a rearview camera.

Yearly Updates

2014 Versa Note

Engines

transverse front-engine/front-wheel drive

Only one engine was offered: a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder. The base Versa Note S came only with a 5-speed manual transmission. All other models came only with a CVT, which behaved much like a conventional automatic. Nissan recommended regular-grade gas.

dohc I4
Engine Size (liters/cubic inches) 1.6/98
Engine HP 109
Engine Torque (lb-ft) 107
Avail. Trans. EPA MPG (city/hwy) MPG avg. as tested
5-speed manual
CVT automatic
27/36
31/40

Road Test

Only CVT-equipped models have been tested so far. Despite the little engine’s meager 109-horsepower rating, stabbing the throttle from a stop produces a decent jump off the line, and the CVT’s quick “kick downs” make the Versa Note feel responsive at around-town speeds. However, that feeling diminishes as speed rises, making highway merging and passing power–particularly if going uphill–far less impressive.

In Consumer Guide testing, a Versa Note with the CVT returned 30.7 mpg in mostly city driving. Nissan recommends regular-grade gas.

Bumps are absorbed quite well, but result in a bit of jiggling. There’s no undue float or wallow, however.

Maneuverable and quite “tossible,” with moderate body lean in fast turns, the Versa Note feels mildly sporty.

Engine noise intrudes only under mid- to full-throttle acceleration, when the CVT transmission holds engine revs at the power peak–and the roughness peak. Otherwise, the Versa Note is exhibits little wind or road noise until you’re on the far side of 60 mph

Gauges are clear and easy to read. Audio controls are mounted high within easy reach, and the combination of buttons and knobs make for relatively simple adjustments. The three-dial climate-control layout is likewise handy and easy to use.

Versa Note’s interior is study in hard plastic, though there’s some chrome and bright silver trim to help break the monotone monotony. In this regard, Versa Note has gone the opposite direction of many competitors, which have received upgraded interiors of late.

There’s plenty of front-seat headroom and legroom for even larger adults, and good knee room, too. Seats are comfortable and a tilt steering wheel is standard, but a height-adjustable driver seat only comes in the top-line SV. Visibility is good except to the rear corners due to thick roof pillars, though the outside mirrors are on the small side. When pivoted to cover the side window, the sun visor has an extending panel that does a good job of blocking the sun.

Versa Note is surprisingly roomy in back. There’s good headroom for 6-footers, and legroom rivals that of some midsize sedans. Only kids could sit three across, however.

Cargo space is another Versa Note strong point. The tested SV model had the Convenience Package, which includes Nissan’s Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor. In its raised position, the cargo floor is level with the standard split folding rear seat backs, with a large amount of hidden storage space underneath. In its lower position, the storage space disappears but there’s more room for taller cargo in back. Either way, the cargo area is usefully cubic due to the squared-off rear roofline. Interior storage is also good, and includes a small upper glovebox, a deep lower glovebox, and several cupholders and bins in the center console. However, there’s no console box.

Ratings

Model Tested: Versa Note SV with Convenience Package

Ratings values are on a 1-10 scale, with 10 being the best. With the exception of Value, these numbers reflect how the vehicle compares against the universe of vehicles, not just against rivals in its class.

Performance

Acceleration - 4
40%
Fuel Economy - 9
90%
Ride Quality - 5
50%
Steering/Handling - 6
60%
Quietness - 5
50%

Accommodations

Controls/Materials - 5
50%
Room/Comfort Front - 6
60%
Room/Comfort Rear - 6
60%
Cargo Room - 7
70%

Other

Value - 7
70%

Total: 60

Specifications

4-door hatchback
Wheelbase (in.) Length (in.) Width (in.) Height (in.) Weight (lbs)
102.4 163.0 66.7 60.5
Cargo Volume (cu/ft) Payload Capacity (cu/ft) Fuel Capacity (gal.) Seating Capacity
38.3 10.8 5
Headroom Legroom
Front Rear Front Rear
40.8 38.0 41.3 38.3
Safety Ratings

Model Tested: 2014 Versa Note 4-door hatchback

NHTSA

(5 is the highest rating)

Front Impact Test

Driver Injury - 3
60%
Front Passenger Injury - 2
40%

Side Impact Test

Driver Injury - 5
100%
Rear Passenger Injury - 5
100%

HLDI

(A score of 100 is average. Lower is better)

Collision N/A
Injury N/A
Theft N/A

Trouble Spots

None
Description:

Recall History

2014 Versa Note with CVT
Description: Certain 2014 model Nissan Versa Note models made after April 23, 2013 may have a center console trim panel that can catch on the driver’s shoe and increase the amount of time it takes to transition from the accelerator to the brake pedal.
2014 Versa Note
Description: Certain 2014 model Nissan Versa Note vehicles made between April 23, 2013 and July 5, 2013 may have bolts in the rear seat latches that were not correctly manufactured and may be weaker than intended.
2014 Versa Note
Description: Certain 2014 model Nissan Versa Note vehicles made between April 23, 2013 and July 3, 2013 may have missing or improperly tightened lower body sill bolts.

Equipment Lists

Equipment lists are only viewable on larger screen sizes.

Pricing

Used-car pricing varies widely depending on local market conditions. Therefore, we recommend visiting websites that list used cars for sale to get a better idea of what a specific model is selling for in your area.