Jul 07, 2014
Reviewed By Alec Ebert
Price as Tested $20,015: 1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine with Xtronic CVT automatic transmission. Heated seats, 15-inch alloy wheels, rear-view camera park assist. NissanConncect touchscreen navigation and infotainment system with keyless entry.
Likes

The Note has a very smooth ride with surprisingly responsive electronic assist steering. Cabin road noise is limited, thanks a high-quality interior build. The easy-to-use touch screen navigation system further enhances the driving experience. The styling is well put together. There isn’t a lot of flair, but bold, New-Age lines show the versatility of the vehicle without being dramatic. The interior cabin features incredible rear legroom and headroom. The ergonomics are superb as well, as everything is in the right place. The cargo space is huge, with rear seats that fold all the way down to allow for lots of big or oddly shaped things. The trunk has multiple options for storing cargo. The Nissan Puredrive system wrings a lot of miles out of each gallon. The car can go almost 400 miles on one tank if you drive economically.

Dislikes

The engine in the Nissan Versa Note is underpowered. Adding the Xtronic CVT transmission has not helped the powertrain. It’s a smooth system, but you have to put your foot to the floor to get power delivery when merging onto the freeway — or even keeping up with freeway traffic. As loaded as the infotainment system, is the stereo has limited tuning options. When the car is in motion, the doors lock automatically as a safety feature, but when you stop and put the car in park, they stay locked. This gets annoying, as you have to remember to unlock the doors every time you want to get out of the car. Finally, when at speed, the trunk rattles loudly when the wheels hit a bump or road seam.

Verdict

The Nissan Versa Note is a good car. It’s not very exciting to drive and not very exciting to look at, but as an everyday vehicle it’s fantastic. The gas mileage is great. The interior versatility is very good, with incredible room for cargo and other passengers. The price tag is also fantastic at $20,015 fully loaded. However, the comparable Honda Fit is the exact price with all of the same available options — and is much nicer to drive. With more power and a smoother transmission, the car could be as good to drive as the Honda Fit — if not better.

Fun to Drive
3.0 rating
Fun to Look at
3.0 rating
Overall Experience
3.0 rating
Stats
EPA Mileage 31/40