2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback Review | Edmunds.com

2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback

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Nissan Versa Note Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.6 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 109 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/36 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2014 Nissan Versa Note

  • C Edmunds Rating
  • The 2014 Nissan Versa Note scores big with the basics like price, space and mpg, but comes up short in terms of refinement and performance.

  • Safety | Rating Details
  • Pros

    Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat; low base price; many available convenience features; large cargo capacity; high fuel economy with CVT.

  • Cons

    Bland performance and driving dynamics; noisy engine; no telescoping steering wheel; low-quality interior materials.

  • What's New for 2014

    The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is the hatchback companion to the Versa sedan.

Full 2014 Nissan Versa Note Review

What's New for 2014

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is the hatchback companion to the Versa sedan.

Introduction

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is a subcompact car built with two central priorities: getting you where you need to go and doing it on the cheap. The Versa Note isn't designed to press you back against the seat during hard acceleration or thrill you with its handling around turns. This small hatchback is neither quick nor sporty. But it does take you from Point A to Point B, and considering its low price, its cabin accommodations are respectable.

The all-new Note is essentially the hatchback version of the Versa sedan, which was last redesigned in 2012. For the money, you get excellent fuel economy, plenty of passenger space and cargo capacity and a sharply styled exterior. These highlights alone may be enough to sway plenty of shoppers over to the Versa camp. Then there are the numerous available bells and whistles that set the Note apart from rivals, such as keyless ignition/entry, a 360-degree parking camera system and a cargo divider that provides added security and convenience when stowing your worldly possessions.

Although the 2014 Nissan Versa Note is an adequate means of transportation, it falls short of its rivals in both interior refinement and overall performance. The cabin is bathed in hard plastics, and its general design is pretty dull. The pairing of the 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) is good for fuel economy, but this hatchback struggles to get up to highway speeds and the engine makes loud groaning noises in the process. Apart from its comfortable ride, the Note just isn't a particularly inspiring car to drive.

Competing subcompacts such as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit are more enjoyable, for example, thanks to their sharper handling and steering. The Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent sprint to 60 mph more quickly than the Versa and still get very good fuel economy.

Equipping the 2014 Nissan Versa Note to match other base-model subcompacts takes away some of its cost advantage as well, so you need to pay attention to all of the numbers before you decide. But if having plenty of space for your passengers and sticking to your budget are top priorities, the Versa Note is a great place to start.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is a five-passenger hatchback that is offered in three trims: S, S Plus and SV. A four-door sedan version of the Versa also is available and is covered in a separate model review.

Standard features for the base S trim include 15-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, air-conditioning, a trip computer, a tilt-only steering wheel, a four-way manually adjustable driver seat, 60/40 split-folding rear seats and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. It's worth noting that the 2014 Versa S trim is available only with a five-speed manual transmission. Stepping up to the S Plus trim adds active grille shutters for increased fuel economy, as well as a CVT and cruise control.

The range-topping SV trim tacks on keyless remote entry, power locks and windows, upgraded and expanded use of cloth upholstery, a six-way adjustable driver seat, a driver-side center armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, silver/chrome interior and exterior accents and Bluetooth phone connectivity.

Bundled options are only offered on the SV trim. The SV Convenience package includes a rearview camera, a 4.3-inch touchscreen display, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface, a fold-down rear center armrest and a cargo divider. The SL package gets you the Convenience package features plus 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, keyless ignition/entry and heated front seats. Finally, there's the SL Tech package with heated mirrors, a 360-degree parking camera system, a navigation system, a larger 5.8-inch color touchscreen, Pandora radio and Bluetooth streaming audio.

Stand-alone options are available on all trims and include 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear roof spoiler, chrome exterior accents, interior ambient lighting, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a vehicle tracking and recovery system, and a cargo divider.

Powertrains and Performance

Powering the 2014 Nissan Versa Note is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Base S models only come with a five-speed manual, while higher trims receive a CVT, which takes the place of a conventional automatic transmission on the Note. Both drive the front wheels.

The EPA estimates fuel economy for the manual-shift Versa Note at 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 30 mpg in combined driving. The CVT version achieves an impressive 31/40/35 mpg.

We've yet to test the Note, but in Edmunds performance testing, the very similar Versa sedan with the CVT went from zero to 60 in 10.4 seconds, which is average for this class of car.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2014 Nissan Versa Notes include four-wheel antilock brakes (front discs, rear drums), front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and traction and stability control. A rearview camera is optional on the SV. The SV also has a standard tire-pressure alert system, which makes it easier to add air to your tires by sounding the horn when you've achieved the correct inflation pressure.

In Edmunds brake testing, the related Versa sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, which is a respectable distance for a car in this class.

Interior Design and Special Features

The first thing that strikes you about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note's passenger cabin is the roominess. Nowhere is this more evident than in the backseat, where even two tall adults can comfortably sit, benefiting from ample head- and legroom. Up front, taller drivers might find it hard to achieve a comfortable position, however, due to the lack of a telescoping steering wheel.

Cargo space is generous, with 21.4 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. The available adjustable cargo area floor allows for thin objects (laptop bags and boxes) to be stored under the floor and out of view, while larger objects can be stored on top. The divider also can be dropped or removed completely for maximum space. With the rear seats lowered, the Note can hold 38.3 cubic feet of cargo.

Despite its relatively striking exterior styling, the Versa Note's interior is about as bland and budget-based as you'll find. Hard plastics abound and the design is bare-bones basic. That said, the availability of premium convenience features such as keyless ignition/entry and a rearview camera is a nice touch for this class of car.

Driving Impressions

Expectations should be kept in check when it comes to the 2014 Nissan Versa Note's performance. Acceleration is tepid at best, as the small engine proves merely adequate.

The CVT is smooth and unobtrusive around town, but it can have the engine revving noisily if you abruptly press down on the gas pedal (in a highway passing situation, for instance) as it searches for its ideal ratio. This is a common complaint with CVTs that are paired with small four-cylinder engines, and most owners get used to this trait over time. On a positive note, when you finally reach highway speeds on flat pavement, the revs drop dramatically for quiet and fuel-efficient cruising. Low amounts of road and wind noise contribute to the sense of calm in the cabin.

In general, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note has a comfortable ride. Most small road imperfections are absorbed by the tires and suspension, but larger bumps and ruts have a tendency to upset the car's equilibrium and cause it to lurch dramatically. These reactions can be unsettling to passengers, but the car remains in control. For the most part, the Note is obedient on curving roads, and it's perfectly acceptable as a basic commuter car.

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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews


1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sound economical choice

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

This car is the first new Nissan product that I have purchased. I have now owned the car for six months and have put 11,000K miles on it. With that said, I am glad that I chose this car. I am averaging 38 mpg, most of it commuting 50 miles a day to and from work. The great fuel economy makes it the right choice for me. I did drive the car for a couple of months already during the winter and the push button traction control is absolutely wonderful. Minnesota winters are harsh and it handled the 8+ inches of snow exceptionally well.



3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Great first car

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

The Note is pretty good considering it is one of the cheapest cars you can buy new at the moment. Manual windows, locks, pretty much everything besides the side mirrors is manual. The interior is very cheap and plastic feeling. At the same time however, the interior is simple and easy to navigate. The back seats have some of the best space for any small car on the market. You can easily fit two 300+lbs 6 foot high people in the back with no problem. The 1.8L motor does the job just fine producing 109HP. It isn't very quick, but I have yet to have any problems merging onto the highway or driving on any road. I'm happy with this purchase.



3 of 6 people found this review helpful

Surprisingly good

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

We say "surprisingly good" because if one read all the negative reviews...well you get the idea. Note's MPG, with usually two aboard, and under all conditions including steep hills and a couple of mountains, is astonishing at 40+ mpg average. Car is noticeably quiet and has a nice ride on most road surfaces. CVT takes some getting used to but we favor it over regular automatics. Car really rolls (due in part to its low drag figure.) We found the strength of the car is on the open road--this is no "grocery getter" only, as described by one dopey reviewer. So, car looks good, is well built, great mpg's, is quiet and rides well. What more could one want?



12 of 14 people found this review helpful

Excellent car for all around

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

We just bought our 2014 Nissan Versa Note and I have to say it is great. You can't hear the engine below about 2000 rpm which is the usable economical range. I am getting about 39 to 40 mpg average by watching the mpg constantly. Key is 25 inner city and 55 freeway on cruise. Lots of interior room except the driver door touches my left leg. We got the SV model at 500 of base which included everything. Very easy to park in tight spaces which is something we required. Has euro styling better than competitors. I am learning more about this car every day. Uphill is not good so go 20 to maximize economy. No sun roof.



15 of 33 people found this review helpful

Great !

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)

I purchased the 2014 Nissan Versa Note and have since put just 900 miles on it. So far I love the car. I traded in my 06 Mecedes C Class. I decided I wanted to get a simpler car that would save me a lot of money. I do not regret the decision one bit. I am averaging 39 miles per gallon, and have more room in this car than the mercedes. Is it very powerful, NO but if I wanted powerful I would not have looked at this car. Its very simple car that will get you from A to B and allow you to put more money toward more important things. Spending 30+ for a car just does not make much since any more.



11 of 54 people found this review helpful

Say no to versa

by on
Vehicle: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)

I have had this Versa Note for less than 3 months with under 1,000 miles on it. Yesterday I noticed the oil leak spots on the driveway. The worthless dealership says I have to wait 6 days for an appointment to bring it in. If I had known the heap was made in Mexico I would never have bought it. This leak is due to shoddy, sloppy workmanship. One more thing, the worthless dealership said they may have to keep the heap overnight! I don't know which is worse, the dealership or the car. Meanwhile, I have to keep checking and adding oil for the next 6 days while waiting for the worthless dealership appointment.



Talk About The 2014 Versa Note

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 36
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
Reliability

Identifix Reliability Ratings

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