2014 Nissan Versa Note Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat
  • low base price
  • many available convenience features
  • large cargo capacity
  • high fuel economy with CVT.
  • Bland performance and driving dynamics
  • noisy engine
  • no telescoping steering wheel
  • low-quality interior materials.
Other years
2014
Nissan Versa Note for Sale
2014
List Price Range
$5,481 - $8,995

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Edmunds' Expert Review

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.

Vehicle overview

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.

2014 Nissan Versa Note models

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.

2014 Highlights

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

Performance & mpg

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 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/36 mpg highway). The CVT version achieves an impressive 35 mpg combined (31 mpg city/40 mpg highway).

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 government crash tests, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note earned a rating of four out of five stars overall, with three stars in frontal tests, five stars in side tests, and four stars in rollover testing. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 Versa Note a rating of "Good" in moderate overlap front crash tests.

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.

Driving

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.

Interior

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.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

5(31%)
4(22%)
3(16%)
2(13%)
1(18%)
3.4
45 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

I love my Versa Note
Stacey,08/05/2016
1.6 S Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
I have owned my Note for a little over two years and have about 60,000 miles on it. I have a long work commute and was sick of giving half my money to the oil industry. I get about 37mpg. Compared to similar cars, the Note has a lot of space and cargo room. Five of us to Florida on a camping trip cargo room. Mine did come with an unlimited power train warranty from the dealership. I have kept up with every single required maintenance. I love my car, but if you're looking for a sports tuner, this isn't it. This is a good run around with the kids car. It's like my mini SUV. BTW, my husband is 6'2" and has plenty of head and leg room, which was one of his big concerns when I decided to go to a small car. *Update* I have now owned the car for just shy of 4 years. It has around 100,000 miles on it. I am no longer the main driver. As the kids grew the car got small. My husband now uses it as a commuter. He drives about 110 miles per day round trip. As of now, we still get great mpg, and have had no major issues. I was informed by my mechanic on the last oil change that the timing cover seems to be leaking slightly, but he didn't feel it was of any major concern. We continue to follow the maintenance schedule to the T. I have down graded the "value" to a 3 star. Though we've had good luck with this car, this car does not hold it's value. We almost have it paid off, but are still WAY upside down on the book value.
Bought it as a commuter. Exactly what it is.
Chesty Puller,11/18/2015
1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
So I bought this car as a commuter. Currently have 45,000 brutal miles on her. I drive 100 mile round trip to work over Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada's of Northern California. (Ever heard of the Donner Party) It's a 5,000 foot elevation gain from my house to work. The car, during the very steep sections, noticeably struggles. About 4k rpm's during the steep sections. Fuel economy suffers also while driving up the summit. But, let's be realistic. I spent $13,500 out the door for this car. For the price, I am more than happy with its performance. I hate it when people compare a $13k car to some other $30k+ car. Fuel economy. I average 35mpg average. I also drive 75-80mph up a 40 mile, 5,000 foot elevation gain. So gas mileage gets murdered on the way (20mpg) up but averages like 60mpg on the way back. This car has some space. I am amazed, when I lay down the seats, how much money I can blow at Home Depot and fit all the goodies in the woman car that I drive. Realiability. I change the oil every 4,000 miles. That it literally all I have done besides some fresh new tires. Never had a single problem. Ever. Snow: I chain up when there is mandatory chain control, but if I don't have to, the car gets around great with the continental true contact tires I bought. I have owned a couple Nissans before and they have always been reliable. I have been impressed with this car as it has a tough daily drive and has not given me a single problem. Now at 80k miles. Still no problems. Now at 97k miles no problems.
the mobile command center
jfortune,10/14/2014
Have had the car for about 9 months.....gas mileage is as claimed......the ride is more than decent for a car of it's size.......and it handling is very good....i was pleasantly surprised for a car of it's size.....the seats are very comfortable, have taken it on some 4 - 6 hour car trips and did not feel beat to death as I have in some small cars in the past.....all in all, I am very pleased with the car so far
Easy, cute and reliable!
Northern California Mom,10/01/2015
1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
Our 2014 Versa Note has about 40k miles on it. We bought it used four months ago from a dealer; previously a rental. We were looking for an economical, comfortable, newer, fuel-sipping, around-town vehicle that I (a mother of kids in various after school activities) could safely do all of my driving around town in. The Versa Note has delivered. Sound system is very good, use of interior space is excellent, gas mileage is very good, and it it's own way it is really fun to drive. Pickup is slow, but that is to be expected with the CVT. Once you're rolling, there is plenty of power. For a sub-compact car, the inside feels great and modern. Back seat is huge for the size of the car, and both front and back seats accommodate surprisingly tall people without a problem. Plenty of leg room. And somehow, the rear hatch area accommodates gigantic loads of groceries. The split rear seat is handy if you need extra room for carrying a small bicycle, etc. Our German Shepherd even fits in the way back. An added unexpected bonus of driving such a small car is that when our whole family is in it, it is incredibly easy and nice to have a conversation among us all because we are all relatively close together. Also easy to clean, being so small! All in all we love it, but it is definitely not a luxury car, so don't expect the super smooth ride. And go for the SV model at least if you can, because who wants a newer car with manual roll-down windows? But coming from our 2000 Subaru which finally bit the dust, it feels great, modern, and a big improvement in many ways. It is a little bumpy and jerky on the road since it is so little, but you get used to that. Not uncomfortable at all, but it drives more like a small motorcycle or scooter than a gigantic luxury liner. For long trips it may not be the absolute most comfortable car out there, but for cruising mostly around town it has rocked (we have a minivan as our other car to use for camping and trips). Love to squeeze the Versa Note into those tight parking spaces that the big trucks pass right by :)

Features & Specs

MPG
31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
Gas
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
27 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger2 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall5 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall5 / 5
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat5 / 5
    Back Seat5 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2014 Nissan Versa Note

Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note Overview

The Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note is offered in the following submodels: Versa Note Hatchback. Available styles include 1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), 1.6 S Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and 1.6 S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S is priced between $5,481 and$8,995 with odometer readings between 49599 and92561 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV is priced between $5,995 and$8,981 with odometer readings between 26063 and121000 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S Plus is priced between $6,997 and$7,995 with odometer readings between 51680 and80119 miles.

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Which used 2014 Nissan Versa Notes are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Nissan Versa Note for sale near. There are currently 11 used and CPO 2014 Versa Notes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,481 and mileage as low as 26063 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

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Find a used Nissan Versa Note for sale - 8 great deals out of 16 listings starting at $7,373.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 10 great deals out of 15 listings starting at $20,764.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Versa Note for sale - 3 great deals out of 7 listings starting at $9,245.

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Should I lease or buy a 2014 Nissan Versa Note?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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