2015 Nissan Versa Note Review
Edmunds' Expert Review
- 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 handling
- noisy engine
- no telescoping steering wheel
- low-quality interior materials.
Most helpful consumer reviews
1.6 SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
I was looking for an economical hatchback to perform chores around town--transporting the dog, carrying bulky items from Home Depot, etc. My first thought was the Honda Fit, but only the top trim level offered the option of in-dash navigation, and it came with leather upholstery, heated seats and other features that I didn't care about. Then I read a comparison article which included the Versa Note and checked it out. Less expensive than the Fit and navigation was available on a lower level trim, the SR. After test driving and shopping several Nissan dealerships, I found just the car I wanted. I've only got 500 miles on it, but I am very pleased so far. I like the looks of this car. The SR comes with sportier alloy wheels, turn signals on the exterior mirrors, a roof spoiler and fog lights. The upright stance means there is a ton of headroom, even for a 6 foot plus person like me. Its tiny engine seems spunky enough to me, as I generally accelerate quickly enough from stoplights. Noise in the cabin is moderate--probably normal for this class of cars. It is quite roomy inside--particularly legroom in the backseat. And I was pleasantly surprised by some of the features , such as automatic door locking, auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink, a rear center armrest, and trip computer in the instrument panel. The optional navigation screen is smaller than in most cars, but the system works fine and even offers a "birds-eye view". Aspects of the car that are less than satisfying are: 1. no center armrest for the front passenger 2. the door armrests are uncomfortable hard plastic 3. the rear headrests are positioned at a strange and uncomfortable angle 4. the driver's seat is lumpy and would not be comfortable for long-range driving (which I don't intend for this car anyway) 5. strangely, there is no temperature gauge in the instrument cluster for the SR trim only
1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
June 2018 update. This car after 22,000 miles give or take, is still the best small car I have ever driven. Since I have been driving for 58 years, I have owned and driven many small cars, many, many, thousands of miles. This is the best. Drives like a feather, good ride and comfort, not noisy, great 40+ OA mpg's and no probs. yet. Does well on long trips, and shorter jaunts too. How can you not love it? Oh, by the way, it's enormous inside--esp. in the back seat. If buying, get the 15" (that's "fifteen inch") alloy wheels: lighter, less expensive to replace tires, better ride, and look good. All the Best. June 2017 update: I grant that mileage driven on this car (purchased in 2014) is still quite low and that I am a conservative driver, but this car continues to impress. I am starting to resent the reviews of this vehicle in the leading consumer magazine to which I subscribe. They rate this car lower car than the Honda Fit and even the Chevy Sonic (!) but then say that the Fit is "unfit" for long trips and are below average in the "ride/noise" category. Also the Fit's rated reliability is lower than the Note's. As for the Sonic: the back seat is cramped, and the trunk with the seat backs put up, is like a shoebox; mpg's are considerably worse than the Note's and the Sonic's steering is described as "darty". So, for these and other reasons, the Note should be rated higher than the Fit and the Soncic--not lower! Add that steering is a joy, comfort is good, back seat is enormous, and great for trips because of, in part, relatively good "ride/noise". Another point: sales figures of Nissan Versa's (sedans and Notes) FAR outstrip the Fit and the Sonic (ref. www.subcompactculture.com blog). So where does CR come up with their opinions? (My take is that they don't much care for Nissans generally.) Original review: Purchased this SV Note in May 2014 and have over 5,000 miles on it. Went to Mobil 1 low friction oil (0W30) at 3500 miles and increased already excellent mileage by at least 1 mpg, so recommend. Car drives great, handles like a dream and is--for class--quiet from road and engine noise, and has a nice ride. Pump to pump mileage checks show consistently over 40 mpg in warm weather and this includes a wide variety of conditions (including hilly and mountainous) with usually two people aboard. Car looks good to my eye with upright stance (as compared to the Fit, for example.) So, looks good, rides and handles great with outstanding mileage and is enormous inside. Recommend. June 2016 addition to original review: Like this car more than ever. Great room inside, quiet and comfortable for class. Very good for long trips on highways as well as local driving. Excellent ingress and egress (wife and I are in 70's.) MPG's are outstanding. Very mixed driving and 40+ mpg's easily attainable in warm months. (We live in northeast). High/low range: 43 -- 36 depending on time of season. (Petroleum companies change their formulations in the cold months/areas of country so, partially as a result, cold weather driving drives mpg's down--a little known fact perhaps.) We have come to like the CVT; would not likely return to a conventional automatic tranny in any future car. Would buy this car again. Tips: reco the 15" (not 16") alloy wheels. There are a number of good reasons for this which won't go into here (except to say, e.g. looks, comfort, strength, mileage, cost, and so forth. Also recommend low friction oil such as Mobil l 0W30. My mpg's improved at least by 1 with this oil. Finally, please note that this car is now rated highest in category for reliability by CR. A winner! Dec. 2017 update: Not much to say differently from previous reviews and updates. Car still impresses. Mileage now c. 20,300. Reliability is still very good; ride and noise factors very good; car handles so beautifully it is a snap to toot around on secondary roads and in towns. But, as previously mentioned, a big plus of this car over others in it's class is that it is good on longer trips. In a word, very good on the highways over a length of time. I drove my son's 2007 Honda Fit Sport around recently (secondary and highway roads) and it is a fine little car esp. if you drive in a very spirited fashion. I confess, being older, to driving very conservatively, but not when I was younger so I can appreciate a snappy small car. But I would give the Versa NOTE a noticeable comfort edge esp. on highways and say that it is ideal for older folks--also because ingress and egress are outstanding. Perhaps the newer Fit is different. Anyway, this is the best small car I have ever driven, and I have driven small cars (owned 6, and rented many) for c. 57 years. I think I know something about small cars!. Highly recommend the NOTE.
1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
I didn't notice the small pocket glove compartment for a month! I didn't want to wait til I could find a manual with cruise (a MUST HAVE for me) so I took the CVT and I hope I don't regret it. I've seen a few complaints about the headrest. I felt like I was leaning over so I removed the head rest and turned it around, viola! Much better than not having one (headrest). As for accelerating on a short ramp, PUT YOUR FOOT ON THE GAS firmly (slowly apply pressure) before you hit the ramp! Or, try putting it in low, firm push on the pedal and that'll do it (put it back in drive too!). I haven't had ANY problem with it but it IS a 4 cyl. You've got to .get a "feel" for the CVT (not really a big fan, I'd rather have a traditional tranny). Folks, this is a low price (plenty of deals) and 4 cyl with 109 hp engine so don't expect a Maxima! In my opinion, WAY better than the Fiesta and Mirage (ugh, awful). So far, no issues with the window issues I've read about - guess I'll leave a towel in the car. Smile every time I get in and out, which is a breeze !! I had a 2001 Corolla for a short while and felt like a Big Foot climbing out (I'm 5'8") of that car.
1.6 SL w/Prod. End 10/14 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
The Note is an interesting piece in a sea of sameness. Even with only 600 miles on the clock, I've been averaging about 35 miles combined highway and city. I have the SV with the CVT and am very happy with it. It seems to gave enough scoot, but with only 600 miles on the clock, I'm not doing any hard driving yet. The Note is a car where reading the owners manual is a definite plus, though I found a few features on my own. I'll list them in the next section. It's a roomy, reasonably quiet, though the bluetooth and media volume buttons are not intuitive. The up and down button is the phone, while the button going across is the volume control.