2015 Nissan Versa Note Review

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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.

The 2015 Nissan Versa Note trails rivals in refinement and performance. But it could be worth a look for shoppers who prioritize low price, roominess and strong fuel economy.

Vehicle overview

For the budget-conscious shopper with practical concerns, there's the 2015 Nissan Versa Note. While certain rivals outshine it in handling and refinement, the Versa Note is a good choice for those seeking an extremely affordable hatchback that delivers in areas like comfort and versatility.

As the hatchback version of the Versa sedan, the Nissan Versa Note boasts attributes that make it inexpensive to own and easy to live with. Fuel economy is excellent and the car's interior is spacious, with a roomy backseat and ample cargo capacity. An adjustable cargo floor that can be raised or lowered as needed -- with a hidden storage area underneath to stash valuables -- adds useful versatility. Feature content is impressive. Even base models get Bluetooth connectivity, and available features include high-end extras like heated front seats, a 360-degree parking camera system and keyless ignition.

While the Versa Note transcends its budget-car status in some areas, in others, the hatchback remains quite basic. With humdrum cabin design and a litany of hard plastics, it trails competing models in interior refinement. And while its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) facilitate strong fuel economy, the car has a difficult time building speed on the highway. Other models are more fun to drive.

One of those is the 2015 Ford Fiesta, which provides responsive handling and steering in addition to a higher level of overall quality that will likely lead to a more satisfying ownership experience. For crisper acceleration, there's the Chevrolet Sonic and Hyundai Accent. Both these models manage a quicker 0-60-mph sprint than the Versa, while delivering good mileage. The redesigned Honda Fit is considerably quicker, too, and it can't be beat for roominess and cargo-carrying versatility.

Pricing is very important, certainly, and that's part of the Note's appeal. But it's worth calling out that equipping the Note to match base-model feature content of rivals like the Fit largely undercuts its cost advantage. We've given the Versa Note an overall "C" rating. You'll certainly want to run the numbers before making a decision.

2015 Nissan Versa Note models

The 2015 Nissan Versa Note is a five-passenger hatchback offered in five trims: S, S Plus, SV, SR and SL. 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, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary input jack. It's worth noting that the 2015 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.

The 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, vanity mirrors, a black center cluster surround, cruise control, illuminated entry and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls.

The sporty-looking SR trim adds 16-inch alloys, foglights, unique front and rear fascias, a unique grille, a dark headlight treatment, body-color side sill spoilers, a rear spoiler, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, a sport steering wheel, suede upholstery, sport front seats and a rear-seat center armrest with cupholders.

A Convenience package is available for the SV and SR. It adds a 5-inch touchscreen, a rearview camera, satellite radio, a USB/iPod interface. Bluetooth audio connectivity, smartphone app integration (NissanConnect with Mobile Apps), a rear cargo area divider and a rear seat center armrest (SV only).

The range-topping SL gets you the contents of the Convenience package as standard along with 16-inch alloys, foglights, keyless ignition and entry and heated front seats. A Tech package for the SL adds a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, voice controls for audio and navigation, heated side mirrors and a 360-degree parking camera system.

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2015 Highlights

The 2015 Nissan Versa Note adds two trims this year: SR and SL, priced at the top of the lineup. New available features like heated front seats have been added, and all Versa Note models get Bluetooth connectivity as standard this year.

Performance & mpg

Powering the 2015 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. Both drive the front wheels.

The EPA estimates fuel economy for the manual-shift Versa Note at 30 mpg combined (27 city/36 highway). The CVT version is said to be capable of an impressive 35 mpg combined (31/40), yet we only achieved 32 mpg in 300 miles of mixed driving.

In Edmunds performance testing, the Versa Note with the CVT went from zero to 60 in 10.4 seconds, which is average for this class of car.


Standard safety features for all 2015 Nissan Versa Note models include antilock brakes (front discs and rear drums), front-seat side airbags, side curtain airbags and traction and stability control. A rearview camera is standard on the SL and optional on the SV and SR.

Government crash tests resulted in an overall rating of four of a possible five stars, with three stars for frontal crash, five for side, and four for risk of rollover.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Note came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is an average distance for a car in this class.


Expectations should be kept in check when it comes to the 2015 Nissan Versa Note's performance. Acceleration is tepid at best, as the small engine proves merely adequate. Similarly, the electric-assist steering is dutiful about its job of directing where the car goes, but it lacks any sort of enthusiastic feel or response.

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. Wind, tire and engine noise are noticeably evident most of the time, and will prove excessive for some.

In general, the 2015 Nissan Versa Note has a compact-car 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 but doesn't go beyond feeling like a basic commuter car.


The first thing that strikes you about the 2015 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 and lumpy-feeling front seats.

Cargo space is respectable, with 18.8 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. That's more than a Sonic, but significantly less than what a Fit offers.

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 and entry and a 360-degree parking camera system is a nice touch for this class of car.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note.

Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

4 out of 5 stars
Surprisingly good
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
5 out of 5 stars
still happy buyer
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.
5 out of 5 stars
Diane D,02/11/2018
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.
4.75 out of 5 stars
The Note sings
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.


NHTSA Overall Rating

4 out of 5 stars
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

More about the 2015 Nissan Versa Note

Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note Overview

The Used 2015 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), 1.6 SR 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), 1.6 S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 1.6 SR w/Prod. End 10/14 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), 1.6 SL w/Prod. End 10/14 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT), and 1.6 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT). Pre-owned Nissan Versa Note models are available with a 1.6 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 109 hp, depending on engine type. The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note comes with front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: continuously variable-speed automatic. The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What's a good price on a Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note?

Price comparisons for Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note trim styles:

  • The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV is priced between $6,995 and$13,599 with odometer readings between 45690 and109658 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SL is priced between $9,275 and$13,999 with odometer readings between 18185 and108272 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SR is priced between $12,090 and$14,000 with odometer readings between 42660 and64664 miles.
  • The Used 2015 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S Plus is priced between $9,277 and$9,277 with odometer readings between 74328 and74328 miles.

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Which used 2015 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) 2015 Nissan Versa Note for sale near. There are currently 9 used and CPO 2015 Versa Notes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $6,995 and mileage as low as 18185 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 2015 Nissan Versa Note.

Can't find a used 2015 Nissan Versa Notes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Versa Note for sale - 8 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $9,677.

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Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Versa Note for sale - 1 great deals out of 6 listings starting at $12,287.

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Should I lease or buy a 2015 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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