2016 Nissan Versa Note Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat
  • low base price
  • large cargo capacity
  • high fuel economy with CVT.
  • Bland performance and handling
  • noisy engine
  • no telescoping steering wheel
  • low-quality interior materials.
Other years
2016
Nissan Versa Note for Sale
2016
List Price Range
$7,781 - $12,878

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2016 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

If you're shopping for a practical subcompact hatchback on a tight budget, the 2016 Nissan Versa Note is one to look at. Perhaps best known for its affordable pricing, the Versa Note also boasts high fuel economy and a roomy interior with an exceptionally spacious backseat. Starting with the midlevel SV trim this year, Nissan includes a standard touchscreen infotainment system and even a nifty adjustable cargo floor that can be raised or lowered to accommodate various items. Indeed, despite that low cost of entry, this Nissan's got a lot going on.

Because it's a hatchback, the 2016 Nissan Versa Note is more versatile than the regular Versa sedan.

On the other hand, the Versa Note's interior styling is rather bland and features large swaths of hard plastics that cheapen the overall effect, especially when compared to most rivals. And while the car's 1.6-liter engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) earned an impressive 40 mpg highway rating from the EPA, this tandem's performance is distinctly underwhelming when you're trying to get up to speed in a hurry. Furthermore, although the Versa's suspension delivers decent ride comfort, handling is rather indifferent. From a driving standpoint, other competitors in this segment are simply more rewarding in many respects.

Topping that list is the recently redesigned 2016 Honda Fit, which is pretty fun to drive and is unmatched for its cargo room versatility. Then there's the 2016 Ford Fiesta, which bring European-style sophistication to the table, albeit with very modest backseat and cargo dimensions. The 2016 Chevrolet Sonic and 2016 Hyundai Accent both offer sprightlier acceleration while still achieving wholly respectable fuel economy numbers. Overall, the 2016 Nissan Versa Note remains an affordable subcompact with a strong practical streak, but it struggles to stand out in this competitive field.

2016 Nissan Versa Note models

The 2016 Nissan Versa Note is a five-passenger, four-door hatchback offered in five trim levels: 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, chrome grille accents, power mirrors, manual windows and locks, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seatbacks, a tilt-only steering wheel with auxiliary controls, a trip computer, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

It's worth noting that the 2016 Versa S trim is available only with a five-speed manual transmission. Stepping up to the S Plus trim gets you active grille shutters and a CVT for increased fuel economy.

The SV trim adds remote keyless entry, illuminated entry, upgraded cloth upholstery and interior trim, a height-adjustable driver seat with an armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, power windows and door locks, cruise control, vanity mirrors, the Divide-n-Hide adjustable cargo floor, a rearview camera and the Nissan Connect infotainment system with a 5.0-inch color touchscreen, satellite radio preparation, Bluetooth streaming audio, a USB port with iPod control, hands-free text messaging and mobile-app integration.

Alloy wheels come standard on the SR and SL trim levels.

The sport-themed SR trim gets 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, unique front and rear fascias, a sport body kit with a rear spoiler, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, synthetic suede upholstery with orange accents, a rear-seat center armrest with cupholders and a sport steering wheel.

The top-of-the-line SL keeps the 16-inch alloys and foglights, and it adds heated mirrors, keyless entry and ignition, heated front seats, a surround-view parking camera system and a larger 5.8-inch NissanConnect touchscreen with navigation (including voice controls).

A Tech package for the SR adds the larger touchscreen with the navigation system. The SV is eligible for a few additional add-ons, including an Appearance package (15-inch alloy wheels, foglights, variable intermittent wipers), a Sport Value package (15-inch alloys plus a rear spoiler) and 16-inch alloy wheels.

2016 Highlights

For 2016, the midgrade SV trim now comes standard with a 5.0-inch touchscreen infotainment bundle that includes Bluetooth audio, mobile-app integration, satellite radio preparation and a rearview camera, as well as the Divide-n-Hide adjustable rear cargo system.

Performance & mpg

Powering the front-wheel-drive 2016 Nissan Versa Note is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The entry-level S model is only available with a five-speed manual transmission, while higher trims receive a CVT.

EPA fuel economy estimates for the manual-shift Versa Note are 30 mpg combined (27 city/36 highway). The CVT version is rated at an impressive 35 mpg combined (31/40), but on the diverse 120-mile Edmunds real-world evaluation loop, we only achieved 32 mpg. Typically, we expect to see at least the combined number.

In Edmunds performance testing, a Versa Note with the CVT went from zero to 60 in 10.4 seconds, trailing the class-leading Honda Fit by a sobering 1.6 seconds.

Safety

Standard safety features for all 2016 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 SV, SR and SL.

In Edmunds brake testing, the Note came to a stop from 60 mph in 125 feet, which is about 3 feet longer than average for a car in this class.

Driving

On the road, the 2016 Nissan Versa Note drives like the affordable subcompact it is. The little 1.6-liter engine produces acceleration that's adequate at best. Coupled to the CVT, it's smooth in everyday driving but can rev noisily under hard acceleration.

While not a complete snooze to drive, the 2016 Versa Note is less engaging from behind the wheel than the rival Honda Fit, for example.

Things settle down once you're up to speed, but wind and tire noise are constant companions. The Versa Note's comfort-tuned suspension offers a generally supple ride, though big bumps get transmitted directly to the cabin with little absorption. Handling is secure but far from inspiring, and the vague steering provides little feedback.

Interior

Compared to its rather expressive exterior, the cabin of the 2016 Nissan Versa Note is a bit of a letdown because of ho-hum dashboard styling and an abundance of hard plastics. Moreover, the tilt-only steering wheel and the lack of a height-adjustable driver seat on S and S Plus trim levels makes it difficult to find a comfortable driving position.

The Versa Note's interior design is rather forgettable, but the backseat is exceptionally spacious.

While the standard touchscreen functionality from the SV trim on up is a definite plus, this interior's real strong suit is its spaciousness. In particular, the backseat provides enough head- and legroom for 6-footers, putting many subcompact hatchbacks to shame. Cargo space is less impressive, measuring 18.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 38.3 cubic feet with the rear seatbacks folded down. However, the available "Divide-n-Hide" adjustable cargo area floor is a cool enhancement on SV, SR and SL models, allowing for thinner objects (think purses and briefcases) to be stored out of sight while still providing room for larger objects up top.


Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2016 Nissan Versa Note.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

Fun to drive, great mileage
David Allin,08/05/2016
1.6 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
First, the Versa Note is almost totally unrelated to the other Versa models. It's a different platform that is more solid and much better looking. When you close the doors, you hear a nice muffled 'thunk', not the tinny clank of most economy cars. The whole car feels very tight, and is extremely quiet inside, with no squeaks or rattles and little tire and wind noise. The interior is simple, but the materials all feel sturdy and look attractive, which is standard for Nissans. I traded in a 2005 Sentra with 108K miles, and the cloth interior of that car still looked just like new. The Note's interior is very spacious, especially for such a small car, with plenty of leg room in the back seats for two adults. The cargo area is adequate, with a floor that can be positioned at two heights, and the rear seatbacks fold down almost flat. Unlike most cars these days, the rear side windows roll all the way down and out of sight in the doors. The car handles extremely well, and stops on a dime. In order to make it good great mileage, however, Nissan put a very small engine in it, combined with a CVT transmission that is programmed to save gas. As a result the car is not a pocket rocket, although the acceleration is adequate. Going up Nine-Mile hill at 75mph with the AC on is a strain, but otherwise the car can keep up with traffic pretty well. I've found that a gentle pressure on the gas pedal will actually result in better acceleration than pushing it to the floor. Still, we use our Murano for long trips, and the Note in town, where it scoots around happily. There's an old sports car saying that it's more fun to drive a slow car fast than a fast car slow, and it applies here. I bought the SL, with all the bells and whistles, and for the most part they are worth the extra cost. The satellite radio is great, and the car's sound system is better than the one in my Murano. One of the main features we were looking for was visibility, and in addition to the great arrangement of windows, the SL has the around-view monitor, with cameras on all sides that produce a picture on the center screen of a birds-eye view of the car when backing up. The cameras can also be turned on when pulling forward into a parking space. The navigation systems is okay, but not as good as my Garmin, and clearly has not been updated for at least four years. The Sirius Travel Link is a nice feature, giving you the prices of gas at nearby stations, movie listings in the area, stock prices, and weather info. It also provides you real-time traffic alerts. All of these can be accessed using voice commands that work fairly well. Instrumentation is limited to tach, speedo, and gas gauge; all other systems are just warning lights. The HVAC is the same one that was in my 2005 Sentra, but it works well. Judging by our experience with previous Nissans over the last 20 years, we expect this car to be trouble-free for as long as we own it. Yes, I wish it had a little more power, but we love the car anyway. UPDATE: After owning and driving the car for ten months, my previous praise still stands. I'm averaging 31-39 mpg, depending on type of driving, and have had absolutely no problems with the car. I have learned how to modulate the accelerator to achieve better acceleration; a steady, firm but moderate pressure on the gas pedal allows the CVT to spool up properly and bring the car to speed quickly. You can't accelerate by the sound of the engine or the sweep of the tach like most cars; instead you just watch the speedometer and let the CVT figure out how to best move the car forward. Driving this way has made me far less aware of the limited power of the engine. I always enjoy driving the car, and it really scoots around town, while cruising comfortably on the highway. It's a fun car, but also practical and totally reliable.
3 years with no, no repair costs and 33 to 40 mpg
Newton,03/18/2017
1.6 S 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
This is a basic manual shift car with very comfortable front seats. Purchased new summer 2014. Driven in Tx at highway speeds in very hot weather. AC is excellent. Only expense was gas and oil changes for over 50K miles. Steering is fine, brakes fine, manual shift fine, tires excellent, visibility fine. Purchased for trips over 3000 miles. No back or knee issues, surprising considering only adjustment was for/aft and recline. 6+ footer comfortable in back for 3k trips. Child safety seat no problem. At 45 mph speeds 40 mpg. At 80 mph 30+ mpg. Highest mileage was over 40 mpg driving flat 50 mph roads. Engine temp gauge indication same in summer and winter. Traction in heavy rain excellent, no ice or snow driving. Manual windows work great. Only inconvenience was no power door locks and no cruise control. Would also liked to have 6th gear. I could enter 80 mph road at 80 with up hill reasonable ramp, car cruised at 80 to 90 indicated speed all day in Tx. I never exceeded 6k rev and would typically rev to 5700 to get to 80 mph. 80 mph would take 4K revs. in 5th. Enough power in 1st to cherp front tires. Car always felt safe and solid on the road. Car still looks like new in and out.
Problems, problems, problems
James Reyome,05/02/2018
1.6 SV 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
First off, you probably should know that this is our second Versa. We really like the model...it is, it seems, as close to our ideal vehicle as exists today. Sure, we wouldn't mind some cavernous SUV but the fact is that we can't afford it, and with gas getting dearer and dearer still we appreciate the economy of a well built "misermobile". We bought the first used as well and have put 140K miles on it (so far...it's still running well!) but we were ready to get another, thus the 2016 Versa Note SV. We purchased this one via Enterprise Car Sales and I cannot say enough about the buying experience...first rate all the way; great price, wonderful vehicle, just what we were looking for, and with pre-arranged financing through our credit union we were in and out of the dealership in well under an hour. Now, as to the car...first things first, it's not a race car, so take reviews from sites like Car and Driver and Motor Trend and their ilk with a VERY large grain of salt. The Versa Note is a commuter car, and it does that job exceedingly well. It rides well, has a quiet, roomy cabin (I am 6' 3" and fit fine both in the back seat and behind the wheel) and everything is laid out logically. The SV package includes just about every electronic widget you could possibly desire sans navigation, but that's why I have an iPhone and a GPS. The backup camera is a nice touch but with so many enormous windows it isn't wholly necessary. It's nice to have, though. The body style is a significant upgrade from the rather shoe-like boxiness of the 2011 Versa we own, and is very pleasing to look at. The cargo space is remarkable with the rear seats folded down (my bicycle fits just fine, thank you!) and the Divide-n-Hide storage is a neat feature that gives you a nice flat floor with a nifty hiding place beneath. Every car should have this sort of thing! As to the driving, I enjoy the CVT personally though I can understand why drivers who prefer more input might desire a five or six speed. I certainly can't argue with the results though...my average gas mileage has been a jaw-dropping 41.5 mpg in combined highway and local driving. Seriously. I watch this stuff carefully (with my budget I have to) and this is not just accurate, it's spot-on. Those are near hybrid numbers, at what, a half of the cost? A third? Remarkable! Mind you, I drive with a balloon foot mostly, but hey, I stay out of the way and don't slow anybody else down. I bet I could speed up a bit with little loss in mileage, but I'd rather be kind to the car. The small fuel tank probably helps too, holding about 2.5 gallons less than the 2011 Versa. Less gas, less weight. Less range too, you would think, but at 41.5 mpg you're talking 450 miles per tank, and that's more than the 2011 ever got. The steering is precise on the road but remarkably light in the parking lot...nothing to complain about there. The car mags all note the supposedly gutless engine, but hey, it gets me up to speed just fine and I don't have any problem keeping up. So far as costs go, apart from gas, regular oil changes, and rotating tires, the Versa would be frugal on that score too. In the summing up, as a used vehicle, fleet or otherwise, the Versa Note is a remarkable bargain, proof that you don't have to give up much to gain a lot of value. I expect to be driving it for many years to come. UPDATE 5/5/20 This may not come as much of a surprise to other Versa owners, but we have now had serious problems with our machine. It started with a sudden Malfunction Indicator Light (MIL) that noted that we apparently had problems with our ABS system. Next time the car started, the error cleared. Bemused, I continued to drive the car. A couple of weeks later, the same error reappeared. In order to clear it, I shut the car down and restarted it (yes, I am an IT tech, no, it wasn't terribly bright to do this whilst stopped at a traffic light.) To my alarm, the car would not restart again! I got help to push the vehicle off the road...a few minutes later it restarted and I managed to get it home. I took it to a shop which replaced the Camshaft Position Sensor. I took the car home. I went out to start it to go to work the next day and...it happened again! No start. The shop got the car and took it back, then called me later to tell me the "computer" was faulty and needed to be replaced. They tried to do it and finally refunded all my money and said I'd need to take it to a dealer. I did and...THE DEALER AS MUCH AS TOLD ME THEY DIDN'T WANT TO WORK ON IT. They said it would entail many hours of research and an expensive part and boy, there sure were a lot of nice cars in the lot and wouldn't I be better off to look at them...? So I took the car home, and here it sits. Weirdly, it appears to have something to do with temperature, as it seemed to be okay all winter, but now that the weather has gotten warm again, the problem has recurred. The Versa is now discontinued, and I am sorry that it has ended so badly.
Easy, Reliable, and Fuel Efficient
Aaron King,08/04/2016
1.6 S Plus 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
... which is basically all I wanted. Not many bells and whistles, but it's a really great car.

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
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 2016 Nissan Versa Note features & specs

Safety

NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • 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 2016 Nissan Versa Note

Used 2016 Nissan Versa Note Overview

The Used 2016 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), and 1.6 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.6L 4cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2016 Nissan Versa Note?

Price comparisons for Used 2016 Nissan Versa Note trim styles:

  • The Used 2016 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 SV is priced between $7,781 and$12,878 with odometer readings between 16807 and85523 miles.
  • The Used 2016 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S Plus is priced between $8,990 and$8,990 with odometer readings between 60249 and60249 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2016 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) 2016 Nissan Versa Note for sale near. There are currently 6 used and CPO 2016 Versa Notes listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $7,781 and mileage as low as 16807 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 2016 Nissan Versa Note.

Can't find a used 2016 Nissan Versa Notes you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a used Nissan Versa Note for sale - 11 great deals out of 13 listings starting at $14,688.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 6 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $7,980.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Versa Note for sale - 6 great deals out of 8 listings starting at $12,819.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 4 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,037.

Should I lease or buy a 2016 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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