There was a time when the Versa Note would have been considered an admirable hatchback for shoppers on a tight budget. Recently, however, even this humble vehicle class has experienced significant gains in quality, feature content and performance, but the Versa has somehow missed this renaissance.
Compared to competing hatchbacks, the Versa Note is slow, not particularly engaging to drive and lacking in refinement. To its credit, it does offer a lot of rear passenger space and a clever cargo system, but these are not enough to warrant a strong recommendation. We suggest checking out the alternatives before settling on the Versa Note.
The base S Plus trim is far too bare-bones even for the price, with hand-cranked windows and an actual key to open and start the car. We recommend stepping up to the SV trim so you won't feel like you got stuck with the last car at a rental counter.
Stepping up to higher trims yields diminishing returns, particularly if you're in the majority who own a smartphone. Free apps for navigation and entertainment are a fine substitute for the factory options and features.
trim levels & features
The 2017 Nissan Versa Note hatchback seats five and is offered in four trim levels: S Plus, SV, SR and SL. It's powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (109 horsepower, 107 pound-feet of torque), routed through a continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the way to the front wheels.
Standard feature highlights for the base S Plus trim include 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, a tilt-only steering wheel, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split folding rear seats, Bluetooth phone integration and a four-speaker CD player with auxiliary audio input.
The SV trim adds remote keyless entry, cruise control, power windows, upgraded gauges, additional interior trim, upgraded cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat with an armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, an adjustable cargo floor, a 5-inch touchscreen display, a rearview camera, Bluetooth streaming audio, USB-iPod audio input, satellite radio and a hands-free text messaging assistant.
Stepping up to the SR trim adds sporty exterior treatments, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, heated mirrors, a rear spoiler, keyless ignition, Nissan's Easy-Fill Tire Alert system that beeps when the correct pressure has been reached, a sport steering wheel, faux suede upholstery and a center rear armrest. At the top of the Versa Note range, the SL trim is enhanced with a 5.8-inch touchscreen, a navigation system with real-time traffic, a suite of mobile apps, a 360-degree camera system and heated front seats.
Some features are available on supporting trims as options.
noise & vibration
ease of use
getting in/getting out
edmunds expert review process
This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.
We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.