The 2014 Nissan Versa Note - the 5-door hatchback version of the Versa sedan - has just launched its second generation with even more value and features and, with a base MSRP of $13,990, the S Plus for $15,240 with just $15,990 for the top-of-the-line SV trim level, it is already collecting accolades including the KBB.com top ranking in their 10 Best Back-to-School Cars for 2013.
KBB.com said about the entry level compact 2014 Versa Note: " While most low-cost cars are content to let value trump appearance, the new-for-2014 Nissan Versa Note stresses good looks as a key portion of its value story. Yes, it starts under $15,000 and returns up to 40 mpg, but the five-door hatchback Note is also attractive, and for that reason plus its new-tech offerings inside, we call it our number one back-to-school car for 2013."
Having just spent a week driving a 2014 Versa Note SV around town and on the highways, we agree and could not have said it better.
For the record, our test 2014 Versa Note was a Brilliant Silver with a tasteful Wheatstone Cloth interior that was equipped with all of the options packages available (loaded up) and still - with delivery - had a final price of only $19,280.
When we sat in the Versa Note for the first time and looked around, we were amazed at all of the features and functions that were available in the Versa for under $20,000 delivered.
The options packages included on our SV model (MSRP $15,990) that really loaded it up cost only a mere $2,500 more.
The SL Package ($1,700) included some of that technology with the Wide 2-DIN Display Audio w/AM/FM/CD/iPod/Aux 4.3-inch display, SiriusXM Satellite Radio along with a center console w/rear open bin, USB input w/iPod control, RearView Monitor, rear seat armrest with cupholders, Divide-N-Hide Adjustable Floor, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, 195/55R16 tires, front fog lights, variable intermittent front wipers, heated front seats, Push Button Ignition, Easy Fill Tire Alert and the SL badge.
Adding the SL TechPackage ($800) our SV included NissanConnect with Navigation that includeds a 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, NavTraffic and NavWeather, POIs powered by Google, Google Send-to-Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, heated side view mirrors and the Around View Monitor system for parking assist.
The standard equipment on the front wheel drive 2014 Nissan Versa Note starts with the power train - a 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower with 107 lb-ft of torque delivered through a next-generation Xtronic CVT transmission (a 5-speed manual transmission is available on the S model only). The 2014 Versa Note, with the CVT, has an EPA fuel economy rating of 31/40 MPG city/highway.
This power train combo delivers excellent fuel economy and, during our test drive, we found the power was very adequate around town. However, we were just a bit concerned that it may be a bit underpowered on the highway necessitating a driver to be mindful of that when considering passing other vehicles or pulling out onto a major highway from a side road.
On the exterior, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note styling is tastefully sculpted for fuel economy, but also to stand out from other competitors. It has a steeply sloped windshield and deeply sculpted doors that give it, what Nissan calls, a "kick up" roof shape. The iconic front grille and large multi-reflector headlights are paired with Note's "boomerang" rear taillights, which are similar to those found on the Nissan 370Z and Nissan JUKE.
The new Nissan Versa Note is significantly roomy inside with over 112 cubic feet of volume.
Front seating is bucket type with 4-way adjustable standard and 6-way adjustable available. At first glance, the front seating looks almost too small. But getting in and buckling up, one finds a comfortable seat (heated) with plenty of leg, arm and head room - even for us bigger folks.
The rear seating is a 60/40-split fold-down that seats three - for us bigger folks, that is really probably two, but still lots of leg and head room.
Doors are wide and open fully allowing very good entry and exit both front and rear. The rear seats fold down to provide additional cargo space beyond the standard 18.8 cubic feet behind the second row.
One of the nice features for cargo is the available Divide-N-Hide Adjustable Floor. With the rear seats folded down, the Divide-N-Hide system creates a flat cargo area. But then lifting up the cargo floor board reveals a hidden area underneath to keep valuables out of sight. When more space is needed for carrying taller or bulkier items, lowering the floor board creates a deeper cargo well.
The interior fabric choices for seating and accents are excellent in both touch and appearance. The design and placement of gauges, switches, handles and other driver access items are well executed with clean design and functionality.
Though our test Versa Note was a more traditional Brilliant Silver, there are some neat colors offered including standard Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White and two all-new colors - Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue.
The 2014 Nissan Versa note packs a whole of car and technology into this very nice entry level five-door hatchback and - loaded up with all that is available - is still under $20,000.