Overview & Reviews
The Nissan Versa Note is the hatchback version of the subcompact Versa sedan. Previously known simply as the Versa hatchback, it got a new name when the redesigned model bowed for 2014. The Versa Note boasts a roomy interior, good fuel economy and an unusually low base price.
Given its tepid driving dynamics and underwhelming cabin quality, though, the Versa Note isn't a top pick among small, affordable hatchbacks. Rivals like the Honda Fit and Kia Soul have a wider range of talents. But money talks, and there's a good chance that Nissan's little runabout will be the most affordable car on your list. If you're looking for a spacious hatchback on the cheap, take note.
Current Nissan Versa Note
The Nissan Versa Note is a four-door hatchback offered in S, S Plus and SV trim levels. The S sticks to the bare necessities, providing steel wheels, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat, manual windows and locks and a four-speaker sound system. The S Plus gets a standard CVT (continuously variable transmission), cruise control and active grille shutters to aid fuel economy. The SV adds full power accessories, upgraded interior trim and gauges, a leather-wrapped multifunction steering wheel and Bluetooth phone connectivity.
Optional extras on the SV are largely bundled into packages and include keyless ignition/entry, a rearview camera, two different touchscreen interfaces (measuring 4.3 inches or 5.8 inches), a navigation system, a 360-degree parking camera system, a USB/iPod input and Bluetooth streaming audio.
All Versa Notes are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is mandatory on the base S trim, while the other trims are equipped with the CVT. The best fuel economy comes from selecting the CVT.
In reviews and ratings, we've commented favorably on the Versa Note's astoundingly roomy backseat. Based on the car's pint-sized dimensions, you'd expect two adults to feel crammed in there like proverbial sardines, but a couple of 6-footers can actually share the rear bench with head- and legroom to spare. Luggage space is also a strength, though maximum capacity with the seatbacks flipped forward is unremarkable.
In other respects, the Versa Note falls short of segment leaders. Interior materials are about what you'd expect from one of the cheapest hatchbacks on the market, notwithstanding the SV's extended cloth inserts. The engine drones intrusively when it's working hard, which is often. Even in a featherweight subcompact, 109 hp isn't much oomph. Although the ride is generally comfortable, rough roads can give the car's structure a bad case of the shakes. If you keep your expectations low, you might be pleasantly surprised, but most of the Versa Note's competitors will be more pleasant on a daily basis.
Used Nissan Versa Note Models
The current Nissan Versa Note is a new model. But its predecessor, the first-generation Versa hatchback, was produced from 2007-'12 and is covered in the Nissan Versa model review.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 32.00
Versa Nightmare - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Mark Juhl - October 13 - 4:56 pm
The Powertrain is only warranted for 60K miles. My transmission needed replacing at 63K. Nissan will not budge on 60K. Plan on spending $4,000 on a new transmission (and only one year old!). If you can afford the $4K, you still have to live with the heat shield rattles. A thin, flimsy piece of sheet metal held on with a screw and an undersized washer. I would never consider any vehicle made by Nissan after this experience.
Great first car - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By mattywiggles - October 5 - 11:37 pm
The Note is pretty good considering it is one of the cheapest cars you can buy new at the moment. Manual windows, locks, pretty much everything besides the side mirrors is manual. The interior is very cheap and plastic feeling. At the same time however, the interior is simple and easy to navigate. The back seats have some of the best space for any small car on the market. You can easily fit two 300+lbs 6 foot high people in the back with no problem. The 1.8L motor does the job just fine producing 109HP. It isn't very quick, but I have yet to have any problems merging onto the highway or driving on any road. I'm happy with this purchase.
Bought it as a commuter. Exactly what it is. - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Chesty Puller - August 16 - 4:52 pm
So I bought this car as a commuter. Currently have 45,000 brutal miles on her. I drive 100 mile round trip to work over Donner Summit in the Sierra Nevada's of Northern California. (Ever heard of the Donner Party) It's a 5,000 foot elevation gain from my house to work. The car, during the very steep sections, noticeably struggles. About 4k rpm's during the steep sections. Fuel economy suffers also while driving up the summit. But, let's be realistic. I spent $13,500 out the door for this car. For the price, I am more than happy with its performance. I hate it when people compare a $13k car to some other $30k+ car. Fuel economy. I average 35mpg average. I also drive 75-80mph up a 40 mile, 5,000 foot elevation gain. So gas mileage gets murdered on the way (20mpg) up but averages like 60mpg on the way back. This car has some space. I am amazed, when I lay down the seats, how much money I can blow at Home Depot and fit all the goodies in the woman car that I drive. Realiability. I change the oil every 4,000 miles. That it literally all I have done besides some fresh new tires. Never had a single problem. Ever. Snow: I chain up when there is mandatory chain control, but if I don't have to, the car gets around great with the continental true contact tires I bought. I have owned a couple Nissans before and they have always been reliable. I have been impressed with this car as it has a tough daily drive and has not given me a single problem.
Awesome - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By nissan_rocks - July 26 - 2:05 am
Great fuel economy, surprisingly quiet for a car in this category, road noise to a minimum, very smooth due to the CVT. Huge rear passenger space and good cargo space, usually hard to get both but the Versa has it.
not too shabby, pros and cons - 2015 Nissan Versa Note
By bastion74 - January 15 - 10:27 am
as most people here, i was looking for a decent gas shipper. although im not pleased i had to buy the SV ( 2 levels up from base)to get power windows, still its a nice lil car. havent gotten that advertised 40 mpg yet, i average about 34. riding as a passenger i feel a bit uncomfortable as far as armrests since i end up sharing the drivers. but it does have better rear passenger legroom than most comparable, esp the COTY VWGolf which is $8k more. side window visors/guards a must as the rain water will drip in.be leary of servicing since Nissan chokes you into the CVT only being done at dealership.be smart and budget minded when buying as the normal nickle and dime stuff will pinch the wallet
Zoom Zoom - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Erik Faulkner - December 28 - 2:58 am
This car is a great commuter car. I drive about 1,000 miles a week to an from work. I love this car it has great fuel economy, it is comfortable on long distance travels and is zippy. It is easy to park, and the Bluetooth hands free phone connectivity is a plus since a lot of my employees call at all times of the day. The only down side is there is not much storage with the back seats in their upright normal position.
Happy buyer - 2015 Nissan Versa Note
By frankevich - October 30 - 4:03 am
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.
2014 27,000 Miles no issues simple and functional - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Kerry - August 2 - 3:49 am
This is a 2014 bought Jul 14. Did not want a CVT so the base model was only available. Basic operation no issues. Braking, accel, paint, tires, oil consumption (none), Radio, Dash indicators, visibility, fuel consumption 33-40, manual trans 5 spd, long trips great, steering, traction great in rain, cross wind in Tx good, internal room for 5, internal room for stuff surprising for a little car. Purpose of this car was for long trips (3500mi) thus 27K mi in 1 year. Only expense is oil and oil filters every 5K miles. Tires like new. I use synthetic oil and now Wix/Carquest filters. Car power is good enough and can get to 80+ ramping on freeway in Tx. Would like a 6 speed but 5 works. Need to rev to 5k rpm to get full power. Has coolant Temp indicator that I require. Few cars I checked still had a temp gauge. I have can have pain with my lower back on long trips. This car has seats that beat any other cars I have driven. Don't know why but I have driven 1500+ miles (2 Days) and arrive with no back or knee issues. I didn't notice at first but after a few gas stops on first trip I realized I had no pains while pumping gas. My wife had the same experience. I have also noticed my lower back can be hurting and after a few hundred miles it feels great. Secret is the lumbar support, there is no adjustment. Just the best seats for long trips. Can pack a lot in the back. Great leg room in back and can seat 3 adults in back. Baby seat attachment points for 3 seats in rear. Storage with back seat up is good for trip. I wish It had auto door locks, cruise, 6 gears, see through rear head rests, 13 gal gas tank, and arm rests both front seats. Windshield wipers with a faster setting. Rain-X fixed this. Average Mileage indicator over states and sometimes under states actual average mileage. The gas pedal is not positioned well for long distance but I can position my foot so it is fine. Cruise would take care of this. Driving experience has been great in town or on highway. In Tx, speed limits up to 85 no issue. Rpm is about 4200 at 85 and mileage drops to 30 or so but power is not an issue and tracks as well as any car I drive. One of my first trips was to Chicago and hit extreme rain storm on highway. We were 1 of the few cars driving with high winds, dumping rain, and hail. No problems. I was extremely surprised at the traction and stability, don't think the traction control activated, just rock solid steering and traction. Continental tires may be the reason. Around town is great with small turning radius, visibility, fuel 36+, and great AC. Mileage ranges 30 -40+. Speed and hills make a difference. Flat: 80 = 30-32, 75 = 33, 70 = 34, 65 = 35-36, 45 = 40 At times on flat road at 45 I got 40+ When I take it easy at 65 flat roads I get 36-38 mpg. I did not want CVT nor too much technology so decided on this car. It has hand crank windows but does have power outside mirrors. I have to remember to lock the rear hatch and would be nice if it was power lock. Glove box is good. Drink holders are functional but could be better especially holder in door. Would like a better spot for 2 cell phones. I use an inverter for 120V computer or cell phone power and works fine using 12V power port. At night, cannot see key ignition location with door closed. 27k+ miles This is a 'simple' car with AC that covers Tx. 105+ days, gets good gas mileage, long distance driving comfort, plenty rear leg and head room (6' 2), plenty of space for luggage or groceries, no maintenance costs, uses no oil, paint looks good, good traction, and tracks well in cross winds. Does not have a CVT and car computer is not impacted by outside hackers. Good little car.
Great ! - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By dhorgeron - April 1 - 11:05 pm
I purchased the 2014 Nissan Versa Note and have since put just 900 miles on it. So far I love the car. I traded in my 06 Mecedes C Class. I decided I wanted to get a simpler car that would save me a lot of money. I do not regret the decision one bit. I am averaging 39 miles per gallon, and have more room in this car than the mercedes. Is it very powerful, NO but if I wanted powerful I would not have looked at this car. Its very simple car that will get you from A to B and allow you to put more money toward more important things. Spending 30+ for a car just does not make much since any more.
Easy, cute and reliable! - 2014 Nissan Versa Note
By Northern California Mom - February 10 - 9:17 pm
Our 2014 Versa Note has about 40k miles on it. We bought it used four months ago from a dealer; previously a rental. We were looking for an economical, comfortable, newer, fuel-sipping, around-town vehicle that I (a mother of kids in various after school activities) could safely do all of my driving around town in. The Versa Note has delivered. Sound system is very good, use of interior space is excellent, gas mileage is very good, and it it's own way it is really fun to drive. Pickup is slow, but that is to be expected with the CVT. Once you're rolling, there is plenty of power. For a sub-compact car, the inside feels great and modern. Back seat is huge for the size of the car, and both front and back seats accommodate surprisingly tall people without a problem. Plenty of leg room. And somehow, the rear hatch area accommodates gigantic loads of groceries. The split rear seat is handy if you need extra room for carrying a small bicycle, etc. Our German Shepherd even fits in the way back. An added unexpected bonus of driving such a small car is that when our whole family is in it, it is incredibly easy and nice to have a conversation among us all because we are all relatively close together. Also easy to clean, being so small! All in all we love it, but it is definitely not a luxury car, so don't expect the super smooth ride. And go for the SV model at least if you can, because who wants a newer car with manual roll-down windows? But coming from our 2000 Subaru which finally bit the dust, it feels great, modern, and a big improvement in many ways. It is a little bumpy and jerky on the road since it is so little, but you get used to that. Not uncomfortable at all, but it drives more like a small motorcycle or scooter than a gigantic luxury liner. For long trips it may not be the absolute most comfortable car out there, but for cruising mostly around town it has rocked (we have a minivan as our other car to use for camping and trips). Love to squeeze the Versa Note into those tight parking spaces that the big trucks pass right by :)