For 2015 the Nissan Versa Note, is cool 5-door subcompact hatchback that has been designed to be affordable as possible. This new hatchback is based on the current Nissan sedan’s platform. However the 2015 Note is more fuel efficient than before with such measures as: low rolling resistance tires, the loss of 137 kg in weight, a lighter CVT (continuously variable transmission) with a wider gear ratio span and better aerodynamics.
On the engine front, the previous 122-hp 1.8-Litre four-cylinder unit is now replaced by a more fuel efficient motor that produces 109 hp and 107 lb.-ft torque. Base transmission is a five- speed manual although a CVT auto transmission is a $1,300 option.
The 2015 Nissan Versa base S model, starts at $13,348 with a five speed manual transmission and 15 inch steel wheels. The 1.6 SV has a MSRP of $14,998 and adds air conditioning, Bluetooth, power windows, remote keyless entry, power locks, upgraded cloth, cruise and a leather-trimmed steering wheel. The SL model starts at $16,998, which includes smart key entry, pushbutton start/stop, adjustable cargo floor and center-console. For another $680 the Convenience Package offers a USB socket, a 4.3-inch display, backup camera, satellite radio, a rear-seat armrest/cupholder, nifty Divide-N-Hide storage system, 16-inch alloys, heated front seats, upgraded audio and fog lights. Want more? A $720 Tech Package that navigation, NissanConnectSM (Links to your smart phone functions) and four-camera Around View Monitor.
An extra $1,300 adds the aforementioned CVT. With a fully loaded versa Note with all the options parked on the driveway, it is easy to go to over $19,000 if you go mad on the options. Our tester was the sporty SR version priced at $18,698 plus options, freight and PDE with no charge standard equipment including 16-inch sport alloy wheels, unique SR front grille, body colored side sills, spoilers, 5 inch multi-function display screen and a cool stylish interior color scheme.
The interior of the Note is bright, neat and functional, with a big front windscreen and side windows offering excellent visibility. The dash and instrument panel is also nicely done. Controls and instruments are well designed with good ergonomics. The screen for the backup camera as on our tester was very clear and effective. Out back a fairly roomy rear cabin offers rear doors that open to nearly 90 degrees and enough legroom for adults to sit comfortably. Headroom is also good.
A very neat feature in the Note is an optional bi-level cargo floor, called “Divide-N-Hide” that creates both a large flat load floor with the rear seats folded and a covered security compartment.
On the road, the Nissan Note is amazingly quiet at cruising speed thanks to the double-sealed doors, acoustic windshield and extra sound proofing insulation that has been engineered into the car. Sub-compact cars can be notoriously noisy, however the Note drives smoothly. Handling is also good with tactile steering and just a trace of body lean on hard cornering, but nothing that upsets the cars composure.
The Note is no sports performer with just 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. torque, but does not feel weak and anemic. In fact the 1.6 engine is lively and quite the gas sipper with official Transport Canada fuel economy estimates of 6.1 L/100 km in the city, 4.8 on the highway and 5.5 combined for a Note with the optional CVT transmission, which is well matched to the motor. The Note is also very good when it comes to fuel economy. A fun to drive nice to own compact hatchback. To be considered.
2014 Nissan Versa Note SR: Priced from at $13,348. Price as tested $20,400 including all options freight and PDE.