2014 Nissan Versa Note: Affordable, Versatile Hatchback Bows At Detroit

January 15, 2013
After carrying over the previous generation of the Versa Hatchback for a couple of years, Nissan is at last later this year bringing out an all-new replacement—in the form of the 2014 Nissan Versa Note first shown this week at the Detroit Auto Show.

And while we gave you a first look of the 2014 Versa Note yesterday, today we have more up-close details of this all-new global model, adapted for North America.

Power will be provided by the same 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine as in the current Versa Sedan—making 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while an Xtronic continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is widely available throughout the lineup (it’s standard on upper S Plus and SV trims). It has a ratio spread of 7.3:1, which Nissan says is broader than that of some seven-speed automatics; and with the CVT the Versa Note earns EPA fuel economy ratings of 31 mpg city, 40 highway (35 Combined).

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note rides on the same 102.4-inch wheelbase as the Versa Sedan, although it’s a little more upright and looks like it might have more cabin height. Yet the coefficient of drag is a low 0.298. The hatch has a wheelbase of 102.4 inches, with short front and rear overhangs, and at 163.7 inches long, it’s about a foot shorter than the Versa Sedan.

What that long wheelbase yields is a very roomy interior. Nissan points to a best-in-class cargo capacity of 21.4 cubic feet, and the Note includes dual front and rear cupholders, front-door map pockets, and 60/40-split rear seatbacks. The Note also includes an underfloor cargo area to keep valuables out of sight, and

With its torsion-beam rear axle and integrated stabilizer bar, we expect ride and handling to be about on par with that of the Versa Sedan—which we haven’t found to be all that exciting. Steel wheels (15-inch) are standard, while 16-inch alloys are available; likewise, drum brakes are standard in back, although they have anti-lock with Brake Assist.

The Note will include standard seat-mounted front side airbags, side-curtain bags, and electronic stability control, as well as an available Easy-Fill Tire Alert.

At a starting sticker price of $13,990, that’s considerably higher than that of the 2013 Versa Sedan ($11,990), the Note will include a little more equipment than equivalent sedan models. S, S Plus, and SV trims will be offered for the 2014 Versa Note, with S models including cloth seating and a four-speaker sound system with auxiliary input. At the top of the lineup, the SL Tech Package adds heated side mirrors, a navigation system with NavTraffic and NavWeather, and an AroundView Monitor system, as well as Bluetooth and a USB/iPod interface. Fog lamps are also on offer.

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