Nuts & Bolts: 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S


Nissan’s Versa Note is a small economy car that does not make you feel bad about driving economy. (Nissan/Wieck)
October 25, 2013

Bottom line: Bottom line: The 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S is a very good economy car. Compare with the Chevrolet Spark and Sonic, Toyota Yaris and Corolla, Ford Fiesta, Mazda 3 hatchback, Hyundai Accent, and Kia Rio hatchback.

Ride, acceleration, and handling: It gets decent marks in all three for drivers willing to obey posted speed limits and those who are not the least bit concerned about
0-to-60-mph acceleration times.

Head-turning quotient: Convent-friendly — that is, it reminds me of certain Holy Ghost nuns who taught me in elementary school. I was always happy to see them, but I easily forgot that they were there.

Body style/layout: The Nissan Versa 1.6 S is the hatchback version of the Nissan Versa subcompact sedan, which was revised last year. The Versa Note is a subcompact, front-wheel-drive four-door hatchback offered in three trim levels — base S, mid-grade S Plus and top-of-the-line SV.

Engine/transmission: The car comes standard with a 1.6-liter, 16-valve in-line four-cylinder gasoline engine with variable valve timing (109 horsepower, 107 pound-feet of torque) linked to a five-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission is available.

Capacities: There are seats for five people. Cargo capacity with rear seats raised is 21.4 cubic feet. With rear seats lowered, cargo capacity is 38.3 cubic feet. The fuel tank holds 10.8 gallons of gasoline (regular grade is recommended).

Real-world mileage: Real-world mileage matched or exceeded, depending on driving conditions and load, the Environmental Protection Agency’s rating of 27 miles per gallon in the city and 36 on the highway.

Safety: Standard equipment includes ventilated front disc brakes and rear drum brakes; four-wheel anti-lock brake protection; emergency braking assistance; electronic brake-force distribution; traction control; stability control; and front and rear head air bags.

Price: The base price of the 2014 Nissan Versa Note 1.6 S is $13,990, with a dealer’s invoice price of $13,500. Price as tested is $16,095, including $1,295 in options (interior “mood illumination” package, vehicle tracking and recovery system, compass and home link system) and a $810 factory-to-dealer destination charge. Dealer’s price as tested is $15,484.

Warren Brown is a columnist who writes about autos for The Washington Post.
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