Nissan Versa Note named one of “10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates” by Autotrader
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The 2015 Nissan Versa Note has been named to Autotrader's list of "10 Best Cars for Recent College Graduates." The list of new and pre-owned vehicles selected by Autotrader editors was chosen not only for their affordability and fuel efficiency but also for "desirable technology features and stylistic appeal."
The popular Versa Note was introduced for the 2014 model year and added a new sports model, the Versa Note SR, for 2015. It offers 40 miles-per-gallon highway fuel economy (Xtronic transmission-equipped models) and a starting Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP)* of $14,180 USD.
“Entry Level” Doesn’t Have to Mean Bare-Bones Basic
"Entry level" doesn't have to mean bare-bones basic. The 2014 Nissan Versa Note was named one of the 10 tech-savviest cars under $20,000 by Kelley Blue Book!
KBB goes on to explain that, “The new-for-2014 hatchback version of the Versa subcompact car is notable for its affordability, flexibility and surprising roominess, but also for an impressive tech offering that includes Nissan's Around View Monitor. Using cameras on all four sides of the car, the system generates a bird's-eye view of the car that makes parking a breeze.”
The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is available at all 7 Mossy Nissan locations in San Diego.
Nissan is pushing the limits of fuel efficiency in an attractive package offering features not often found at this price point. With the bevy of optional tech in its 2014 Versa Note, Nissan has raised the bar for the entry-level class.
The 2014 Versa Note is Nissan's all-new candidate in the ultracompetitive entry-level segment. Already a better value than the outgoing Versa hatchback, Nissan is hoping to lure buyers with class-leading fuel-efficiency, cool techno-bits, uniquely good looks and an impressive list of options not always found in this segment. Are these improvements enough to hand the 2014 entry-level crown to Nissan?
The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is available in three trim levels: S, with a base price of $13,990; S Plus, which offers more interior amenities for a base price of $15,240; and the feature-laden SV, with its base price of $15,990. All trims come standard with 15-inch wheels with 16-inch alloys as an option with the SV continuously variable transmission. While the S and S Plus trims are similarly equipped, the SV adds a ton of standard features, such as one-touch power windows, power door locks with speed-sensing autolock, remote keyless entry, a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome and silver interior accents and a whole lot more. Not bad for an additional $1,250.
Under the hood
The only offered source of motivation for all 2014 Nissan Versa Notes is a 1.6-liter double-overhead-cam inline 4-cylinder engine producing 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque, featuring twin continuously variable timing control on both the intake and exhaust and dual injectors per cylinder. The dual injectors are a neat technology infusion for the Note. Since the injectors are smaller, they are able to produce a finer spray of fuel particles over a wider area, leading to a more complete combustion in the cylinder. While the outgoing model had a slightly torquier 1.8-liter 4-cylinder, Nissan saw fit to downsize and go after the ever-important fuel-economy numbers. The Versa Note S comes standard with a 5-speed transmission, while the S Plus and SV trim levels are only available with Nissan's Xtronic CVT.
With seating for five, the cabin is remarkably open and spacious. Rear-seat legroom comes in at 38.3 inches — 3.7 inches more than the Chevrolet Sonic. Even with the increased legroom, Nissan managed to increase cargo space from 17.8 to 21.4 cubic feet. An available option to increase the utility of the Versa Note is the Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor. When you lower the standard 60-40 split-folding rear seats, you end up with an expanded flat cargo area that also creates additional storage underneath, just in case you need to stash anything of value while hauling bigger things above.
The list of standard features is pretty common: AM/FM/CD/aux-in audio system with four speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders, front seatback pockets and so on. The cloth seats are standard fare with 4-way adjustability in the S and S Plus trims, and 6-way adjustment in the SV. Available upgrades include heated seats, navigation with real-time updates, USB input with iPod control, and steering-wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth controls.
One interior option that really stands out is in the SL Tech package. Nissan is bringing technology normally found in much more expensive cars to the Versa Note with its around-view monitor. In a nutshell, it's a system of wide-angle cameras that provide a virtual 360-degree view around the car, assisting with parking in tight spots. You can even select close-ups from a specific camera — front, rear, curb — for a perfect park every time.
On the road
The Versa Note is an enjoyable drive. The steering is direct with great turn-in. The little 1.6-liter engine is very responsive to throttle input, although it feels overly sensitive in some situations. Braking feels confident and comes from power-assisted front disc/rear drums with anti-lock braking standard, electronic brake-force distribution and brake assist.
But you're not buying a Versa Note for high-performance driving. It's very economical, delivering an Environmental Protection Agency-estimated 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway/35 mpg combined. Even with hybridlike fuel economy, the car doesn't feel horribly slow. Of note (no pun intended): You can only get these mileage numbers with the CVT-equipped trims. While the CVT performed well in the road test, it was a bit indecisive with how much power to apply in a few cases, and there's an unmistakable whine at speed. Things are a little loud in the cabin at highway speeds, which, compounded with the whine from the CVT, serves to remind you that you're driving an economy car after all.
In order to achieve the class-leading fuel economy, Nissan added a few tricks to the Versa Note. First, it put the car on a diet to lose 300 pounds, with over 200 pounds realized through structure optimization and an additional 50 pounds shed with the new engine, CVT and driveshafts. Nissan also added an active grille shutter to the trims equipped with a CVT that limits airflow into the engine bay — a first for the company. At speeds over 20 miles per hour, the front grille shuts, which results in a reduction of air resistance by 0.01 coefficient of drag. Nissan even went so far as to vent the taillights in the name of improved aerodynamics. Their efforts paid off, though, with a 9 percent coefficient of drag improvement over the outgoing Versa hatchback.
Right for you?
If you're looking for an affordable, economical new car to take you from point A to point B with some special features, this is probably the car for you. It looks good and it's not a total bore to drive, either. The active aerodynamics and weight reduction will please your inner hypermiler (it's in there somewhere), while the around-view monitor will keep your techno-geek side satiated. Bottom line: We'd buy it, although we wish we could get the manual transmission in the higher trim levels.
One of two new trim levels, along with Versa Note SL, designed to expand equipment and feature choices for buyers of Nissan's popular sub-compact hatchback
Versa Note lineup grows to five trim levels for 2015, set to go on sale this spring in San Diego.
New models retain 40 miles per gallon highway fuel economy with standard 1.6-liter engine and Xtronic® transmission
New Versa Note SR adds sporty front and rear fascias and grille, unique rear spoiler, 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels and exclusive interior enhancements
Versa Note SL includes standard NissanConnect™ smartphone integration for iOS and Android including Google™, Pandora, iHeartRadio and Facebook; NissanConnect™ Apps; Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant; and Divide–N-Hide® Adjustable Floor
CHICAGO - Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT.
Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package.
Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners' emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first- in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price.
"The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it's as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home."
About the 2015 Versa Note SR
The new Versa Note SR's standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character.
Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note's distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires.
Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer.
"The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It's a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy."
Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined.
Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan's global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability.
The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets.
Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnect™ system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnect™ Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio).
The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior.
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