Preview: 2014 Nissan Versa Note car previews nissan auto shows 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows
2014 Nissan Versa Note. Click image to enlarge
Manufacturer’s Website
Nissan Canada

Review by Greg Wilson and Paul Williams, photos by Paul Williams and courtesy of Nissan

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2014 Nissan Versa Note

The replacement for the current Versa Hatchback is finally here; well, almost. Nissan introduced the redesigned Versa Sedan over a year and a half ago, but has kept hatchback-lovers waiting. The 2014 Versa Note (Canada joins Japan and Europe where the hatchback is already called the Note) arrives this June with a base price of $13,348. As before, that’s more than the price-leading Versa Sedan, which has a base price of $11,898, but about $1,350 less than the 2012 Versa 1.8S Hatchback (Nissan has skipped the 2013 model year for the Versa Note).

The Versa Note will be equipped with the same 109-hp 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine with improved variable valve timing that’s offered in the Versa Sedan. Nissan claims it will get up to 40 mpg U.S. (5.9 L/100 km) on the highway when equipped with the optional ‘next-generation’ continuously variable transmission (CVT). Though that’s impressive, the existing Versa Hatchback equipped with the standard 122-hp 1.8-litre 4-cylinder engine and optional CVT is rated at 5.7 L/100 km by Natural Resources Canada. And the current 2013 Versa Sedan with the CVT is rated at 5.2 L/100 km on the highway. Still, we’re only talking about a difference of 0.7 L/100 km here, and my guess is the Versa Note’s Canadian fuel economy ratings will be closer to the Versa Sedan’s.

Preview: 2014 Nissan Versa Note car previews nissan auto shows 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows Preview: 2014 Nissan Versa Note car previews nissan auto shows 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows Preview: 2014 Nissan Versa Note car previews nissan auto shows 2013 detroit 2013 autoshows
2014 Nissan Versa Note. Click image to enlarge

It’s worth noting that the optional CVT in the current Versa Hatchback is only available in the up-level SL trim that starts at $17,678 (base S models have an optional four-speed automatic) while the optional CVT in the 2014 Versa Note will be available in all trims, S, SV and SL.

But you have to wonder why the Versa Note will have a standard five-speed manual transmission when the 2012 model came with a standard six-speed manual.

As the 2012 Versa Hatchback is the roomiest car in its class, you would expect its successor to be equally roomy. While not all the figures are available, a Nissan press release says the 2014 Versa Note has a total interior volume of 3,271 L, while cargo volume behind the rear seats is 606 L – that’s more than the current Versa Hatchback’s 504-L trunk. However, if we deduct the Versa Note’s trunk volume from its overall interior volume, we emerge with a passenger volume of 2,665 L, slightly less than the current Versa hatchback with 2,682 L. It’s not much of a difference, though. The Versa Note has the same 2,600-mm wheelbase as the current Hatchback.

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