/> ED I T O R S C H O I C E IN N O V A T IO N A W A R D
X

2014 Nissan Versa Note: Better than ever, still lacking (pictures)

New for the 2014 model year, this fully loaded Nissan Versa Note improves wildly on the previous generation of Versa hatchback.

antuan-roadshow-headshots-jpegs-1893-007.jpg
Antuan Goodwin
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_04.jpg
1 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

New for the 2014 model year, the entry-level Nissan Versa Note improves wildly on the previous-generation Versa hatchback.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_20.jpg
2 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Unfortunately, so has the rest of the compact hatchback class. Even though the Versa Note is as good as it's ever been, it now finds itself compared with the likes of the Ford Fiesta, Chevrolet Sonic RS, and compact from Hyundai and Kia. Faced with this new competition, the Note still lags behind.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_08.jpg
3 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

One of the first things I noted about the Note upon its arrival in the Car Tech garage was just how similar it looks to the second-generation Honda Fit.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_19.jpg
4 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Our SL model upgrades over the lower trim levels with fog lights.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_09.jpg
5 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Despite looking smaller than the previous generation in photos, the Note is actually a smidgen larger. However, it's still a fairly narrow vehicle, which is good for squeezing down narrow city lanes.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_21.jpg
6 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Though small in stature, the Versa Note is big on interior volume.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_23.jpg
7 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Five doors

The tallish roof gives front and rear passengers a good amount of headroom that, without a moonroof option, goes completely unobstructed.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_24.jpg
8 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Plenty of space

Even with the front seats adjusted for average-to-tall passengers, the Versa Note's second row still offers plenty of legroom.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_02.jpg
9 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Optional 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels

The SL package also upsizes the 15-inch steel wheels to 16-inch aluminum alloy rollers. They're shod in low-rolling-resistance tires, so don't expect amazing handling.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_03.jpg
10 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Halogen headlamps

Don't expect fancy Xenon HID projector headlamps, either. Though not flashy, the standard halogen reflectors still get the job done.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_05.jpg
11 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

From a packaging and exterior design, the Versa Note isn't half bad, but that's mostly because it's copying the best in the business.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_07.jpg
12 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

1.6-liter engine

Under the hood, you'll find a 1.6-liter gasoline engine that uses direct-injection technology to sip fuel as precisely as possible. Output is stated at 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_27.jpg
13 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Nissan Pure Drive

The power train falls under Nissan's Pure Drive flag. Like Mazda's "Skyactiv Technology," this is basically a branding trademark that merely signals the automaker's commitment to reducing consumption and emissions.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_17.jpg
14 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Xtronic CVT

The small engine is paired with a thrifty continuously variable transmission that sends torque to the front wheels. Fuel economy is estimated at 35 mpg combined, which is also what I averaged during my testing.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_11.jpg
15 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Intelligent keyless entry

Optional Intelligent Keyless Entry pairs a wireless transponder with door handle buttons for easy entry.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_14.jpg
16 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Push-button ignition

The SL package's push-button starter allows drivers to keep their keys stowed when they hit the road.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_25.jpg
17 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Economy car interior

The second thing that I noted about the Note was just how cheap the interior materials felt. Hollow, hard plastics rattled and squeaked over bumps and imperfect asphalt.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_30.jpg
18 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Steering-wheel controls

The steering-wheel controls are, for the most part, well placed. However, the volume and hands-free controls were hard to reach without readjusting my hands on the wheel.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_16.jpg
19 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Heated front seats

Heated front seats -- part of the SL package -- are nice, but a few nice features don't redeem the rest of the low-quality interior.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_18.jpg
20 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Instrument cluster

Instrumentation is simple and easy to read.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_12.jpg
21 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Climate controls

Climate controls are also simple, bundled together in a small pod at the base of the dashboard.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_26.jpg
22 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

5.8-inch color touch display

The SL Technology package bumps the infotainment system up to a 5.8-inch color touch display. The package also adds a lot of optional audio and infotainment features that we'd have liked to see made standard.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_29.jpg
23 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

NissanConnect with Navigation

The Tech package adds a decent turn-by-turn navigation system with traffic. You can input destinations with voice commands, but the system can be sluggish and forces you to input addresses one element at a time.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_13.jpg
24 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

SD card-based map storage

Maps for the navigation system are stored on an SD card that is tucked into the receiver's face.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_28.jpg
25 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Around View Monitor

The best feature added by the SL Technology package is the Around View Monitor.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_06.jpg
26 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Around View Monitor

Stitching together feeds from cameras tucked under the side mirrors, in the front bumper, and on the rear hatch, the Around View Monitor gives drivers a bird's-eye view of the area around the Versa Note when parking.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_10.jpg
27 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

Even without the optional rearview or Around View cameras, the Versa Note's generous greenhouse offers pretty good visibility.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_22.jpg
28 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

Hatch in the back

The most compelling reason to choose the Versa Note over the Versa sedan is the hatchback, which makes the compact car much more versatile.
2014-Nissan-Versa-Note-SV_01.jpg
29 of 29 Antuan Goodwin/CNET

2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

While I wouldn't mind living with the Versa Note, there are plenty of better options in the class -- each offering better performance, tech, or cabin comfort for your money.

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

More Galleries

The best games on Nintendo Switch

41 Photos
The best Christmas movies and where to watch them

More Galleries

The best Christmas movies and where to watch them

18 Photos
Spooky space shots show creepy side of the cosmos

More Galleries

Spooky space shots show creepy side of the cosmos

29 Photos
Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

More Galleries

Movies coming in 2021 and 2022 from Netflix, Marvel, HBO and more

67 Photos
2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

More Galleries

2021 best new TV shows to watch, stream, obsess about

65 Photos
The 51 best VR games

More Galleries

The 51 best VR games

53 Photos
Best dating apps of 2021

More Galleries

Best dating apps of 2021

13 Photos