DETROIT--It'd be easy to dismiss the Nissan Versa Note as just a hatchback version of the automaker's compact Versa sedan, because -- well -- that's exactly what it is. However, the Note is noteworthy, thanks to a few interesting cabin and safety technology additions.
Perhaps the coolest feature here is the availability of Nissan's Around-view camera technology, which displays a 360-degree view of the ground around the car by stitching together multiple camera feeds and has been slowly, but steadily trickling down from the Infiniti line of premium vehicles. That this safety tech is available in the automaker's entry-level model is pretty awesome.
Inside the cabin, the Versa Note will make the automaker's NissanConnect navigation system available. Bluetooth audio streaming, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, Google POI search, and Pandora Internet Radio connectivity will all be accessible through this system's 5.8-inch touch screen.
The 2014 Versa Note is powered by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The standard gearbox is a five-speed manual shifter, but a CVT is also available.
Hints of Nissan's boomerang headlamp design element make an appearance here, albeit reversed. Here the element integrates the lighting elements into the chrome brightwork of the grill, rather than hint at speediness.