2015 Nissan Versa Note SR Review
The Note gets a new SR trim that's kind of sporty.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: October 14th, 2014
Nissan forced their way into the crowded hatchback marketplace in 2013, replacing their Versa hatchback for the Note, renamed the Versa Note. It has appealed to consumers because it's among the least expensive cars on the market, but Nissan is trying to appeal to customers' senses too, not just their wallets. They've finally succeeded, sort of, with the 2015 Versa Note, offering a SR trim that has sportier designs but the same driving capabilities as the standard model.
The better styling of the five-door hatchback is immediately noticeable, with a sleek, sloped roof giving it an aerodynamic look. You can opt for a paint job in metallic blue or peacock for a stylish edge. The SR also comes with 16-inch alloy wheels, rear roof spoiler, side sills, and an active grille shutter, with standard fog lights and chrome accents.
For a subcompact hatchback, the Versa Note is surprisingly spacious, at just 163 inches compared to the Chevy Sonic's 173. Passengers get 38.3 inches of leg room, compared to the Ford Fiesta's cramped 31.2, so even if you're 6'2", you'll still be able to sit comfortably without your knees pressing against the driver or front passenger seats. You get 21.4 cubic feet of cargo space in the back, which is a decent amount compared with the Honda Fit's 16.6. If you folded down the middle seats, you could easily fit a bicycle in back or a dresser, luggage, what have you. The rear cargo area on the Note also has a Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor that can be dropped or raised to hide valuables - not that anyone would waste their time breaking into a Note - but it does give you more options for efficient packing of the space.
Sportier design cues inside include the leather-wrapped steering wheel and suede-like seat material with orange accents. The dashboard is straightforward and minimalist. If you're not one for touchscreens, excessive knobs, or confusing nav systems, you'll appreciate the simplistic layout of the Note's dash. Our Versa Note SR came with a convenience package ($660), giving us NissanConnect mobile apps, SiriusXM, hands-free text messaging, rearview monitor, and the previously mentioned clever Divide-N-Hide.
On The Road
Despite improvements to the exterior and interior, there's one thing Nissan neglected to improve - performance. The sporty facelift they've given the SR trim applies solely to its appearance. The Versa Note is built on Nissan's V platform and offers the same 1.6-liter four cylinder engine as the sedan. For 2015, they've added two trim levels, SR and SL, for a total of five. The base trim level gets a 5-speed manual, while the S-Plus and above get Nissan's Xtronic CVT to do away with fixed gear ratios. While the vehicle does accelerate smoothly, it's pretty lagging, and its 109 hp is hardly inspiring. The Ford Fiesta is also a practical 5-door hatchback, but they at least gave their sporty ST model a 197-hp turbocharged engine. So the Note isn't your quick, sporty, getaway car. However, while this vehicle isn't about performance, it is efficient, and sturdy. It's built like a rock with respectable mileage at an EPA-estimated 31/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined, helping to cut down your fuel costs.
The 2015 Nissan Versa Note is sporty-ish. It's interior and exterior designs offer comfort and versatility, but its performance on the road leaves something to be desired. With the S model starting at $14,180, that makes it a contender with other similarly inexpensive options, such as the Honda Fit, Ford Fiesta, and Chevrolet Sonic. If you like having more tech and communication features, you're looking at the higher end of the trim spectrum with the SR and SL, and the SL with tech package bumps it up to $18,750, which really means around $20,000 out-the-door. For $20,000, you could get more bang for your buck., but if you want to keep it simple, the S is an inexpensive, reliable, efficient option.
Specs & Price
Engine: 1.6-liter inline-4
Transmission: Continuously variable (CVT)
Drivetrain Layout: Front engine, front-wheel drive
Power Output: 109 horsepower / 107 lb-ft
Fuel Economy (mpg): 31 city / 40 highway
Base Price: $17,530
As Tested: $19,180 (includes $810 destination and handling fee)
Available Features: Premium AM/FM/CD audio system with 5.0-inch color display, Nissan Connect, rear view monitor, SiriusXM, hands-free text messaging assistant, Bluetooth, Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor
• For more information such as specs, prices, and photos of the 2015 Nissan Versa Note, click here: 2015 Nissan Versa Note.