2014 Nissan Versa Note Test Drive

?Nissan?s Versa Sedan All New for 2014?

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Should you happen to be looking for a small car that?s big on features, You owe it to yourself to check out the new 2014 Nissan Versa Note – a 5-door hatch that ups the ante, offering mid-size vehicle technology and features without mid-size pricing. Both the content value and EPA mileage estimates are impressive.

?The 2014 Nissan Versa Note represents an updated 5-door example, while there is still a four-door Versa sedan in the lineup. Versa has been the segment sales leader since 2008 and a 28 percent entry segment growth is projected within the next four years.

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The 2014 Versa Note hatchback appears small on the outside, while providing a surprisingly spacious interior, with surprising roominess. It delivers innovation that?s within reach for those on a tight budget. Versa is based on Nissan?s global ?V? platform (for versatile) and is the result of a ?clean-sheet? ground up design that takes small cars in a new direction. It makes the statement that style needn?t be sacrificed for affordability, a roomy interior, a smaller footprint or driveability to achieve worthwhile MPG. This newest Versa Note?s pricing begins at $13,990. while being a ?real? viable car with standard air conditioning and radio. Add $790 for Destination and Handling charges. EPA estimates are 31-mpg city, 40-mpg highway and 35 mpg combined.

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Powering 2014 Nissan Versa Note is a1.6-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder engine with sequential multi-point fuel injection (dual injectors per cylinder). The potent four-banger delivers 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while generating 197 pound feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. The engine is mounted up front in a transverse orientation. Motive force is directed to the front wheels through Nissan?s Xtronic CVT automatic transmission. A 5-speed manual gearbox is available only with the base S model. There are two basic trim levels for the 2014 Versa Note: the S with either a manual or CVT gearbox; and the more upscale SV model, which is available only with the CVT. Versa Note SV models are available with three option packages: a Convenience Package; an SL Package; and an SL Tech Package ? each progressively adding more features.

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The Versa Note displays a slippery 0.298 coefficient of drag with its new?exterior design featuring a refreshing character. It?s overall form displays overhangs or an overall length that is 6.1-inches less than it?s predecessors, even though its wheelbase is the same as the 2013 model. The height represents a reduction of 0.1-inch. The new Versa Note also tips the scales at 302 pounds less.

Standard safety features include: Nissan?s Advanced Airbag System; Vehicle?Dynamic Control with Traction Control, ABS, EBD, BA and Tire Pressure?Monitoring System.

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I was afforded the opportunity to test a pre-production example of the 2014?Versa Note hatchback in SV trim which sported a Peacock metallic exterior finish?with a Wheat Stone interior. It came with SL Tech Package and the base price was set at $15,990 while adding the Option Packaging and Destination charge elevated the final sticker price to $19,280.

SUMMARY: ?The 2014 Nissan Versa Note?s demographics are gender neutral and it is expected to appeal to?single, male college grads, aged 25-29, with an average annual household?income of $55,000. I personally see it as being more attractive to young marrieds?with no children who seek an attractive, affordable compact vehicle that delivers?efficient fuel economy along with an enjoyable driving experience.

Acceleration for the new Versa Note is not blistering, but is certainly adequate. The ride quality allows for a comfortable journey, with positive handling attributes. Considering its price point and high value feature content, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note represents itself as an outstanding and practical 5-door hatchback.

Thoughtful touches add to the Versa Note?s convenience and comfort level. There?s a driver?s armrest as well as a rear seat armrest with cupholders. There are dual seatback pockets and front heated cloth seats. The cargo area provides a Divide-N-Hide? adjustable floor that?s designed to stay in the vehicle, yet is removable. NissanConnect? with Navigation provides above class technology and an Around View? Monitor.

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The 2014 Versa Note is on sale now and the highly versatile hatch may be categorized as ?a door-to-more?. The Versa Note is assembled by Nissan Mexicana SA de CV in Aguascalientes, Mexico, where Nissan also builds Sentra models for the United States market.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV (SL)

Base Price: $15,990.
Price as Tested: $19,280.
Engine Type and Size: 1.6-liter DOHC, 16-valve inline 4-cylinder with sequential multi-point fuel injection (dual injector per cylinder).
Horsepower (bhp): 109 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 107 @ 4,400 rpm
Transmission: Xtronic CVT automatic.
Drive Train: Transversely mounted front engine / front-wheel drive.
Suspension: Front – Independent strut front suspension with 22.0 mm diameter stabilizer bar.
Rear – Torsion bar with 20.2 mm diameter (integrated) stabilizer bar.
Brakes: Front vented discs / Rear drum with ABS, BA, EBD and Park brake.
Tires: Bridgestone Ecopia 185/55 HR16 mounted on 4 “V”-spoke alloy wheels.
Wheelbase: 102.4 inches
Length Overall: 163.0 inches
Width: 66.7 inches
Height: 60.5 inches
Curb Weight: 2,482 lbs.
Fuel Capacity: 10.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 31-mpg city / 40-mpg highway
Drag Coefficient: 0.298
0 – 60 mph: Not tested.

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