Researching the new Nissan lineup for model year 2014 is something of a challenge. Aside from several comprehensive make-overs, there are all-new generations of the Rogue compact SUV and the Versa Note hatchback. Perhaps it’s just easier to choose one of these excellent Nissan offerings, then compare it to a similar model from another manufacturer.
The Versa Note is a front-wheel drive, subcompact hatchback, built with the aim of supplying reliable transportation to budget-minded buyers. It’s available in three trims: S, S Plus and SV. Among numerous other features, the entry-level S model boasts:
- Power mirrors
- 15-inch steel wheels
S Plus adds:
- Constantly Variable Transmission
- Cruise control
- Active grille shutters (that increase fuel economy)
Top-of-the-range SV also brings on board:
- Power locks and windows
- Steering wheel-mounted audio controls
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
The 2014 Nissan Versa Note has a roomier-than-expected passenger cabin, which can comfortably accommodate even two tall adults in the rear seat. There’s 21.4 cubic feet of cargo area behind that rear seat (upped to 38.3 cubic feet when it’s dropped), and underfloor storage to enhance the safety of slender objects like laptops.
The Note enjoys a heavily stylized exterior, with angular lines and complex lighting clusters that stand out on any parking lot.
All trims are served by a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, developing 109 horsepower and delivering 107 pound-feet of torque. Paired with either a five-speed manual (the only box available on the S trim) or a continuously variable transmission (CVT), fuel economy is nothing short of breathtaking for a non-hybrid: 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway for the manual; 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway with the CVT.
Standard safety equipment across the 2014 Nissan Versa Note models include:
- Full-length side curtain airbags
- Front-seat side airbags
- Four-wheel antilock brakes
- Traction and stability control
Aside from it’s awful name, the Spark labors under several other disadvantages. It’s available only as a five-door hatchback; its 995 cc, 67 horsepower entry-level engine is hardly suited to American roads; MSRP begins at $12,170.
The 2014 Nissan Versa Note, conversely, is available from $13,990 with all the extra bells and whistles noted above (plus many more besides). Buyers in the metro Philadelphia area and across Montgomery County should check one out at Montgomeryville Nissan. Contact us for more information, or to arrange a test drive of any vehicle from the Nissan factory.