2014 Nissan Versa
by Dave Stall
2014 Nissan Versa Note
Being an automotive manufacturer today can be as scary as it is fun. Nissan should be tickled pink with the introduction of the 2014 Nissan Versa Note.
John Curl, Senior Manager Product Planner for Nissan give his people a simple task, bring me a Versa that has Style, Roominess and Fuel Efficiency in a hatchback! Curl wanted you the consumer to want to buy the Versa Note on Style alone, give the car its own personality, give it lots of interior room and keep it affordable.
So what did they do to the 2014 Nissan Versa Note? They increased the windshield rake for better flow through the air, shorten the overhang by 6 inches (But didn't lose any interior space), they V-Grooved the roof, gave the side panels what they call the "squash" character line. I know, what is a squash line (I asked the same thing at the press event) well if you play squash (look it up) when the ball hits the wall and bounces back it is called the squash line, look you can see it in the door panels. They added 16-inch alloy wheels, and with all that they have become class leader in aerodynamics with a 0.298 CD. And for a nice styling cue they took the taillight design from the 370Z and juke to give the Note they look they were after, nice touch. You might think this feature is for looks, but in a wind tunnel the vented taillights go through the air smoother than non-vented tail lights. See how much works it takes to make a car! Can you imagine?
Now let's look at fuel mileage, Curl gave them a few more challenges, give me 40 plus miles per gallon on regular gas, he wants best in class 31 city and 35 combined! They did it! Versa Note with the CVT transmission gets 31 miles per gallon city, 40 miles per gallon freeway and 35 miles per gallon combined that is better than Fiesta, Yaris, Accent, Rio, Fit and Sonic.
What makes all the fuel mileage happen? Nissan uses a 1.6-liter dual overhead camshaft 4-cylinder engine, what is different? Nissan is using a dual fuel injector system that has given them what they wanted in fuel economy, power and performance by decreasing the fuel droplets by 57% which accounts for better fuel burn. Then they back up the engine with a CVT transmission which is lighter than last generation and has a 7.3:1 gear ratio. This is the first CVT with a sub planetary gear, smaller gears, a flat torque converter, and a more efficient oil pump.
Going inside you will find the Versa Note wide and roomy even for a couple of six footers driving this car around San Diego. One of the many features I was impressed with was the rear door openings, 90 degrees and I put a Nissan Engineer in the back seat while we were on KUSI, he is 6 foot 5 inches and had head and leg room! Rear legroom was best in class in this segment!
You also get rear arm rests with cup holders and pockets in the back of the front seats. Plenty of cargo space in the rear, even hidden compartments for things you don't want to leave out.
One other item worth mentioning is usually a car of this size has a lot of road noise coming from everywhere, Nissan wanted to address that with wheel well housing insulation, special door welts, whole door seals, Thinsulate 13 mm absorption material, insulated B-Pillars, high felt density carpet, fender baffles, and acoustic windshield. All of these features make for a pretty quiet car.
If Entertainment is your hot button you're going to love what Versa has for you, your basic AM/FM/cd/satellite radio you can get a backup camera, navigation and you can get Voice Recognition, NavWeather, Bluetooth, Google Services, Pandora, and hands free text messaging. But the coolest thing, a 360 camera that looks at all four corners of your car!
Three packages are available, the S, (MT), S Plus (CVT) and SW (CVT).
Pricing, this is another surprise! The 2014 Nissan Versa is less expensive than the 2013 Versa:
S MT $14,670 S MT $13,990
S AT $15,870 S Plus CVT $15,240
S Plus $16,370 SV CVT $15,990
S + SPL Edition $16,640 SV + Convenience $16,530
SL CVT $18,590 SV + SL $17,690
SL + Tech $19,290 SV + SL Tech $18,490
Driving impressions is the last thing on my list! Loved it! Perfect car for a College kid, first time family car, handles on ramps like a champ, looks good and get great fuel mileage!
Head down to your local Nissan dealer and ask to take one out for a spin!
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