[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he compact Versa has been Nissan’s longtime sales leader in the competitive entry-level segment of the auto market and for 2014 the second-generation hatchback gets a dramatic new look with the launch of the all-new Versa Note.
The Note is the sibling to the popular Versa sedan and has all the unique qualities of a five-door hatchback design, along with sleek styling, an Around View Monitor and an affordable price.
While sharing its advanced platform and drivetrain with the Versa sedan, the Versa Note has its own distinctive look and feel inside and out and is offered in a range of grade levels: S, S Plus and SV, with available SV Convenience, Sport Value Package, SL Package and SL Tech Package. All models come with an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control).
The Versa Note S comes with a five speed manual transmission, while the S Plus and SV models are equipped with a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic CVT transmission. Fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note is rated at 31 mpg around town, 35 mpg combined and an impressive 40 mpg on the highway.
The Versa Note has a sculpted, modern design that provides enhanced aerodynamics to aid in improving fuel economy and helps it stand out from the crowd of entry level competitors. Its dramatic shape and proportions provide an energetic look that reflects the active lives of its target buyers. Along with its steeply sloped front windshield and deeply sculpted doors, Versa Note features a dramatic character line along the side.
The large front spoiler combines with a “kick up” roof shape and low aero-drag floor structure (including front and rear tire deflectors, rear suspension beam mounted flush with floor and fuel tank deflectors) to direct airflow over, under and around the body.
CVT-equipped Versa Note models include Nissan’s first-ever Active Grille Shutter, which limits the amount of air entering the engine compartment, reducing drag force by 0.01. The Active Grille Shutter is generally closed at speeds above 20 miles per hour. The iconic front grille and large multi-reflector headlights are paired with Note’s “boomerang” rear taillights, which are similar to those found on the Nissan 370Z and Nissan JUKE. The special “vented” taillight design includes special outlets and lip to help guide air away from the body for reduced air turbulence and improved rear lamp visibility in bad weather. Fog lights and heated side view mirrors also are available.
Versa Note uses Nissan’s global “V” platform and has a long 102.4-inch wheelbase to help maximize interior roominess and six-inch shorter front and rear overhangs for better maneuverability.
The starting MSRP for the 2014 Nissan Versa Note is $13,990.
[author image=”http://www.samaonline.org/Ron.jpg” ]Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami’s Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com.[/author]