Review: The 2014 Nissan Versa Note Is A Stylish Little Fuel Miser

2014 Nissan Versa Note Front

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note is focused on fuel economy with exterior styling that makes this an attractive fuel miser for your daily drive.

Economy cars aren’t generally known for their sexy good looks, hence the term econobox, and what was know formerly as just the Nissan Versa hatchback sedan resembled this remark very closely. It looks like Nissan thought so, too, so the 2014 Nissan Versa Note gets styling that is actually appealing.

The front-end has gotten a more aerodynamic look that removes the bland factor along with sculpted door panels that add further to its character. There’s even a front spoiler that looks like it belongs on a much sportier car and it looks darn good.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

Take a walk around the rear and you’ll find sculpted taillights that help with aerodynamics at the same time that they enhance its looks. You can opt for the Sport Value package and get a rear spoiler and 15″ aluminum-alloy wheels to jazz it up even more. This puts the 2014 Nissan Versa Note on par with the looks of comparable vehicles like the Honda Fit, Chevy Sonic or Ford Fiesta.

As good as it looks on the outside, the inside is a much less impressive story. There’s lots of plastic and it all looks very plastic once you take a seat. You are not buying this car to feel like you’re riding in the lap of luxury and the interior will remind you of this fact every time you open the door.

2014 Nissan Versa Note Interior

The front seats are comfortable and supportive but the driver’s armrest is next to useless. It’s very narrow and awkward and did little to increase driving comfort. Rear seats were also comfortable and the available rear-seat armrest with cupholders in the Convenience package on the SV is a nice addition.

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note comes in three trim levels, each with the same engine but with various tech and comfort enhancements. The base S which starts at a bargain basement price of $13,990 offers only the Sport Value Package.

2014 Nissan Versa Note Screen

There is a Convenience Package and a Tech Package available on the SV which will get you things like heated seats, USB ports, a 5.8″ navigation screen and the very nice Around View Monitor. This gives you an eagle’s eye view around all four sides of the car and even split-screen close-ups.

Those options do add up and you’ll be looking at a car just south of $20K for the most well-equipped SV. The Honda Fit will be right in the same range, but with a much more appealing interior or you could look at a Ford Fiesta.

2014 Nissan Versa Note Rear Seats

Although looks inside aren’t anything to write home about, interior space is impressive for such a small car. The vehicle’s 102.4″ wheelbase means that adults in the back won’t be sitting with their knees jammed into the front seats. It’ll seat two very comfortably and three in a pinch.

What the 2014 Nissan Versa Note does exceptionally well is save you money at the pump. It gets 31 city and 40 highway for a combined 35 miles per gallon. This car is all about fuel economy.

It manages this through keeping its weight down, and by having an engine that is, well, less than impressive. It’s got a 1.6-liter 16-valve 4-cylinder with an Xtronic CVT automatic transmission that takes the tiniest of sips from the gas tank.

Nissan Versa Note Gauges

You’ll get all of 109 HP and 107 lb-ft of torque and you’ll feel it, or rather hear it thanks to that CVT which drones during acceleration. It’s your only choice in the mid-range S Plus or SV but a manual transmission is available on the base S.

The ride and handling are okay, but you’re not going to want to take this on a lengthy road trip. You’ll not only feel the roughness of a road surface but you’ll hear it. Road noise was a bit obtrusive, especially at higher speeds.

Handling was just fine, though the steering was loose and hitting any kind of pothole pulled the wheel, more so at highway speeds. You’ll also feel that pothole jar you right up through the seats. Smooth highway driving is comfortable, but you will feel any kind of road irregularities in the steering and in the seat.

2014 Nissan Versa Note Cargo

This is not a performance car so if that’s a priority you need to run in the opposite direction as you are not the target market for the 2014 Nissan Versa Note. If on the other hand, you want an attractive car that will comfortably get you from point A to point B while using as little gas as possible, then this may be the car for you.

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note gets styling that makes it fun to look at and gas mileage that will make your wallet happy. As a daily commuter that can still haul your friends around on the weekend, it’s a fantastic little gas miser.

On the TFLcar scale of:

  • Buy it!
  • Lease it!
  • Rent it!
  • … or Forget it!

I give the 2014 Nissan Versa Note a Buy It!

Nicole Wakelin fell in love with cars as a teenager when she got to go for a ride in a Ferrari. It was red and it was fast and that was all that mattered. Game over. She considers things a bit more carefully now, but still has a weakness for fast, beautiful cars. Nicole also writes for NerdApproved and GeekMom.