Drivetrain: A thrifty four-cylinder is mated to a manual transmission or available continuously variable unit.
The Versa Note is a whopping 13 inches shorter than the Versa sedan, but its clever interior packaging still manages to offer plenty in the way of cabin space. Open the hatch and an adjustable-height load floor option called “Hide-N-Divide” can be raised to match the height of the rear seat when it’s folded flat. That also results in the creation of a hidden storage spot below. Interior fit and finish is generally solid and doesn’t seem out of place on a vehicle that emphasizes a low base price. The Note sings with a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter engine that uses a five-speed manual transmission, or available continuously variable unit for directing torque to the front wheels. It’s a thrifty combination made even thriftier with active grille shutters that automatically close at highway speeds to reduce aerodynamic drag by keeping unnecessary air out of the engine compartment. Trim levels begin with the 1.6 S that, except for air conditioning and a basic radio/CD player, is pretty plain. You can add options or step up to the SV with its upgraded seats, hands-free Bluetooth wireless connectivity and other niceties. The SV trim is required if you want an optional navigation system and Nissan’s “Around View Monitor” that shows a 360-degree depiction of the vehicle in relation to its surroundings. The SR gets sportier front and rear fascias, fog lights and suede-covered seats, while the top-end SL gets a five-inch color display, rear-view monitor, heated seats and unique 16-inch wheel designs.