Following its 2012 redesign and minimal changes last year, the Nissan Versa sedan receives a few minor updates for 2014, including a revised suspension and steering set-up for improved handling. The Versa SL features a new tricot headliner and 4.3-inch audio display, as well as 16-inch alloy wheels. SV models feature a 60/40 split-fold rear seat, and base S models now include a tachometer. Pricing for the Versa sedan remains unchanged from 2013, with the base S model starting at $11,990. The price means the Versa is still the lowest-price car in America.<p><p>But the biggest news in the Versa realm is the all-new Versa Note 5-door hatchback. It replaces the current Versa hatchback, which was still rooted in the Versa's first generation. While based on the architecture that carries the current Versa sedan, including the same 109-hp 1.6L 4-cylinder engine and available continuously variable transmission, the Versa Note features its own unique styling. Nissan claims it will deliver up to 31 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway when equipped with the CVT and available active grille shutters. Available in S, S Plus and SV trims, the Versa Note will start at $13,990.
The 2014 Nissan Versa is offered in both sedan and hatchback body styles. Four trim levels are offered on the Versa sedan: S, S Plus, SV and SL. All are powered by a 109-hp 1.6L 4-cylinder with continuously variable valve timing. In the S, a 5-speed manual transmission puts power to the front wheels, while a 4-speed automatic is optional. The other three trims are equipped with Nissan's Xtronic continuously variable transmission. When so equipped, the Versa sedan delivers an EPA estimate of 40 mpg on the highway.
Even the base S trim offers enough features to keep drivers and passengers comfortable. These include halogen headlights, air conditioning, an AM/FM/CD stereo with two auxiliary audio inputs, a tachometer, power steering, trip computer, tilt steering wheel and a 6-way adjustable driver's seat. In addition to the CVT, the S Plus adds a four-speaker audio system, cruise control, tilt steering, and a rear roof spoiler.
In the SV, buyers will find power mirrors, locks and windows, with driver's side one-touch auto up/down, upgraded trip computer, remote keyless entry, steering wheel-mounted cruise control, premium cloth seating and various interior accents. A key fob trunk release and a 60/40 split-fold rear seat are new for 2014.
The top-of-the-line SL includes 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, variable-speed windshield wipers, passenger visor vanity mirror, a 60/40 split-folding rear seat, silver and chrome interior accents, a premium 4-speaker stereo with MP3/WMA CD playback and iPod interface, a new 4.3-inch audio display, speed-sensitive volume control and steering-wheel-mounted audio controls.
Packaged options for the Versa sedan include an SV Convenience Package with Bluetooth and premium stereo and an SL Tech Package with navigation, RearView Monitor and SiriusXM satellite radio. Individual options are available across the model range and offer a rear spoiler, carpeted floor and trunk mats and special body and interior accents.
The new Versa Note 5-door hatchback features a unique exterior design beyond its configuration, including a distinctive grille and headlight treatment, as well as creased and sculpted sheet metal along the sides. Based upon Nissan's international-selling Note, the Versa Note is optioned much like its sedan counterpart and powered by the same 109-hp 1.6L four. A 5-speed manual is standard on the S, while the Xtronic CVT is standard on the rest of the range. Like the sedan the Versa Note comes in S, SL and SV trim. It features 115.5 cubic feet of interior volume, with best-in-class cargo space of 21.4 cubic feet. An available Divide-N-Hide Adjustable Floor provides enhanced interior utility, and the standard 60/40 split-fold rear seat makes carrying larger objects a snap.
Available technology on the Versa Note includes NissanConnect Navigation with points of interest powered by Google, Bluetooth hands-free connectivity, and Nissan's Around View, which integrates a birds-eye view of the car's exterior in order to ease parking.