Ever since the Nisan Versa came to the U.S. back in 2007, the little car proved that cheap transportation didn’t have to be so dreary. While it’s no GT-R in terms of styling, the sedan and hatchback versions of the car sold well. In 2013, Nissan revamped the Versa for its second generation and added the Note name to designate the Hatchback version from the sedan .
Now for 2015, Nissan is adding a little more spice with the SR trim package on the Versa Note hatchback. While nothing changes mechanically, the SR trim does bring some sportiness to the car’s interior. Things like a new leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede look-alike material on the seats with orange accent double stitching. A refreshed center instrument panel is finished out in piano black plastic with silver accents and chrome knobs. It also gets a Fine Vision three-dial gauge cluster with a floating trip computer.
The SR sport trim package is also joined by the new top-of-the-line SL trim package for 2015, rounding out the S, S Plus, and SV trim lines.
The Versa Note SR represents Nissan’s up-marketing of the Versa in response to the stiffening competition. Cars like the Ford Fiesta, Chevy Spark, Honda Fit, and Toyota Yaris are all strong in the segment. The argument gets even easier to debate once IIHS ratings are taken into account, with the Spark earning the relatively best score of the bunch.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR.
Bright alloy wheels measuring 16 inches with darkly-finished contrasting pockets, along with the added brightwork around the grille make for a sharper look.
The Versa Note doesn’t look half bad in its new SR trim. Bright alloy wheels measuring 16 inches with darkly-finished contrasting pockets, along with the added brightwork around the grille make for a sharper look. A spoiler over the rear window, its sleeker redesigned side mirrors, and the chrome SR badges help the Versa Note to seem more grown up. It’s still not a sports car, but it looks better than it used to.
Carrying over from last year is the steeply angled hood and windshield. It helps provide excellent forward visibility, as does the small side windows just ahead of the outside mirrors. The tall roofline allows the good visibility trend to continue all the way around the car with the slanted D-Pillars providing the only real blind spots.
Nissan does offer its Around View Monitor on the Versa Note, which easily clears up any visibility issues – at least at slow speeds. The Versa is the only car in this segment to offer such a system.
Gallery Nissan Versa Note SR
The interior is treated to a nice update with the SR trim level. The seats get a great looking orange stripe down their center and matching orange stitching. The orange contrasts well with the dark suede-like fabric seats and really does lend a sportier feel to the cabin. The leather-wrapped steering wheel is said to be inspired from the 350Z and comes with controls for Bluetooth, redundant radio controls and trip computer buttons.
Bluetooth is standard on across the Versa Note lineup these days, along with the AM/FM/CD/Aux-in radio, though it only has four speakers. The remainder of the standard features list reads off more mundane items like the number of plastic cup holders, and six-way manually adjustable drivers seat. This is where the cost-cutting is rather apparent.
One interesting feature with the cargo area is its false floor Nissan calls Divide-N-Hide. Essentially, it’s got a bottom floor panel that is stationary, but then a second shelf-like panel can be released and raised into position above the stationary floor. This gives a good six inches or so of hidden cargo room – great for hiding valuables, tools, or supplies.
Powering the Versa Note is a dual overhead cam 1.6-liter I-4 with variable valve timing. It’s rated at 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 pound-feet of torque at 4,400 rpm. The engine, by no means, is a strong performer anywhere besides the fuel pump, getting 31 mpg city/40 mpg highway/35 mpg combined.
Two transmissions are offered: The base trim level gets a 5-speed manual while the S-Plus and above get Nissan’s Xtronic CVT.
An independent strut suspension up front and a torsion beam rear axle keep the car on its wheels, while standard electric power steering helps save fuel. ABS and electronic brake force distribution (EBD) modulate front disc rotors and rear drum brakes.
2014 Nissan Versa Note SR - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control)|
|Output (HP @ RPM||109 @ 6,000 RPM|
|Torque (LB-FT @ RPM)||107 @ 4,400|
|Fuel economy (City/Highway/Combined)||31/40/35|
|Transmission||Nissan Xtronic transmission|
The Versa Note hatchback is a competitively priced car in this segment. Trim levels range from the “S” with a manual transmission, “S Plus” that adds the CVT , “SV” with a CVT. Available with the SV trim package are two option packages that add some handy features: the SL package and SL Tech package. And new for 2015 is the new range-topper SL trim and the sporty SR trim.
Though pricing hasn’t been released for the 2015 model, the 2014 Versa Note starts out at $13,990. Moving to the S-Plus trim increases the MSRP to $15,240. The SV trim starts out at $15,990, but jumps to $17,690 with the SL package and $18,490 with the SL Tech package.
Even with the SR and new SL trim lines, we suspect the price will still fall below the $20,000 mark.
The Toyota Yaris has been the leader in this segment – at least in recognition – since its second generation starting in 2006. Its size and shape made it a perfect city car for running around. Power comes from a 1.5-liter I-4 making 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. The engine features variable valve timing to help it achieve 30 mpg city/37 highway/33 combined.
Pricing for the Yaris starts at $14,430 and rises to $17,340.
Gallery Toyota Yaris
The Fit is a new car for 2015 and is a generally better-looking car than the one it replaces. Engineers worked to reduce NHV levels within the interior while giving the 1.5-liter a modest power boost. It puts out 130 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque.
Although it didn’t score too well in the IIHS’ small-overlap crash test, the Fit is still a smart choice for an everyday runabout as its EPA-estimated fuel economy is 33/41/36.
Pricing for the Honda Fit starts at $15,425.
Gallery Honda Fit
The new SR trim is a welcome addition to the Versa Note lineup, although it doesn’t give any extra horsepower, torque, or handling benefits. The interior and exterior upgrades will help it compete in a fierce segment where sales are won by mpg numbers, interior roominess, available electronic gadgets, and a ‘Wow’ factor. The SR trim seems to up the ante in two of those categories and we think it will be one of the Versa Notes’ most popular trim choice.
- Better styling makes it not so drab
- Around-View Monitor system
- Solid transportation for not much money
- Bargain-basement interior materials
- Asthmatic powertrain
- Not so safe in small-overlap crash test
Gallery Nissan Versa Note SR
Nissan today provided an early preview of the 2015 Versa Note hatchback with the debut of the sporty new Versa Note SR. The new grade level is one of two new trims being added to the Versa Note lineup for its second year of production, along with the Versa Note SL. Both new grade levels go on sale this spring at Nissan dealers nationwide, joining the Versa Note S MT, S Plus CVT and SV CVT.
Also for the 2015 model year, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System with steering wheel-mounted controls becomes standard across all trims of Versa Note. One new option package is also being introduced for 2015, the SR Convenience Package, and new content is added to the SV Convenience Package and SL Tech Package.
Introduced in June 2013, the second-generation of the popular sub-compact 5-door Versa Note offers an exceptional combination of versatility, technology and value. It is designed to satisfy both the owners’ emotional and rational needs with sleek styling and features like the first-in-class Around View® Monitor – all at an affordable price.
"The new Versa Note SR and SL grades retain all of the favorite consumer attributes of the Versa Note S, S Plus and SV trim levels – while adding a sportier look and feel in the case of the SR, and more standard technology and convenience items with the SL," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "Now it’s as easy to find the right combination of equipment in the showroom as it is to enjoy the Versa Note when you take it home."
About the 2015 Versa Note SR
The new Versa Note SR’s standout styling starts with the modern, sculpted look of the second-generation Versa Note and adds a wide range of exclusive features. In front, a unique fascia and grille combine with a dark headlight treatment and standard fog lights with black and chrome accents to provide an aggressive, sporty character.
Body-color side spoilers and redesigned side mirrors with integrated turn signals complement Versa Note’s distinctive "squash line" side profile. The dynamic exterior look is capped off by a unique rear spoiler, SR badging and high-contrast machine-finished 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels with dark paint mounted with 195/55R16 all-season tires.
Versa Note SR interior enhancements include an exclusive 370Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, suede-like fabric seats with sporty orange accents and double stitching, a redesigned piano black center instrument panel with silver accents and chrome knobs, and Euro-inspired Fine Vision triple-dial gauge cluster with floating trip computer.
"The new Versa Note SR offers an even more powerful appearance than the other grade levels, blending a sporty, European-style energy with a distinctive, driver-focused cockpit," said Loing. "It’s a great demonstration that vehicles in this segment can offer sporty style along with attributes such as high utility and fuel economy."
Under the skin, the Versa Note SR builds on the foundation of the second-generation Versa Note, including an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control) mated to a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic® transmission. The engine is rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. EPA fuel economy for the front-wheel drive Versa Note SR is estimated at 40 mpg highway, 31 mpg city and 35 mpg combined.
Excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar; electric power steering; and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.
Like every 2015 Versa Note, the SR grade takes full advantage of Nissan’s global "V" platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while short front and rear overhangs help provide parking maneuverability.
The roomy five-passenger Versa Note SR interior provides 112.9 cubic feet of interior volume and 18.8 cubic feet of cargo space. Standard interior features include 6-way adjustable front bucket seats, Fine Vision instrumentation, AM/FM/CD/Aux-in audio system with 4 speakers, 12-volt power outlet, front door pockets with bottle holders, dual front and rear cupholders and front seatback pockets.
Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of the innovative Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor, which is offered as part of the SR Convenience Package. Also available as part of the SR Convenience Package is the advanced NissanConnect™ system with a 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, Streaming Audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant, USB connection port for iPod® interface and other compatible devices, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and NissanConnect™ Apps (offering smartphone integration for Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, iHeartRadio and TuneIn Radio).
The 2015 Versa Note SR is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White, Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – each matched with an interior with exclusive, sporty suede-like fabric interior.