These days, the automotive market is filled with $50k+ pickup trucks, $30k+ Toyota Camry sedans and even a $75k+ plug-in Cadillac. It seems the automotive market is on steroids. What has happened to the point A to point B? It is still around. We give you exhibit A., the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR ringing in a little over $19k. With plenty of cargo room, an ample powertrain and plenty of technology features, it is the quintessential commuter car.
The Nissan Versa lineup represents the base level of their products. It starts with the base sedan and then the Note adds a hatchback. Incredibly, a new Nissan Sedan starts at just a bit more than $11k with the Note starting at just over $14k. These models are definitely the cheaper renditions, lacking power accessories in the interior like power windows, locks and other features like cruise control.
Stepping up to the SR trim makes the Note into more of a “hot” hatchback like the notable VW Golf and Ford Fiesta ST. In order to make the Note “hot”, Nissan adds larger 16″ aluminum-alloy wheels, unique grille and headlights. Also, there are sporty fascias, side sills and spoiler. On the inside, there is a Z-inspired leather-wrapped sport steering wheel and premium sport synthetic suede seat trim with orange accents and stitching. These interior and exterior treatments definitely add sportiness to the look and feel of the vehicle.
Sadly, the powertrain doesn’t match the sporty nature of the look and feel. Nissan has equipped the Note with a 1.6L four-cylinder engine mated to a continuously variable transmission. This in itself isn’t bad and is quite good for city driving with great fuel economy returns of 31/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined. The knock is the 109 HP produced by the 1.6L takes a while to reach highway speeds and it is quite loud doing so. Granted this is a personal preference type of item, but we would love to see a turbo-charged engine with additional horsepower in future generations.
Other than the lackluster engine performance, the 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR offers exactly what a commuter would want from a vehicle. It is nimble to turn, easy to drive and offers a good amount of cargo space for a compact hatchback with the seats down.
Additionally, the technology offered in the SR convenience package is perfect for commuters. This package includes the NissanConnect suite of mobile apps, SiriusXM radio, hands-free text messaging, and rearview monitor.
Lastly, there is what Nissan calls a “Divide-N-Hide” adjustable floor in the rear. This basically provides a hidden storage compartment in the rear. This is perfect for situations like leaving valuables in your car while shopping or parked for long periods of time. Nissan did a great job with this and it is a really nice feature.