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New Subcompact Car Review: 2015 Nissan Versa Note on Everyman Driver

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2015 Nissan Versa Note on Everyman DriverFollowing a highly successful debut as a 2014 model, the Nissan Versa Note enters its second year of production with a number of significant enhancements – led by the addition of new Versa Note SR and Versa Note SL trim levels. There are now a total of five models: S, S Plus, SV, SR and SL.

The new 2015 Versa Note SR offers a number of unique exterior and interior treatments, including sporty front and rear fascias and grille, dark headlight surrounds, fog lights, rear spoiler, suede seats and 16-inch sport aluminum-alloy wheels. The 2015 Versa Note SL features a range of special equipment, including NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, RearView Monitor, heated front seats, Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor and 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels.

In addition, the Versa Note S model receives new standard features such as Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. Versa Note’s optional equipment packages also offer new or revised content for 2015.

The companion vehicle to the popular Versa sedan, Versa Note celebrates the unique qualities of its 5-door hatchback design. It shares its advanced platform and drivetrain with the Versa sedan, yet Versa Note has its own distinctive look and feel inside and out. Every 2015 Versa Note is equipped with an advanced 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC (Continuously Variable Timing Control). The Versa Note S features a 5-speed manual transmission, while the S Plus, SV, SR and SL models are equipped with a standard next-generation Nissan Xtronic transmission.

Video Below: New Subcompact Car Review: 2015 Nissan Versa Note on Everyman Driver

A Bold Exterior Look – Open, Aero and Energetic

Nissan Versa Note’s sculpted, modern styling is designed to accomplish two things: provide efficient aerodynamics to help enhance fuel economy and to stand out from the crowd of entry-level competitors. Its dramatic shape and proportions provide an energetic look that reflects the active lives of its target buyers. Along with its steeply sloped front windshield and deeply sculpted doors, Versa Note features a dramatic character line called the “squash line.” Inspired by the international sport of squash, the line follows the trajectory of a squash ball hitting a wall, bouncing on the court floor and returning to the player. This “rebound path” projects the dynamic energy of Versa Note in both look and driving feel.

Attention to aerodynamic detail helps Versa Note achieve a coefficient of drag of 0.298 (Xtronic-equipped models) – a nine percent decrease over the previous generation Versa hatchback’s 0.31 Cd. The large front spoiler combines with a “kick up” roof shape and low aero-drag floor structure (including front and rear tire deflectors, rear suspension beam mounted flush with floor and fuel tank deflectors) to direct airflow over, under and around the body.

Xtronic transmission-equipped Versa Note models include Nissan’s first-ever Active Grille Shutter, which limits the amount of air entering the engine compartment, reducing drag force by 0.01. The Active Grille Shutter is generally closed at speeds above 20 miles per hour.

The iconic front grille and large multi-reflector headlights are paired with Note’s “boomerang” rear taillights, which are similar to those found on the Nissan 370Z and Nissan JUKE. The special “vented” taillight design includes special outlets and lip to help guide air away from the body for reduced air turbulence and improved rear lamp visibility in bad weather. Fog lights and heated sideview mirrors are also available.

The new Versa Note SR model features unique SR front and rear fascias and grille, dark headlight treatment, body-color side sills, rear spoiler, sideview mirrors with integrated turn signals – providing a more sporty appearance. In addition, all models feature a new “Euro” design side rearview mirror shape for 2015.

Versa Note’s dynamic design also takes full advantage of use of Nissan’s global “V” platform. It features a long 102.4-inch wheelbase helping maximize interior roominess, while six-inch shorter front and rear overhangs than the previous Versa hatchback help provide a sporty stance and parking maneuverability.

The 2015 Versa Note is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Red Brick, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Aspen White and two colors – Metallic Peacock and MorningSky Blue – that that are designed to create an active, energetic presence and a clean, eco-friendly image respectively.

2015 Nissan Versa Note on Everyman DriverRoomy Interior, Segment-First Technology
The roomy interior is also a perfect match for the stylish Versa Note exterior. The five-passenger Versa Note cabin provides a spacious total interior volume of 112.9 cubic feet and ample cargo space of 18.8 cubic feet. Cargo area liftover height has been reduced by 1.7 inches (over previous generation Versa hatchback) for easier loading and unloading of heavy or bulky objects. The interior also offers front headroom of 40.8 inches and rear legroom of 38.3 inches – making Versa Note both kid friendly and adult comfortable.

Interior versatility is further enhanced through use of an available Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor. With the standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat folded down, a large flat cargo area is created. With the rear seats folded down, the Divide-N-Hide® system creates a flat cargo area.

Lifting up the cargo floor board reveals a hidden area underneath to keep valuables out of sight. When more space is needed for carrying taller or bulkier items, lowering the floor board creates a deeper cargo well. The floor board is designed to stay in the vehicle yet is easily removed if desired. It’s a simple solution to balance the need for a flat load floor or maximum cargo capacity or security.

The long list of refined interior features starts with the standard cloth seating, 4-way adjustable front bucket seats (S, S Plus) or 6-way seats (SV), 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, front seatback pockets and many more amenities.

Heated front seats with upgraded seat cloth and stitching are also available, along with leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome/silver accents, USB input with iPod® control and steering wheel-mounted audio and Bluetooth® controls. The new Versa Note SR includes sporty suede seat accents and a 370Z-style steering wheel. Two interior colors are offered: Charcoal and Wheat Stone.

Among the 2015 Versa Note’s unexpected and affordable technology is the class-exclusive* availability of Nissan’s advanced Around View® Monitor. The system utilizes four small superwide-angle cameras mounted on the front, side and rear of the vehicle to provide a virtual 360° view of objects around the vehicle, with selectable split-screen close-ups of the front, rear and curb views, helping the driver maneuver the car into tight spots. The Around View® Monitor is offered as part of the SL Tech Package.

Also available as part of the SL Tech Package is the advanced NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps with SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link™ (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Enhanced Voice Recognition for navigation and audio and a 5.8-inch color touch-screen display. The NissanConnectSM with Navigation System also provides warnings for curves, speed limit information and an eco route setting.

The Hands-Free Text Messaging Assistant – which is also available with the NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps as part of the SV and SR Convenience Packages – allows drivers to receive and respond to text messages without touching their cell phones. With a touch of a button messages can be read to the driver and answered with pre-loaded responses via voice recognition.

Other available Versa Note technology includes Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, RearView Monitor and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) and standard Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.

The Right Combination of Power and MPG
With entry-level buyers looking for value not just in the initial purchase price but also in day-to-day operation, the 2015 Versa Note is designed to provide the perfect combination of fuel economy and performance.

Anchoring the front-wheel drive Versa Note is a 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. The engine includes a range of cutting-edge technologies, including a dual fuel injector system that allows a wider injection of fuel (versus traditional single injector systems), with the smaller nozzles delivering a spray approximately 57 percent finer than the previous generation single injector design’s particle size to help achieve more complete combustion.

The compact, lightweight engine also utilizes a Twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system mounted on intake and exhaust ports (versus conventional CVTC systems, which are mounted only on the intake port), similar to the system used on the flagship Nissan Maxima. Using a CVTC on the outlet port increases thermal efficiency, decreases inhalation resistance and offers an approximate four percent improvement in fuel efficiency (over the previous engine design).

Versa Note is offered with a choice of two transmissions – a 5-speed manual transmission (S model only) or a next-generation Xtronic transmission. The Xtronic transmission allows continuous change of the transmission gear ratio by connecting the two pulleys with a metallic belt and changing their diameter by using hydraulic pressure.

Aiding efficiency is an integrated auxiliary gearbox using planetary gearing. The Xtronic features a transmission ratio of 7.3:1, broader than those of typical 7-speed automatic transmissions. A transmission oil warmer transfers engine coolant heat to the transmission oil, helping reduce transmission friction during cold starts, increasing short trip fuel economy.

In addition to the advanced engine and transmission designs, excellent everyday drivability is provided by an independent strut front suspension with stabilizer bar, torsion beam rear axle with integrated stabilizer bar, and electric power steering. Braking is provided by standard power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes with standard Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist.

The 2015 Versa Note rides on standard 15-inch steel wheels with full wheel covers and 185/65HR15 all-season tires, while 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 195/55HR16 all-season tires are standard with the SR and SL grades. Low rolling resistance tires are standard on all models.

Standard safety and security systems include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags, roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bags, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Traction Control System (TCS) and Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) with available Easy-Fill Tire Alert.

A Range of Five Well-Equipped Grade Levels
The refined 2015 Versa Note is offered S, S Plus, SV and new SR and SL grade levels. In addition to the long list of standard features found on the Versa Note S with manual transmission, the Versa Note S Plus adds Xtronic transmission, transmission position indicator and Active Grille Shutter.

Versa Note SV models include power windows with one-touch down feature, power door locks with speed-sensing auto-lock, Remote Keyless Entry, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome and silver interior accents, Piano Black C-cluster surround, new 3-dial Fine Vision Meter design, multi-function trip computer with outside temperature display, map light with key-linked illuminated entry system, driver’s seat armrest, upgraded seat cloth and stitching, driver’s seat lifter, USB input with iPod® control and more.

The new Versa Note SR adds the previously mentioned unique sporty exterior treatments, suede seat accents, variable intermittent front wipers, rear seat armrest with cupholders, SR badge, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and more.

The new Versa Note SL includes NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor, center console with rear cupholders, heated front seats, Nissan Intelligent Key® with Push Button Ignition, Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor Easy Fill Tire Alert, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and SL badge.

Three equipment optional packages are offered: SV Convenience Package, SR Convenience Package and SL Tech Package.

The SV Convenience Package includes NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor, rear seat armrest with cupholders and Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor.

The SR Convenience Package includes NissanConnectSM with Mobile Apps, 5.0-inch color display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor and Divide-N-Hide® Adjustable Floor

The SL Tech Package includes NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Enhanced Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link™ (fuel prices, weather, movie listings and stock info) (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), Around View® Monitor and heated sideview mirrors.

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