- Nissan Introduces Versa Note
Nissan is forging paths and spending on the sedan and subcompact categories. The company’s optimism in those segments comes at an interesting time.
The diminutive 2019 Nissan Versa Note wears clothes that differ greatly from its sedan brother, a trait for which it should be thankful.
The five-door car will be offered in a trio of trims – S, SV, and quasi-sporty SR. All models are powered by a 1.6-litre inline-four making 109 horsepower and lashed to a Nissan calling card, the Xtronic CVT. In this iteration of the gearless wonder, the company claims it packs some gee-whiz wizardry in the form of D-Step Logic Control. Not a new dance move to be tried on the floor of the Mad Trapper Lounge in Inuvik, D-Step attempts to give the continuously variable transmission a personality mimicking that of an actual gearbox rather than holding a constantly high-rpm while being flogged up to cruising speed.
Starting at $15,650 before the inevitable $895 destination and handling fee, the base S and its 15-inch steel wheels furnishes its driver with Bluetooth connectivity and a backup monitor but is bereft of gear like power windows and cruise control. The SV adds these features in its $16,550 price.
Those who want the jazzy SR rear spoiler but do not want to fork out the $18,360 for that trim can spec one at the dealer on any Note for $320. The lone option on any model is a Special Edition package on the SV, a bundle which includes 15-inch aluminium alloys, fog lights, push-button start, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto for a not-unreasonable $735.
Active aero tricks like a grille shutter help the Versa Note to slip just below a 0.3cD. This, and the CVT, allow the Note to nearly hit 40mpg on the EPA highway cycle. With a 10.8 gallon fuel tank, cruising range should outstrip the length of time most people will want to ride in a subcompact hatchback of any sort, not just a Note.
Sales of the Note are not broken out of the overall Versa numbers (one can speculate this is the reason why the hatchback is called the Versa Note in this market but simply the Note elsewhere in the world) but, year-to-date, just over 54,000 of the subcompact units have been shuffled off showroom floors. This is down about 25 percent compared to this time last year, when 71,000 Versas went to new homes. It could be that fleets made up a larger number of those sales in 2017 versus this year’s results.
The Note does, however, land in Nissan’s top five models in terms of total sales to this point in 2018, beating the Murano and 13 other nameplates which it shares lot space.