If you had to sum up the 2015 Nissan Versa Note with one word, you might be most tempted to use “efficient.”
We’re not just talking fuel efficient, although at 40 mpg highway, it certainly is that. But this hatchback is also efficient in how much space it gives you on the inside to haul people and stuff.
Score another efficiency point for the Versa Note with its price tag, which tops out at under $20,000.
The Versa Note is the hatchback version of the Versa, which, since last year, is now only a sedan.
Nissan added two new trim levels to the Versa Note for this model year, the SR sporty model and the SL, which is the highest trim line.
Appearance-wise, you’ll notice some similarity between the Versa Note and the Nissan Leaf, the wildly popular (at least in the Atlanta area) all-electric vehicle.
Both have somewhat rounded lines that lead to a sloping front end and a bit of a nice contour toward the rear.
The SR model’s front and rear are slightly different, and it takes a rear spoiler as well as 16-inch alloy wheels (15-inchers are standard).
On the inside, you won’t find anything particularly fancy design-wise, just a nicely arranged dashboard and plenty of space for passengers in the front and rear. Nissan says the Versa Note has 94.1 cubic feet of passenger space and 21.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats, which fold in case you need more.
Bluetooth connectivity is newly standard this model year. Options include the NissanConnect system and its 5.8-inch touchscreen, traffic and weather updates and voice recognition. Navigation system and push-button start are also options.
Perhaps the most notable option is Nissan’s Around View system, which gives a view from the top of the car as it parks or is negotiating snug spaces. It’s a nice safety feature that’s been well received.
And the Versa Note can be equipped with the very popular tire inflation alert system that honks the horn when you’ve added enough air to the tire, so you don’t have to hassle with gauges.
The Versa Note is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 109 horsepower and 107 pounds-feet of torque. The engine is mated to a five-speed manual transmission on the base S trim level, but all other models take a continuously variable transmission.
Fuel economy is rated at 27 mpg city, 36 highway with the manual and 31 and 40 with the CVT.
There really isn’t much reason to buy the manual version. This car is not made for sporty driving, which is one of the main reasons to buy manuals these days, and since the fuel economy is notably better with the CVT, the little extra you pay on the sticker price will more than come back to you in fuel savings over the life of the car.
The Versa Note starts at close to $15,000 and tops out at a little over $19,000.
For an efficient, roomy compact car, it’s a pretty good choice.