KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors - Updated Date: 5/3/2013
For 2014, the Nissan Versa offers a schizophrenic aspect. The sedan version is uninspiring but best-selling older tech, while the 5-door hatchback offers new tech and a wider array of features. The 2014 Versa Sedan claims to be the roomiest car in its class, and it remains the least-expensive new car you can buy with its $12,780 starting price unchanged from last year. Add in fuel economy of up to 40 mpg, and the Versa looks even more sensible. Little is changed this year on the Sedan versions other than chassis tuning and some equipment offerings, but the all-new and very stylish 5-door hatch is a different story, combining fresh looks with similar fuel economy.
You'll Like This Car If...
If your focus is on dollars and cents, the 2014 Versa is among the least expensive new cars to buy. It offers high fuel economy, a surprising amount of passenger room, and a comfortable ride in a car that starts under $13,000. The 5-door Note is also pretty in a way most cars in this segment aren't.
You May Not Like This Car If...
If you desire a modicum of excitement in your economy car's looks or driving dynamics, consider the hatchback Versa Note...or a Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta or Chevrolet Sonic.
What's New for 2014
The big news is the all-new Versa Note 5-door that can be had as a no-frills transport car, but also is offered with a wide variety of features...if you're ready to pay for them. All 2014 Nissan Versa Sedans benefit from revised suspension and steering calibrations. Entry-level S models get a tachometer and SV and SL models have improved seat-cushion design. The SV also includes a 60/40 split-folding rear seat and the top-line SL gets a 4.3-inch display audio package and 16-inch alloy wheels.
We haven't yet had the opportunity to drive the Versa Sedan and Versa Note 5-door back-to-back, but our very educated guess is the new Note amplifies the virtues of the older-design Sedan. Both are smooth and quiet by economy-car standards, and we were impressed with the refinement of the Note in particular. Though its road-going behavior will never be called exciting, the Versa is an easy car to drive and maneuver. The steering is light, its turning radius is tight, and visibility is very good from the driver's seat. Like other cars with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), Versas so equipped take some getting used to. There are no conventional shift points, so the engine may seem to be working hard at unexpected times, and with just 109 horsepower, the 2014 Versa's acceleration won't tempt you to enter many drag races.
The Versa is commendably roomy, and folding rear seatbacks add versatility. In both Sedan and 5-door forms this is a small car that can comfortably seat two full-size adults in back.
Sedans with the CVT automatic transmission are rated at 40 mpg for the highway and 35 mpg combined. The new 5-door equals the Sedan's numbers with even better drivability, making both Versas easy on the wallet and on the environment.
For vehicle details and pricing notes…