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Mike West Road Test: 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

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(photo credit: Nissan America)

(photo credit: Nissan America)

If your looking for a relatively inexpensive hatchback that gets great mileage and is a lot more fun to drive than the Versa sedan, you should give this Versa Note a look-see. It’s America’s best selling entry hatch. It says so right on the sticker…

It also says the combined fuel economy is 35 MPG. 31-city and 40 on the open road.

As far as inexpensive hatches go, the Versa Note is pretty easy on the eyes. The front end looks like a lot of cars, but the side with some nice subtle sculpting gives the Versa some panache. And the rear end is pretty exciting to, for an entry-level hatch.

The interior is where you are reminded that this is a $20,000.00 car. Every inch of the dash and door panels is hard plastic. The only thing that will touch something soft is your back and rear end. Even the steering wheel, is hard to the touch.

The seats as I said are soft. Maybe a little too soft for my taste. I never felt like I got them dialed into that sweet spot.

Nissan did a fabulous job with cabin space. There is a ton of room back here, and up here too for that matter.

The dash is pretty basic, with everything you need. One unexpected treat is this around view monitor. The first time I used one was in a BMW 3-Series. This is a very nice option for a car of this class.

How does it drive? Well it’s not as exciting or fun as say a Mazda 2 or Ford Fiesta. You can get a 5-speed manual, or the CVT transmission that will take you from standing still to 60 in a little over 10 seconds, by way of this 109-horsepower engine.

The bare bones Versa Note starts at $14,800. The car you are looking at came in at $20,015 dollars with add-ons like 16” aluminum wheels, heated front seats and navigation with a nice 5.8 in touch screen.

The Versa Note is basic transportation. And in this case, basic is pretty decent.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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