drivetime logo Yo Vinnie! Waddya Drivin This Week? 2014 Nissan Versa Note SV

“Yo Vinnie! Waddya Drivin’ This Week?” is a first look/first impression of the review vehicle I am driving this week for a future “Drivetime Road Test” auto review.

Funny how life works sometimes… when I was at IMPA Track Days last week, I wanted to drive Nissan’s cool-looking small hatchback the 2014 Versa Note and never got around to it. Maybe I was having so much fun rolling around in the funky Juke NISMO that I failed to notice the time. But on Tuesday morning what shows up at the office but Nissan’s Versa Note!

I wanted to drive it because I have read and heard that the hatchback version of the Versa sub compact was a pretty solid offering with good looks, lots of room for passengers and cargo and pretty easy to maneuver around the urban landscape that is Pittsburgh.

The Note is a pleasant looking car. A high arched roof, wide opening doors and stylishly integrated head and tail lamps all work well together to give the boxy Versa Note a softer look. The door openings front and rear feel about as wide as in any car in this class. Once inside if you are a person of size you will feel comfortable in the Note both front and back. I do wish they had stuck the in-door bottle holders further back as the protrude out and into your and the passengers legs. Seats are comfortable, plenty of headroom and the hatch opens to a cavernous amount of cargo space with the rear seat down. Lots of space for hauling stuff. The SV version I drove has a camera that not only looks back but around the vehicle as well. Great option that will save lives!

Spacious door openings and high roof make the 2014 Versa Note feel roomy inside

Spacious door openings and high roof make the 2014 Versa Note feel roomy inside

I haven’t had a chance to take the Note on a highway run yet but it seems adequate for city driving with above average pep and good maneuverability although the steering feels a bit light. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine cranks out 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. Lower end base models get the 5 speed stick, upper end the CVT. I wish you could get the 5 speed in all of them. The Note absorbs the bumps well, not jarring your teeth every time you hit a bump.

Sticker price on the fairly well equipped 2014 Versa Note SV Hatchback I am driving is $19,545.EPA estimates fuel economy for the manual-shift Versa Note at 27 mpg city/36 mpg highway and 30 mpg in combined driving. The CVT version I drove gets an impressive 31 city/40 highway/35 combined mpg.No crash rating as of yet but there are a number of safety features including side curtain airbags and tire pressure monitoring systems that sound the horn when you are filling the tires and you get to the right pressure. Isn’t this a great country?

I look forward to getting it out on the open road. It may not be as refined as some of the other cars in this entry level hatch class are but if you are looking for an urban hauler that is roomy inside, has great visibility and treats seated adults like adults the 2014 Nissan Versa Note should hit a nice chord!

Update…It has been announced that the Versa Note will be available by mail order from A Note in a box, no?

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Get more reviews, news about cars and the people who drive them, interviews and tips on how to get more out of your driving experience all on Drivetime with Vinnie Richichi and Rob Pratte Saturday mornings 7 a.m. to 8 a.m. on NewsRadio 1020 KDKA. Also listen to Vinnie on The Vinnie and Cook Show Monday-Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sportsradio 93-7 The Fan.