Nissan's entry-level model is noteworthy (see what we did there?) for combining a subcompact price point with an interior roomy enough to earn the car a mid-size classification from Transport Canada.
That points to how flexible such designations can be: Another popular small hatchback, the Honda Fit, is a station wagon according to Canada's motor vehicle regulators. Regardless, like the Fit, the Versa Note packs interior space that seems implausible given its footprint. Nissan does without slick folding rear seats and instead accomplishes that trick with an efficient layout that allows a long wheelbase to provide comfortable seating for four, or five in a pinch.
For 2018, the Versa Note's top trim, the SR, gains passive keyless entry as standard kit, the SL trim is gone and the base model is now the S, which replaces the S Plus of 2017.
Note that the Versa hatch is marketed as distinct from a sedan that's covered in its own buyer's guide entry.
As before, Versa Note is powered by a 1.6L four-cylinder engine that makes 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. S and SV grades come with a five-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a continuously variable automatic (CVT), while the SR gets the CVT alone.
As those specs suggest, this car does not offer performance worthy of a standing ovation, though that engine moves the Versa Note with surprising eagerness while promising attractive fuel consumption, which is estimated at 7.6/6.2 L/100 km (city/highway) with the automatic transmission.
Air conditioning is standard across the line, as are Bluetooth, power-adjustable and heated side mirrors. However, the S makes do without heated seats, power locks, keyless entry and power windows.
The mid-range SV gets those items, along with cruise control, a backup camera, Siri Eyes Free, hands-free text messaging, a cargo cover with adjustable cargo floor, height-adjustable driver's seat, Bluetooth streaming audio and satellite radio.
SR trim replaces a 5.0-inch infotainment screen with a 5.8-inch display and also adds 16-inch wheels (up from 15s), fog lights, 360-degree camera system, passive keyless entry, suede like seat fabric and a sport steering wheel.
Notable by their absence here are any active safety features or advanced infotainment functionality like Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. By contrast, the Honda Fit gets those smartphone integration platforms in its second-from-the-bottom LX trim, while all models with an automatic transmission get radar cruise control, forward collision detection with automatic braking and lane keeping assist. Those are disappointing omissions for Nissan, a company whose vehicles typically represent some of the strongest value for money in any class they compete in.
This vehicle has not yet been reviewed