New for 2014The 2014 Nissan Versa adds a four door hatchback body style called the Versa Note to the lineup. SL models come standard with 16-inch alloy wheels, 4.3 inch LCD audio display and satellite radio. SV models gain a standard 60/40 split-folding rear seats. All models receive a revised suspension and steering, and interior finish while S grades also add chrome accents and silver interior finish. The Tech Package for the SL grade now includes a rearview camera and a navigation system with NissanConnect smartphone integration with a 5.8-inch touch screen.
Vehicle SummaryThe 2014 Nissan Versa is a subcompact car slotting below the compact Sentra sedan in Nissan’s lineup. It is sold is S, SV, and SL grades in four-door sedan or hatchback body styles.
OverviewThe 2014 Nissan Versa remains a value-driven offering, with a starting price of $12,815 including destination for a five-speed manual-equipped sedan. It is equipped with a 1.6-liter I-4 producing 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque paired to a either a five-speed manual, four-speed automatic, or continuously variable transmission (CVT). Fuel economy is impressive in the CVT-equipped model with the EPA rating it at 31/40 mpg city/highway while manual and four-speed automatic cars manage 27/36 mpg and 26/35 mpg respectively. The Versa’s driving dynamics is competent and suited for the daily commute with numb steering feel, sloppy handling, and noisy powertrain. However, the powertrain struggles driving up steep grades and hills and becomes noisy during hard acceleration.
Perhaps making possible its low starting price, the Nissan Versa’s interior is lackluster, featuring many hard plastics and cheap upholstery. While an improvement over the previous generation, the Versa continues to lag behind its competition in terms of refinement and livability due to it being built to a price. Starting at $14,780 including destination, the Versa Note hatchback offers the best value for the money with its flexible cabin, large cargo area, and the availability of premium features such as Nissan’s Around View Monitor on higher grade models. Additionally, the Divide and Hide floor on SV trims and higher makes it more practical than its sedan counterpart.
The 2014 Nissan Versa has four-star safety rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars) and earned a good rating on four out of five IIHS tests (good is the highest possible score).
What We ThinkThe 2014 Nissan Versa excels as basic transportation for price-sensitive buyers looking for a fuel efficient car. In a review of a 2012 Versa sedan, we said that it lacked refinement because its powertrain created “quite the racket around town,” handled sloppily, and had a low-rent interior. The Versa Note hatchback is the better value of the two body styles since it offers more features and space. However, the cabin is similar to the sedan with “nicely grained but rock-hard plastic materials” and “plebian appointments” on S and S Plus grades.
- Low starting price
- Competitive fuel economy
- Available hatchback body style
You Won’t Like
- Unrefined powertrain
- Cheap interior
- Sloppy handling
- Chevrolet Sonic
- Toyota Yaris
- Kia Rio
- Hyundai Accent
- Ford Fiesta