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2019 Nissan Versa Note

$15,650 - $18,360
Price Range (MSRP)
Nissan Versa Note

2019 Nissan Versa Note Review

by Gabe Beita Kiser

With 2019 being the last model year in the life-cycle of the Versa Note, the humble and efficient hatchback variant of the Versa sedan attempts a final curtain call in this guise. Still equipped with the same lackluster 1.6-liter engine and delivering a meager 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque, the Note offers the same weak performance and low price tag it has before. Still, it does have the benefit of a more appealing visage and, with a spacious interior and impressive storage space, the hatchback serves well as a day-to-day vehicle for those who place affordability above all else. However, features remain minimal, even on the top-most trim, and comfort is only a peripheral concern. With rivals like the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta boasting similar spaciousness, significantly better performance, and many more standard features, the Versa Note is a hard sell.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Changes: What’s the difference vs 2018 Versa Note?

Since a complete redesign for the Nissan Versa is on the cards for 2020 as a sedan only, the 2019 Versa Note remains mostly unchanged for the new year as it sees out the remainder of its days as a hatchback. At the very least, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available on the upper trims, being standard on the SR and part of the SV's Special Edition Package.

Pros and Cons

  • More attractive than the Versa sedan
  • Very spacious interior with large rear seats
  • Huge trunk
  • Decent fuel economy
  • Low purchase price
  • Lack of power and subpar handling make it a boring drive
  • Very limited standard feature list
  • Poor-quality interior

Versa Note Exterior

The Versa Note sports a more athletic look than its sedan counterpart, with sport side sills and a rear roof spoiler available. 15-inch steel wheels are equipped as standard, with 16-inch alloys available on upper trims. Multi-reflector halogen headlights and aerodynamic tail lights, as well as an active grille shutter, are default exterior features across the range. A nice touch on an otherwise dull vehicle is the ability to personalize your Note by choosing one or more color accents for the side mirror caps, door handle covers, and even the wheels, through the use of the Versa Note Color Studio.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Front View
2019 Nissan Versa Note Rear View
2019 Nissan Versa Note Front Angle View
See All 2019 Nissan Versa Note Exterior Photos

Dimensions

With a length of 163.7 inches, a width of 66.7 inches, and a height of 60.5 inches, the Versa Note is quite average in size for the segment. It is a little longer than both the Honda Fit and the Ford Fiesta, but weighs in slightly lighter than competitors; curb weights start at 2,474 lbs on the lower trim, and max out at 2,526 lbs at the top of the range.

Exterior Colors

Aside from the splashes of color brought about by the Color Studio, the Versa Note's standard palette is rather limited, boasting only seven exterior hues. The SV gets the broadest palette, with availability to all seven options including Aspen White TriCoat, Deep Blue Pearl, Gun Metallic, Brilliant Silver Metallic, Cayenne Red, and Super Black, all of which are also available on the SR. The entry-level S makes do without Deep Blue and Aspen White, swapping the latter out for a coat of Fresh Powder.

  • Brilliant Silver Metallic
  • Gun Metallic
  • Super Black
  • Cayenne Red Metallic
  • Fresh Powder
  • Deep Blue Pearl Metallic
  • Aspen White Pearl

Versa Note Performance

Affordability and low running costs - that's all the Versa Note is about, and on its bucket list for the remaining days of its hatchback life, the word 'performance' is nowhere to be found. With barely more than 100 hp derived from a naturally aspirated 1.6-liter engine, the Note manages the 0-60 mph sprint as a casual stroll, taking more than ten seconds to reach the benchmark. Partly to blame is the lackluster engine, but it's made worse by the pairing of a CVT automatic transmission - one that seeks out efficiency over pace. Front-wheel-drive is standard on the Note and the default for the segment, with no rivals offering any alternative.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Side View
2019 Nissan Versa Note Wheel
2019 Nissan Versa Note Engine Bay

Engine and Transmission

The Note comes equipped with a single engine option in the form of a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that delivers 109 hp and 107 lb-ft. This power is regulated by an automatic continuously variable transmission and directed to the front wheels only. Unfortunately, the engine remains weak and doesn't give this hatchback a lot of pep on the road; to make matters worse, it whines loudly when accelerating hard - an infamous trait of being paired with a continuously variable transmission. One could possibly forgive the protesting powertrain if it was a little more impressive, but with 10.2 seconds needed to get to 60 mph from rest, this is hardly an exciting drive. To be fair, there is enough power for driving around town, assuming you aren't in too much of a rush. Getting up to highway speeds is a chore, though, and the CVT takes an age to get the Note up to speed.

  • Engine
    1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
  • Transmission
    Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
  • Drivetrain
    FWD

Handling and Driving Impressions

The handling on the Versa Note leaves much to be desired. The steering is slow and uncommunicative, and while it handles corners well enough in town, it doesn't inspire any confidence if you try to take even a mild curve at higher speeds. The brakes are firm and responsive too, but they aren't particularly strong, taking 128 ft to bring the car to a stop from 60 mph.

Ride comfort is neither here nor there, with quick errands around town managed without concern. Long drives will most certainly be less pleasant. In traffic, the Note's small size means it maneuvers well and can park almost anywhere with ease, but cross-winds can be problematic, especially on highways and at speed. Overall, the Note is a passable hatchback in the sense that it gets the job done, but you may still want to pass it over in favor of one of its better-handling rivals.

Versa Note Gas Mileage

Burning regular unleaded gasoline, the Versa Note gets estimated city/highway/combined estimates from the EPA of 31/39/34 mpg. This is on par with rivals in the segment, in theory, but actual tested mileage has shown lower results. The more popular Honda Fit returns comparable estimates of 29/36/31 mpg on top-tier trims, but 33/40/36 mpg is achievable with their base-line model. With 10.8 gallons of fuel in a full tank, a total range of 367 miles can be achieved in the Versa Note.

  • Fuel Tank Capacity
    10.8 Gallons
  • Fuel Economy
    City/Hwy: 31/39 mpg
* 2019 Nissan Versa Note S CVT Hatchback

Versa Note Interior

The Versa Note boasts a mix-bag for an interior, matching cheap plastics on the dash and a simple layout with interesting dashes of color and quality on the soft surfaces, particularly on higher trims. Making the poorer quality materials bearable, solid ergonomics at least means you'll be able to avoid touching the hard plastics. In general, occupants will find enough space for short-distance travel, but the unsupportive seats and poor material quality on the entry-level model are far from comfortable, and taller drivers will find it difficult to reach controls with limited adjustment not helping the matter. It's overall an average effort, but there are rivals in the subcompact segment who bring far more to the party.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Dashboard
2019 Nissan Versa Note Front Seats
2019 Nissan Versa Note Steering Wheel
See All 2019 Nissan Versa Note Interior Photos

Seating and Interior Space

The Versa Note can comfortably seat five passengers, boasting a back seat that is more spacious than many larger sedans. The front seats offer 40.8 inches of headroom and 41.3 inches of legroom, while the rear seats have 38 inches and 38.3 inches available, respectively. However, the seats do lack adjustability and are constructed of low-quality materials, leaving the Note with a severe disadvantage in terms of comfort. Driver controls are also poorly placed for those of above-average height. Ingress and egress are easy at least, thanks to the large, wide-opening doors.

  • Seating capacity
    5-seater

Interior Colors and Materials

The entry-level Note S makes do with a dull and drab interior upholstered in cheap-feeling charcoal cloth, which only looks marginally more premium than the gray plastics and faux aluminum trim spread throughout the cabin. The mid-spec SV's textured charcoal cloth is a notable step up in quality but only brings the Note on par with what other rivals offer in the segment. The top-spec SR gets a fairly premium feel to it, with seats upholstered in charcoal cloth with orange striping and contrast stitching. It feels great but is completely at odds with the cheap and nasty feel of the dashboard.

Versa Note Trunk and Cargo Space

A large, spacious cargo area is one of the Versa's biggest selling points. A starting capacity of 18.8 cubic feet can be increased to 38.3 cubic feet when the rear seats are folded down in a 60/40 split, which is ideal for an extended vacation's luggage or larger items. The SV and SR trims can accommodate taller items in the trunk thanks to the Divide-N-Hide trunk floor feature, which allows the floor to be raised or lowered. This also creates an area of safe storage for valuables within the trunk.

Small-item storage is not as laudable, sadly. The glove compartment is quite large, but the front door pockets and front/rear cupholders are smaller than average.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Rear Passenger Seats
2019 Nissan Versa Note Rear Spoiler
2019 Nissan Versa Note Rear Angle View
  • Maximum Cargo Space
    38.3 ft³

Versa Note Infotainment and Features

Features

The Versa Note doesn't offer many features as standard and is really bare-bones in comparison to other hatchbacks in the segment. What there is, is limited to a rearview camera, a trip computer, basic air conditioning, a four-way manual driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a 12-volt power outlet, and 60/40 split fold-down rear seats. As you move up the trims, this offering is mildly improved upon. The SV trim adds keyless entry, power accessories, cruise control, a six-way manual driver's seat, and an extra 12-volt power outlet. Keyless ignition, a Z-inspired leather-wrapped steering wheel, and an immobilizer are made standard with the SR trim.

Infotainment

The infotainment offering on the Versa Note is also rather limited and sub-par in terms of quality. The base S trim comes equipped with a seven-inch touchscreen display, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth calling and audio streaming, a USB port, and AM/FM radio with a four-speaker sound system, and an auxiliary audio jack. Nothing extra is added as standard on the SV trim, although many of the features available on the SR can be equipped to the SV by adding the Special Edition Package. The features added with the SV trim comprise the NissanConnect touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as SiriusXM, which brings the infotainment in line with the segment standard. An optional Rockford Fosgate sound system improves audio quality and adds two subwoofers installed in the trunk of the Note.

Versa Note Problems and Reliability

The Versa Note is rated at 72 out of 100 for dependability by J.D. Power. However, it was subject to a serious recall in 2015 due to the lower dash impeding access to the pedals, and a less severe recall in 2018 for a faulty ignition. The 2019 model has not been subject to any recalls. Nissan offers a three-year/36,000-mile limited warranty and roadside assistance plan, as well as a five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty on new Note purchases.

Versa Note Safety

The Versa Note has not been fully rated by either the NHTSA or the IIHS, with the former only evaluating rollover protection, awarding four stars out of a possible five. The IIHS has only evaluated the Note for moderate front overlap crashworthiness, for which it received the top rating of Good.

Key Safety Features

While many manufacturers in the subcompact segment are adding collision avoidance systems to their offerings, Nissan continues to offer the Versa Note with only the most basic of safety features. Six airbags (dual front, front side, and side curtain), stability and traction control, and four-wheel ABS make up the default safety systems, while only a rearview camera provides any sort of driver assistance.

Verdict: Is the 2019 Nissan Versa Note a good car?

The Versa Note is a good car if your priority is simply to have a cheap mode of transportation with decent cargo-hauling capabilities. If you want anything more than that, then the hatchback will fall short in just about every area.

With one of the weakest engines in the segment, the Note won't offer any thrills on the road, especially when you consider its middling handling. The suspension takes bumps in its stride, but the cabin's distinct lack of quality materials or comfort features make for an absolutely mediocre ride. This is compounded by an infotainment system that is bare-bones on the base model, and only passable on the top trim. The Note also lacks any driver assistance features, with passenger safety relying on ABS brakes, traction control, and a rearview camera.

All of this comes together to create a vehicle that's as dull as dishwater. But, with a low price, ample cargo capacity, and a spacious interior, the Note isn't without its advantages. Sadly, rivals like the Honda Fit are far more charming, offering so much more, for a very similar price. When placed beside these rivals, the Nissan Versa Note is a hard sell.

What's the Price of the 2019 Nissan Versa Note?

The Nissan Versa is one of the most affordable hatchbacks on the market, with a starting MSRP of $15,650. The mid-range SV trim bumps this price up to $16,550, but it does add a few nice features to the otherwise spartan base S trim, and even more, if you add the $735 Special Edition Package. The top-tier S trim starts at $18,360. These prices exclude tax, registration, licensing, and Nissan's $895 destination fee. With the Note scheduled for discontinuation after the 2019 year model, dealerships may be open to more negotiation than usual and you could pick up a great deal if you're willing to negotiate.

2019 Nissan Versa Note Models

The Nissan Versa Note is available in three trims - S, SV, and SR. All three are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine developing 109 hp, driving the front wheels through a CVT automatic transmission.

The S kicks things off with barren specification including 15-inch steel wheels, halogen headlights, manual air conditioning, a rearview camera, and a seven-inch infotainment system with Siri Eyes Free technology and Bluetooth connectivity.

The SV gets a little more premium, with improved cloth upholstery, upgraded instrumentation, remote keyless entry, power windows, and a six-way driver's seat adjustment.

Luxuries like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto only become standard on the SR trim as part of the NissanConnect infotainment suite, while the top-spec trim also adds sporty exterior styling, 16-inch alloy wheels, and suede-like cloth seating with colored accents.

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
S
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$15,650
SV
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$16,550
SR
1.6-liter Inline-4 Gas
Continuously Variable Automatic (CVT)
Front-Wheel Drive
$18,360
See All 2019 Nissan Versa Note Trims and Specs

Additional Packages

With limited availability to features as standard, Nissan could have at least offered a range of packages to improve the value proposition of the Note, but unfortunately, this isn't the case. The base model has no access to optional packages, while the mid-spec SV only gets access to the Special Edition package, which for $735 adds 15-inch alloy wheels, for lights, an intelligent key with keyless access and push-button start, and the NissanConnect infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM compatibility. Piano Black trim and a Special Edition badge differentiate models equipped with this package.

Worthwhile standalone options include a frameless auto-dimming rearview mirror for $330 and a Rockford Fosgate sound system for $610.

What Nissan Versa Note Model Should I Buy?

While the base Note S is the cheapest option, it is sorely lacking in features. Opting for the SV trim won't break the bank, even if you add the Special Edition Package. For just $17,275, you get a decent daily driver with impressive cargo capacity and the extra Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor. The Special Edition Package also adds fog lights, keyless ignition, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, giving you a bit more value for your money.

Check out other Nissan Versa Styles?

2019 Nissan Versa Note Comparisons

2019 Nissan Versa Note
2019 Nissan Versa Note

2019 Nissan Versa Note vs Nissan Versa Sedan

With identical performance values and almost identical features, there isn't much to compare between the two body styles of the Versa. The Note does cost a bit more, but in return, you get a hatchback with a slightly smaller footprint and superior internal space. Cargo capacity is significantly better, and the Note is easier to maneuver on town roads. It doesn't hurt that the Note also looks better than its sedan sibling, with a much sportier profile. Considering the Versa is really only a buy for someone who can't afford to shell out a little more for something better, the sedan might outclass the hatchback on price, but the Note is the better choice if you can afford it.

See Nissan Versa Sedan Review

2019 Nissan Versa Note vs Honda Fit

The Versa Note sits at the bottom of the subcompact hatchback segment, while the Honda Fit is, arguably, at the very top. If that isn't saying enough, here are the reasons why: the Fit offers a stronger 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 130 hp and 114 lb-ft, yet manages to be significantly more fuel-efficient. Additionally, it handles much better on the road. Comparing the interiors of the two hatchbacks is also like comparing slate to marble - the Honda is far more luxurious, offering significantly more comfort and many more standard features. Sadly, its infotainment offering is not much better than the Note's. Ultimately, with more power, better handling, better comfort, and comparable cargo space, the Honda Fit is the obvious choice. At a slightly higher purchase cost than the Note, the Fit's starting price of $16,190 still identifies it as a very affordable vehicle.

See Honda Fit Review

Nissan Versa Note Popular Comparisons