My personal economic condition enables me to understand that going out to drop 30-grand or more on a new car is not like snagging a loaf of bread and a bottle of milk at the local supermarket.
There’s serious money involved, and oh, doesn’t it feel good when four-door transportation wears a sticker far south of $20,000?
And with that, I give you the recently tested 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR. This is Nissan’s affordable five-door hatchback, and the SR version is the second-priciest among five trim levels. But even that’s a mere $17,530.
An SR Convenience Package (including a top-grade rearview monitor, satellite radio and a few other goodies) on my ride swelled the bottom line to $19,180. But again, that’s well within range of many household budgets.
What you won’t get for that kind of money is a rubber-burning V-6, but I confess that I was fairly surprised at the spunk of the tester’s 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine with 109 horsepower. It howled a bit at full song, but otherwise handled the propulsion chores with more than adequate competence. The continuously variable transmission functioned flawlessly. Steering was easy and just firm enough.
The rear hatch arrangement was easy to work with and swallowed up ample piles of widely varying cargo.
Passengers in front and back seats had complaints about my driving skills, but they said they were comfortable riding in my Versa.
It looks nice too, sort of like a high-shouldered bull that’s perpetually ready to charge. There’s a subtle spoiler at the back end; nice touch. And I liked the mix of “Red Brick” exterior paint set off against a “Charcoal” color interior on my tester.
Stripped? Absolutely not. The standard comfort/convenience features included leather/chrome touches, a thorough trip computer and a basket of contemporary plugged-in/audio perks.
Naturally, given this vehicle segment, the fuel mileage numbers are superior: 31 miles per gallon in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. So, bravo, you save money over the long haul as well.
and Ford offer up serious competition in Versa’s class, but the Nissan product
holds up well in those comparisons.
Nissan seems to have figured out that lots of folks are still carefully
counting and/or saving dollars these days.
The Versa is a nicely appointed, alluring vehicle for those folks. Toyota
Overall, I’d give this hatch a solid “B” with a “B-plus” in the Fun to Drive Department.