Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tech Report: The Nissan Versa has it all !

The Nissan Micra made big headlines at The MIAS 2014, along with the automaker’s Versa. The versa is described as a sensible and useful entry level hatchback.

The very tiny hatchback was previously unavailable in North America, but there it is on the convention floor in Toronto. While we're still not going to see it in the U.S. anytime soon (because we make burgers bigger than a Micra), the cheap transport is now available in Canada and is benefiting from the hype and novelty.

But, until the Micra made it to North America, it was the Versa sedan and Versa Note hatchback that served (and still serve in the U.S.) as Nissan's least expensive vehicle — the purchase entry point for younger, less affluent buyers.

Starting at just under $14,000 for its manual transmission version, the Versa Note is Nissan's answer to their rivals' entry level cars, such as the Mazda 2, the Toyota Yaris, the Ford Fiesta, the Chevy Spark and the Honda Fit. However, depending on how it's equipped by the buyer, the Versa Note is cheaper than the Fit or the Fiesta and feels bigger than the Mazda 2 or the Yaris.

The Versa Note does seem underpowered at times with its 1.6 liter, 109 horsepower, four cylinder engine, especially if you're carrying a snug set of four passengers. But, with a common MPG consistently in the mid 30s, that little engine is saving you money.

The ergonomics are adequate, even for a taller driver. The payload of this hatchback is tall and deeper than most vehicles in its class — almost as if it longs to be a minivan when it matures.

All of that piled together makes it one of the best options in the small hatch class out on the MIAS 2014 floor, and on the road.