Nissan sells one of the best and one of the worst cars in North America. The best? Nissan GTR – no doubt, no debate, no question – one of the best automobiles on our highways. One of the worst? The current Nissan Versa. It’s not very nice to look at or drive, but it has an outrageous amount of passenger space for this class; hell, any class.
The problem is: this current edition was released without an updated hatchback and it has an old, unrefined feel to it. Even Toyota’s Yaris and Corolla feel more contemporary. This fact was at odds with what I knew of the automaker; you see, Nissan is known for being innovative and for having balls.
Fortunately, this Nissan Note is supposed to come to the United States as the 2013 Versa Hatchback… praise the automotive gods!
The photos you’re looking at are of the pre-production 2013 Nissan Note. This should be a close approximation of what the 2013 Nissan Versa hatchback will look like. Overseas, the Nissan Note has unique options like a supercharged 1.2-liter, three-banger. There’s an all-wheel drive (AWD) option that has an electric motor driving the rear wheels solo.
None of those options are expected to make it to our shores.
A start-stop system and Nissan’s lauded Around View system are also options. There’s a good chance that these two options might make it to the United States. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) will definitely make it to the options list and, perhaps, a six-speed manual transmission.
There are some intriguing engine choices overseas, including the aforementioned, supercharged, three-cylinder engine that produces 97 horsepower. Many feel that Nissan will equip the next Versa hatchback with the 109 hp, 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that makes 107 lbs-feet of torque. With this setup, the next Versa hatchback should get (at least) the current sedan’s 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
Many who have driven the Nissan Note say it’s comfortable, capable and competent in around traffic. It seems as if Nissan built the Note as an answer to Honda’s excellent Fit. They even look rather similar from the side.
With a cargo area of 11.6 cubic feet, it’s pretty big – but falls far behind the Honda Fit’s impressive 20.6 cubic feet of space. The Honda Fit appears to be a larger vehicle all around. At least the Nissan Note/2013 Nissan Versa looks fresh.
Prices? Hell, Nissan hasn’t even “officially” announced this car is even being built; but if it does come to the USA, I would expect to see prices around the mid $14,000 mark to start.
The bottom line for me is this: Nissan made a potentially unsightly vehicle damn good looking. Look, I’m shallow about looks and so are you. A good looking vehicle can brighten-up an simple idea, much the same way as what this Nissan Note/2013 Nissan Versa does it. It’s a mild-mannered machine that’s nice to look at.
Let’s hope this is what the final product looks like.
Who knows? This might be the turning point for the Versa!
Here a fun video featuring Nissan vs Nissan!
Fun – no?