The Surprisingly Spacious 2016 Nissan Versa Note SL

The Surprisingly Spacious 2016 Nissan Versa Note SL

The 2016 Nissan Versa Note SL is by and large the same as it has been since 2014.

It is still a surprisingly spacious small car that is best suited to life in the city.

The engine is still a 1.6L that lacks a turbocharger. This means that if you need to merge onto a highway you are going to need the entire onramp to get up to speed.

The CVT transmission does well with the limited power available and the engine, which makes a bit of unpleasant noise under hard acceleration, is normally quiet.

The power output is 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque which is enough for city driving.

Other than the unexciting performance there is a lot to like about the maneuverable and handsome little car. Having lower power output means the Versa Note needs to drink less fuel.

The official numbers are 31 city, 40 highway and 35 mpg combined; this reflects my findings almost exactly.

The cabin is huge, it offers more rear seat legroom than the Maxima and Altima sedans, and the headroom is equally abundant.

The volume available for cargo is ample and the versatility of the multi-level cargo floor should come in quite handy.

Seating is not the most comfortable but I was able to get 4 adults all over 6 ft tall in and aside from the odd joke about a clown car, there were no real complaints during a quick trip through town.

The Versa Note is available in 5 models-S, S-plus, SV, SR and SL.

The S model comes with a 5-speed manual while the others are available with the CVT.

Braking is handled by front disc and rear drums, and tires are either 15” or 16”.

My SL test car had the 16” alloys and they are nicely styled and blend well with the stylish exterior.

It was also equipped with  includes Navigation and Mobile Apps, 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Streaming audio via Bluetooth, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, SiriusXM Traffic/ Travel Link,  a birds eye around view monitor, center console with rear cup holders, heated front seats, heated side view mirrors, Push Button Ignition, Easy-Fill Tire Alert.

The controls for the radio and heating/ cooling system are simple and straight forward making this a very easy car to operate.

The navigation system and traffic alerts work very well and helped me avoid a few jams.

Nissan has delivered a handsome, frugal and surprisingly spacious city runabout that comes with award winning levels of technology. (It was included on and Kelley Blue Book’s KBB.com “10 Tech-Savviest Cars Under $20,000” (2015) list).

Pricing for the 2016 Versa Note S starts at $14,180 and a fully loaded SL will set you back $18,660.

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Robert is a lifelong car nut. He works as a Technician with 16 years experience and has multiple trade licenses. Having worked on vehicles ranging from Porsche's, fire trucks, trains, and industrial/mining equipment, he has a varied and broad knowledge base to draw on. But his favorite thing to do is drive, be it on two or four wheels.