“Entry level,” then, doesn’t necessarily mean a car bought by people who’ve never owned one before; who are entering the car ownership sector.
Entering What, Exactly?
More generically, the term describes a new car aimed at buyers on a relatively tight budget, who nonetheless have no intention of driving a clunker just ’cos it was cool fifteen years ago. In today’s economic climate, this means a smaller, more affordable unit that still has high build quality, affords a decent image and comes – if not loaded – at least well-equipped.
At time of writing, the ceiling for identifying a brand new entry-level car is around $20,000. For that, expect a good list of options, including Bluetooth capability, cruise control, keyless remote entry, MP3 connectivity and a navigation system.
All Versa Notes are supplied with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, delivering 109 horsepower at 6,000 RPM. All are front-wheel drive, four-passenger, five-door sub-compact hatchbacks (a “Versa” without a “Note” is a sedan). The car scores full marks on all the market sector’s basics; low base price, roomy passenger compartment – the backseat accommodates two adults comfortably – functional cargo space and excellent fuel economy are all aimed at squarely at entry level forecourt browsers.
Model options are:
- The S. With a five-speed manual transmission, this trim returns 27 MG city, 36 highway.
- The S Plus. Fitted with a constant velocity transmission (CVT), you’ll see 31 MPG city, 40 highway.
- The SV. Same transmission, same fuel economy as the S Plus.
What You Pay, and What You Get
Stickered at $14,800 (for the S), $16,050 (for the S Plus) and $16,800 (for the SV), all models in the range are squarely within the entry level bracket, but that’s where comparability with most of the Versa Note’s competitors ends. Consider the standard equipment.
S trim delivers:
- 15-inch steel wheels
- 60/40 split-folding rear seats
- Four-way (manually) adjustable driver seat
- Four-speaker CD player sound system with auxiliary input jack
- Power mirrors
- Tilt steering wheel
- Trip computer
The S Plus adds:
- Active grille shutters (which increase fuel economy)
- Cruise control
- The gas-miserly CVT
Range-topping SV has all that, and tacks on:
- Bluetooth phone connectivity
- Center armrest
- Keyless remote entry
- Leather-wrapped steering wheel (complete with onboard audio controls)
- Power locks
- Power windows
- Silver and chrome interior and exterior accents
- Six-way adjustable driver seat
- Upgraded cloth upholstery
Versa Note boasts a sharply styled exterior and a generally well appointed interior, although – with a fair amount of hard plastic – it isn’t going to win any prizes.
Drivers in Camden County, New Jersey, and across the Philadelphia metropolitan area, are encouraged to contact Cherry Hill Nissan with any further questions, or to arrange a test drive. The dealership typically has a fully representative choice of Versa Notes to explore, and of course, offers full service, maintenance and after-sales service.