Journalists who holler nonstop for “affordable cars!” have one less model to choose from. As it isn’t a vehicle patterned off the original Fiat 124/Lada 1200, with the quality and handling of a BMW, suffice it to say the Nissan Versa Note probably didn’t rank high on their might-buy list.
And yet the Versa Note did offer buyers a cheap way to move five people and a decent amount of cargo from place to place, with a standard continuously variable automatic sweetening the pot for those who never bothered learning a stick. After 2019, it’s gone from North American dealers.
Nissan is recalling roughly 166,000 vehicles due to an ignition switch issue that could cause the vehicle’s engine to shut off while driving. The automaker said 153,000 of the recalled units are in the United States, with another 13,000 in Canada.
Hoping to stave off additional problems before the matter can be resolved, Nissan has requested that drivers remove all objects from their vehicle’s keyring (extra keys, comically heavy keychains, etc). According to Transport Canada, select Nissan vehicles equipped with a mechanical key ignition system utilize a spring that could wear and break, allowing the ignition to inadvertently move from the on position to the accessory position. Obviously, that’s not the kind of surprise you want while navigating a particularly tricky piece of road.
For many Americans, the words “Ford Fiesta” dredges up memories of a claustrophobic rattle-trap competing with “Geo Metro” for the title of Worst American Small Car. Personally, the only time I ever wanted a fiesta was during a drunken weekend in Cabo, and it had more to do with tequila than cars. But that was four years ago and 214,000 Fiestas ago. Since then the Fiesta has proved that an American car company is capable of creating a desirable compact car. Is the party over, or is the car’s first refresh a sign that the party has just begun? Let’s find out.
I seem to be the only car guy with a soft spot for the Versa. My peers at Car and Driver, Consumer Reports and Autoblog (among others) came off less than impressed by the least expensive car in America when we were all invited to its launch. That left me scratching my head. S o I borrowed another one and came to the same conclusion: “Versa delivers a totally unobjectionable experience at a very compelling price.” This apparent disconnect bothered me for a while but I wrote it off as a “lack of perspective” suffered by my peers in the biz. Seriously guys, what do you expect out of the cheapest car in America? The new 2014 Versa Note however isn’t the cheapest car in America, nor is it the cheapest hatch in America. How does it stack up? Nissan flew me to San Diego to find out.
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- Adam4562 I have Bluetooth in my car , the name comes up and I answer . It goes through the speaker. I’ll text on a stop sign or red light . If it’s really urgent hill pull over .
- Dukeisduke I'll pick up my phone and look at a text or something else while at a red light, but when the light turns green, the phone gets put down.
- Dukeisduke Haven't some cars been recalled multiple times (replacement airbags being recalled).
- Azfelix These always looked exciting - like a life-sized Hot Wheels toy. Disclaimer: I prefer Matchbox and Majorette cars.
- SilverHawk Last week I was run off the road by someone having a pleasant conversation through their infotainment system. They were all smiles as I beat a hasty retreat into the exit lane. They never saw me. This happens often, but there doesn't seem to be an answer to this problem. The need to communicate easily overrides any rules we make. With all our technology, driving is still as dangerous as ever.