Another manual transmission bites the dust, as the revised 2017 Nissan Versa Note officially does away with last year’s standard stick shift. The loss of the Versa Note’s manual transmission comes with the dismissal of the base, stick-shift-only $15,095 S model. The S Plus becomes the de facto base model for the 2017 model year. The hatch’s price with its continuously variable automatic transmission is $16,345, unchanged from 2016.
No matter the trim level—S Plus, SV, SR, and SL—all 2017 Versa Notes receive updated headlights and a reworked front fascia that incorporates Nissan’s “V-motion” grille. Meanwhile, a rear bumper cover from last year’s SR model now appears on all 2017 Versa Notes.
Nissan also improved the subcompact hatchback’s insides by relocating the standard 12-volt power outlet and auxiliary port to the front of the center console, just ahead of the car’s incrementally larger cupholders. Higher-end SV, SR, and SL add a second 12-volt power outlet, as well as a USB port next to the auxiliary input.
Other than its new CVT-only status, the Versa Note’s mechanics otherwise are carried over from last year. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine continues to send 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels, while EPA fuel-economy figures remain pegged at 31 mpg city and 39 mpg highway. In our testing, a 2015 Nissan Versa Note SR took 9.9 seconds to reach 60 mph from a standstill. The little hatch also sipped fuel at a rate of 29 mpg during its time with us—efficient, yes, but a ways off of its EPA rating.
The $18,845 SR remains the “sporty” Versa Note option, and includes trim-specific exterior details, seats wrapped in a suede-like material, and a three-spoke steering wheel styled after the one in the 370Z. Those looking for a more mundane Versa Note can snatch up the $17,245 SV. Meanwhile, the top-of-the-line, $19,575 SL is available with items including a 360-degree-view monitor utilizing four cameras, heated seats, and a proximity key with push-button start.
Although the changes to the 2017 Versa Note are slight, the car’s new looks and small interior improvements add polish to Nissan’s least expensive hatchback—even if it comes at the expense of the Versa Note’s manual transmission.