Latest NHTSA Crash Tests Yield Mixed Results


Of a dozen 2013 and 2014 models vying for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's five-star safety club in the latest round of testing, less than half made the cut. NHTSA's crash tests examine vehicles' safety performance in frontal and side collisions, as well as roof strength in rollover accidents.

Both the 2014 Buick Regal with eAssist and Verano front-wheel-drive sedans made the grade. The Regal received fours in both frontal and rollover ratings and a five in side-collision tests for an overall score of five. The Verano, also finishing with an overall score of five, received fives in both frontal and side collisions, and a four in rollover tests.

By Matt Schmitz | September 17, 2013 | Comments (6)

2014 Nissan Versa Note: Car Seat Check


Although Nissan's hatchback is compact, there's nothing small about its backseat. The Versa Note was redesigned for 2014, and accessible Latch anchors, a flat seat cushion and loads of legroom made it easy to install our child-safety seats into it. In fact, it earned high marks across all areas of testing in our Car Seat Check.

By Jennifer Geiger | September 17, 2013 | Comments (0)

Most-Watched Videos of the Week

Our latest challenge pitted seven full-size sedans against each other to determine which one was the best for your $38,000. The full-size segment might be declining in popularity, but that didn't prevent one of our videos from the $38,000 Full-Size Sedan Challenge from being the most popular this week. Likewise, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note generated interest among video viewers, landing at No. 2 in its first week. Check out what else was popular:

1. $38,000 Full-Size Sedan Challenge Features
2. 2014 Nissan Versa Note

3. 2014 Ford Mustang GT Convertible
4. 2013 Mercedes-Benz GL63 AMG

5. 2014 Ford F-150 Tremor

By Matt Schmitz | September 14, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Nissan Versa Note Video

For those who missed the hatchback after it disappeared during Nissan Versa's 2013 redesign, it's back. Now called the Versa Note, Nissan improves on the sedan version's bland looks, but its value for bargain shoppers remains constant, says reviewer Kelsey Mays. This sub-$15,000 car is plenty roomy for front and rear occupants and zippy enough to get into the highway groove. Some chintzy interior materials and unimpressive cargo space disappoint, but not nearly enough to sour the overall harmony of the fun, practical Versa Note. Watch the video above.

Recall Alert: 2014 Nissan Versa Note

2014 Nissan Versa Note: First Drive
2014 Nissan Versa Note: Photo Gallery

By Matt Schmitz | September 10, 2013 | Comments (1)

Recall Alert: 2014 Nissan Versa Note


Nissan is recalling nearly 13,000 model-year 2014 Versa Note subcompact hatchbacks due to weak, loose or missing bolts that could result in injury to backseat passengers or reduced crash performance, the Detroit News reported.

The affected vehicles were manufactured before July 5 in Mexico and distributed mainly in North America, according to the newspaper. Bolts holding the rear seatback latches may not be strong enough, increasing the risk of injury for backseat passengers in a crash. Other bolts securing the body to the undercarriage may not have been tightened enough, or they could be missing in some cases, weakening the car's rear-crash performance; Nissan stated that it is unaware of injuries or accidents related to the bolt issue.

Nissan will notify owners starting in mid-August, and dealers will check the bolts and fix or replace them for free, the newspaper reported. Owners can call Nissan at 800-647-7261 or the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's vehicle-safety hotline at 888-327-4236, or go to, for more info.

Nissan Recalls Versa Note Hatchback to Fix Bolts
(Detroit News)
2014 Nissan Versa Note: First Drive

Check out Other Recalls on

By Matt Schmitz | August 1, 2013 | Comments (0)

2014 Nissan Versa Note: First Drive


By Brian Wong for

Nissan redesigned the Versa sedan in 2012 as one of the most affordable cars you could buy even if it wasn't the best performer on the road. That didn't stop it from becoming one of the best-selling entry-level cars in the country.

The hatchback version, called the Versa Note, took a few more years to reach the market, and it too focuses on value in a crowded segment. The new Versa Note shaved $680 dollars off the predecessor's base price and now features class-leading fuel economy.

But could it offer a better driving experience than the sedan?

By David Thomas | June 24, 2013 | Comments (3)

Nissan Prices 2014 Versa Note


The redesigned-for-2014 Nissan Versa Note is set to hit dealerships this month at a nearly 5% discount from the outgoing model, the automaker announced. The new Versa hatchback will start at $14,780 (including a $790 destination charge); that's $680 less than its predecessor. It joins the second-generation Versa sedan in the lineup.

All three Versa trim levels — S, S Plus and SV — have a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The Versa Note S comes with a standard five-speed automatic transmission and starts at $14,780; the S Plus, which adds a continuously variable automatic transmission, starts at $16,030; and the SV, which also has a CVT, starts at $16,780. Fuel economy for CVT-equipped models is 31/40 mpg city/highway.

Available features for 2014 include:

By Matt Schmitz | June 13, 2013 | Comments (8)

2014 Nissan Versa Sedan: What's Changed


  • Most significant changes: Suspension and steering changes
  • Price change: None
  • On sale: Now
  • Which should you buy, 2013 or 2014? 2014

Nissan can still claim it sells the least expensive new car in the U.S. because it didn't change the price on any of the 2014 Versa trim levels. The Versa is a sedan-only model. A new Versa Note hatchback goes on sale this summer.

The sedan still starts at $12,780, including $790 in destination charges, for the base S model with a five-speed manual transmission.

You don't get much with the base model, though. It has 15-inch steel wheels and a two-speaker stereo with a CD player and auxiliary inputs. There are no power windows or locks and no cruise control. For those items you need to move up to the S Plus trim with a standard continuously variable automatic transmission at $14,580, including destination.

By David Thomas | April 24, 2013 | Comments (2)

10 Cars for $10K: The Best Used Cars for $10,000


At, we focus on new cars, but when it comes to overall car sales, used cars own the field. CNW Marketing Research reports shoppers bought more than 40 million of them in 2012, the highest total since 2007. For every new car sold, nearly three used cars changed hands.

Shoppers are still taking the used route despite near-record used-car prices, which soared so high that we suspended our $10,000 used-car recommendations — once a regular feature — for two years. Blame the recession, which slashed new-car sales and the resulting supply of late-model used cars that are typically traded in for them.

Used-car prices are coming back to earth, according to Manheim's Used Vehicle Value Index, but that's not to say used-car prices are low again. They have ebbed enough to give $10K cars another go.

By Kelsey Mays | March 11, 2013 | Comments (19)

2014 Nissan Versa Note: Photo Gallery

Nissan's Versa sedan was updated for 2012 — now it's the hatchback's turn. The 2014 Versa Note hatchback shares its powertrain with its sedan sibling, but looks nothing like the previous Versa hatchback or the redesigned sedan.

More 2013 Detroit Auto Show Coverage

The new Note has flashier styling, more convenience features and will slot above the sedan in price. With about 115 cubic feet of cabin room and a price tag around $14,000, the Versa Note should appeal to buyers looking for a compact hatchback. Here's a photo gallery shot by staff photographer Evan Sears.

By Jennifer Geiger | January 17, 2013 | Comments (8)

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