The 2014 Nissan Versa Sedan once again sets the standard for entry-level car value, combining sophisticated exterior design, a well-appointed interior, 40 mpg fuel economy (CVT models) and exceptional room for five adults – including more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans. It was a formula that made the 2013 Versa Sedan "America's best-selling entry sedan." * Now, a number of key enhancements for the 2014 model year should help Versa retain that position for the foreseeable future.
Changes for 2014 start with the addition of standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, tricot headliner, 4.3-inch LCD audio display and SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately) for the Versa SL model. The Versa SV now includes standard 60/40-split fold-down rear seat and a key fob trunk release, while a tachometer and low rolling resistance tires are added for Versa S models. In addition, all models receive a suspension and steering tuning change, along with revised interior finishers. Versa SV and SL models also receive a new high-gloss black B-pillar treatment and improved seat comfort (bottom cushion and foam density).
Versa's option packages are also upgraded for 2014. The SV Convenience Package has been revised to add 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tricot fabric headliner to the previously available Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, audio upgrade (MP3, aux jack, RDS), map lights and front passenger vanity mirror.
The SL Tech Package now includes RearView Monitor plus NissanConnectSM with Navigation with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, NavTraffic and NavWeather, POIs powered by Google®, Google® Send-to-Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth® and Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.
Small When You Need It, Big Where You Want It
Highly efficient packaging remains a key to Versa's popularity. The 2014 Versa Sedan offers five-passenger practicality with a high degree of comfort and refinement – the perfect combination for commuting on weekdays, running errands on weekends and transporting family and friends all week long.
Versa Sedan's interior volume of 90.2 cubic feet and trunk volume of 14.9 cubic feet (105.1 cubic feet total) have been configured for real-world use. It has, for example, more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans – trumping even some luxury cars. And the trunk design focuses on useable space, taking into consideration everything from the size of the hinges to the shape of the sidewalls. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is standard on SV and SL models for even greater versatility. Two interior colors are available, Sandstone (SV and SL only) and Charcoal (all trim levels).
Other available interior features include trip computer, power windows with driver's one-touch down, speed-sensing auto door locks, remote trunk release lever and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Also offered is an unexpected level of available entertainment and connectivity features, such as SiriusXM Satellite Radio (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), RearView Monitor and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System. The NissanConnectSM with Navigation system includes a 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, NavTraffic and NavWeather (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), POIs powered by Google®, Google® Send-to-Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant.
Versa Sedan's exterior offers a refreshing design character that is both sophisticated and highly aerodynamic. In front, Versa Sedan features Nissan's signature sedan grille design and headlights.
Design elements such as the shape of the trunklid help give Versa Sedan excellent aerodynamics, including a low coefficient of drag of just 0.288 (CVT-equipped models). In addition, to help ensure functionality, the indented line in the middle of the Versa Sedan's roofline is not just a design feature, but a functional innovation that helps reduce the amplitude of the roof panel vibrations in order to create a quieter cabin without the use of reinforcement devices called "mass bumpers." Other exterior features include a fixed roof antenna, body-color front and rear fascias and available chrome-accented grille, blacked-out B-pillar (new high-gloss black finish for SV and SL), chrome door handles and front fog lights.
The 2014 Versa Sedan is offered in eight exterior colors: Metallic Blue, Blue Onyx, Super Black, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Red Brick, Fresh Powder and Titanium.
Next-Generation Technology and an Efficient V-Platform
The 2014 Versa Sedan, which utilizes Nissan's global lightweight "V" platform is powered by a 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm. The engine includes a range of cutting-edge technologies. For example, while the average engine uses only one injector per cylinder to inject fuel, the Versa Sedan engine is equipped with two streamlined injectors mounted near the inlet valve for each cylinder. This dual injector system allows a wider injection of fuel, with the smaller nozzles delivering a finer spray (approximately 57 percent finer than the previous generation single injector design's particle size) to help achieve stable combustion. The dual injector system also uses around half the amount of rare metals in the catalyzer by reducing the amount of unburned fuel and hydrocarbon emissions.
The compact, lighter weight engine also employs a twin Continuously Variable Timing Control (CVTC) system mounted on intake and exhaust camshafts (versus conventional CVTC systems, which are mounted only on the intake camshaft), similar to the system used on the flagship Nissan Maxima.
Using a CVTC on the outlet camshaft increases thermal efficiency, decreases inhalation resistance and offers an approximate four percent improvement in fuel efficiency (over the previous engine design). The engine also includes a piston oiling jet, specially tuned piston top shape and expanded exhaust manifold diameter.
The 1.6-liter engine is matched with a choice of three transmissions – a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic (S models only), or a next-generation Xtronic CVT® transmission. The CVT allows continuous change of the transmission gear ratio by connecting the two pulleys with a metallic belt and changing their diameter by using hydraulic pressure. The CVT design includes an auxiliary gearbox using planetary gearing, helping improve efficiency. The CVT also features a transmission ratio of 7.3:1, which is broader than those of conventional CVTs and even typical 7-speed automatic transmissions.
Fuel economy for the 2014 Versa Sedan is rated at 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined with the CVT transmission. Versa Sedan models equipped with the 5-speed automatic offer 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined, while the 4-speed automatic-equipped models are rated at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined. Versa carries the PUREDRIVE™ designation, which is used on models utilizing Nissan's most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions*.
All 2014 Versa Sedans are equipped with an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars. For 2014, the suspension dampers and electric power steering have been retuned for a more comfortable ride and improved handling.
Versa S, S Plus CVT and SV models are equipped with 15-inch steel wheels with covers and 185/65R15 all-season tires. New 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are available with the SV Convenience Package.
The Versa SL model features new standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 195/55R16 all-season tires. Low rolling resistance tires are standard on all models (previously only on CVT models). Other standard equipment includes Electric Power Steering, retuned for 2014, and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes.
An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist is also standard on all Versa Sedan models.
Standard safety features include the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags), seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental air bags, and roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
Additional safety features include standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, child safety rear door locks, Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS).
Four Well-Equipped Models, Two Option Packages
The 2014 Nissan Versa Sedan is available in four well-equipped models – Versa Sedan S (offered in 5MT and 4AT versions), Versa Sedan S Plus CVT (CVT only), Versa Sedan SV (CVT only) and Versa Sedan SL (CVT only).
Along with the Versa S model's many standard features, the S Plus CVT adds air deflectors for the front tires and center fascia, rear spoiler, cruise control and two rear speakers (four speakers total). The SV adds Fine Vision instrumentation, chrome grille accents, body-color dual power remote-controlled sideview mirrors, 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, upgraded seat cloth, power windows, chrome inside door handles and more.
Versa Sedan 1.6 SL models add 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel audio controls, USB/iPod® connectivity, upgraded audio system, door-linked map lights and more.
Just two options packages are offered. The SV Convenience Package (SV only) includes Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, audio upgrade (MP3, RDS), map lights, front passenger vanity mirror, 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels and tricot fabric headliner. The SL Tech Package (SL only) adds NissanConnectSM with Navigation with 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, NavTraffic and NavWeather (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately), POIs powered by Google®, Google® Send-to-Car, Streaming audio via Bluetooth®, Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant, and RearView Monitor.
The 2014 Versa Sedan is assembled at Nissan's Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant that also builds Nissan Sentra models for the United States market.
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*According to Polk U.S. New Vehicle Registrations, for the entry level segment, sedan only, Jan-Dec 2012.