By David Thomas on Wed Apr 24 00:30:00 GMT-06:00 2013
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.
Changes to all models include what Nissan calls "suspension and tuning changes" and "revised interior finishes." Base S models now include low-rolling-resistance tires like the rest of the lineup.
The two higher level trims get more feature enhancements for 2014.
SV models now have standard 60/40-split folding rear seats and a key fob trunk release. Yes, when a car is this bare bones you take whatever you can get.
Top-of-the-line SL models gain standard 16-inch alloy wheels, an upgraded headliner and a 4.3-inch display screen.
SV and SL trims also feature new seats with more "foam density," which should mean they're more comfortable.
A full list of trims, prices along with options and option packages is below.
The Versa remains affordable basic transportation with an emphasis on basic, but it packs a lot of interior volume and fuel economy into a small package.
The 2014 Versa has a standard 109-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. The base S model with a five-speed manual gets 27/36 mpg city/highway and 30 mpg combined. With a four-speed automatic, it returns 26/35 mpg and 30 mpg combined.
The rest of the lineup is equipped with the more fuel-efficient CVT returning 31/40 mpg and 35 mpg combined.
The 2013 Versa sedan has been named a Top Safety Pick by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. The safety accolades will likely apply to the 2014 Versa..
SV Convenience Package $760
Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, audio upgrade (MP3, SSV, RDS, iPod® control), map lights, front passenger vanity mirror, 60/40 split-rear seat
Managing Editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David