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Buying a Note in Toronto

3177 Views 11 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  MLR
Just paid the deposit on 2014 Note SL and waiting for car to arrive from another dealer further away.

To learn about my soon to be new car I've been reading reviewers comments only to learn that my almost new car can't handle cold Canadian winters.

Apparently if temps get down to 23F or lower, the engine can not provide sufficient heat inside the car. :surprise

Heck, that's only 10F below freezing, pretty common here.

Anyone on this forum with a 2014 Note (and living in a true four season area of north america) having problems with the heat in their Versa Note?

Thank you for any help and feedback !
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Where did you hear that? We've only had our car for warm months, so I have no idea but I'm curious.
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I've read that too,
Day-by-Day Review: 2014 Nissan Versa Note -
to quote:
My only complaint with the Versa Note so far is that it does not heat up quick enough. This could be an issue with this particular car and Nissan will be looking at it. But at only -5 Celsius and a 20-minute drive the car throws virtually no heat – curiously I can even see the engine temperature increase and decrease as I stop and go. In the city it never heats up, on the highway it does get up to temperature eventually – I can’t imagine this is an issue across the board, and I hope I get an update in a few weeks when they investigate.
The only thing I didn’t like about this new Versa this week was the lack of heat, which I’m sure is an issue with this car specifically.
By: James Bergeron is an Ottawa-based automotive journalist. He is also a member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC).

Does anyone have real life experience with heat deficiencies in their Note?
Welcome to the NVF, MLR.
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Poor heat in winter

I read this in reviews of the car for this year:

Day-by-Day Review: 2014 Nissan Versa Note - | Page 4

See pages 3 and 4 of James Bergeron's Review dated Dec 1/13

2014 Nissan Versa Note SL Review: Car Reviews

Mike Schlee's Review dated April 3, 2014. His wife, Amanda, tested the car. He wrote:

"After a couple of days driving the car, Amanda was complaining that when temperatures dropped to 10 degrees Fahrenheit or below, the cabin wouldn’t heat up sufficiently during a 30-minute commute to work. To investigate, we took the car for a drive and I noticed the digital engine temperature gauge didn’t budge from the coldest reading after 15 minutes of driving.

Once we entered the highway, the reading went up a few bars only to come back down again once we exited the highway and sat at a red light. Other writers and owners are experiencing the same heat issues on extremely cold days."

Mike and I exchanged emails and he said:

"Thank you for the email. I have heard no official response from Nissan on the issue. When in motion, the Note heats up fine. It‘s in stop-n-go traffic that the problem persists as when idling, the car’s temperature gauge would continue to lower. As far as other people noting the problem, there is a good thread that can be read here at As well, a fellow automotive reviewer in Ottawa had similar heating issues during extremely cold days. His review is here on

We did just come out of an unusually cold winter that had temperatures far lower than we would normally experience. There would only be a few days this past winter that would cause the car to produce any heat issues. I doubt it is caused by the grille shutters. Most likely it has to do with the small, efficient 1.6-liter engine. It is designed to use as little fuel as possible, so there isn’t much excess heat being produced by the engine. I think you’ll be fine this winter, but let me know if you experience any issues."

My 11 1/2 year old Honda/Acura 1.7 EL kept me nice and toasty warm last winter so my NEW Note should be able to do the same.

I just emailed my dealer, Scarborough Nissan, to see (1) if they know anything (2) asking for full disclosure on HVAC and (3) what are they prepared to do for me IF this becomes a problem.

My car arrives from Ottawa dealer Thurs or Fri and will be ready for pick-up next week so I must have my dealer's Guarantee on this heat thing.

BTW other than this little wrinkle . . . what do you think of your new Note??

Hope this helps, I will let you know. Sorry this is soooo long ! !

PS I haven't yet found the "good thread" here that Mike refers to in his email.
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Research rocks!
Much of the Note's efficiency is due to the gearing, not just the engine. So I'm not buying the bit about too efficient to kick off sufficient heat eh. It's not even direct injected, so it's not that efficient.
I'm ASSUMING it could easily be rectified with a proper, warmer thermostat.
With a fancier OBDII reader tool, you can check engine temps and other sensors on-the-fly, to see if it even reaches the temperature to operate the thermostat.
I'm getting in over my head here, but I assume it's an easy fix, if it becomes a problem.
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What would I do without the internet. Car shopping was a breeze compared to 20 years ago !
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.....BTW other than this little wrinkle . . . what do you think of your new Note??
17 weeks of ownership and 2600 miles and still love this little car. It does everything I've expected out of it and nothing that disappointed me yet.

Being in Michigan, I too am worried about the heat issue, but I figure every car is different. Some heat up slow and other very fast. I had a slight taste of this in one of the cold mornings last April and I thought everything was fine (knock on wood). We will definitely find out in the fall.
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We have had our Note for a year now and have had no issues with insufficient heat in the winter. We live in Calgary where it gets down to -20C and colder.
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We have had our Note for a year now and have had no issues with insufficient heat in the winter. We live in Calgary where it gets down to -20C and colder.
Thank you very much for sharing your 1 year experience. Mike Schlee ( did say the problem arose in stop and go Toronto traffic. That 'rush hour' style traffic is known as regular traffic here. Rush hour traffic in Toronto is stop and . . . find another route.
I hate to say it but Toronto traffic is getting to be the norm here in Calgary too. I am from Toronto originally. That being said, I still have not had an issue with heat in my Note, even in stop and go traffic. Maybe my Note is the anomoly? We do get harsher, colder winters here in comparison with Toronto, I definitely would notice it :)
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We've had our Note for 2.5 months and almost 7,000 miles, it has done everything we've asked of it. We've happy with the purhase.
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I have had my car 2.5 days. Did a trip on the DVP (highway route to downtown Toronto) and short trips for shopping.

Now I understand when reviewers said they missed the 'feel' of the road. The steering is very different from my 2003 Acura aka Civic. It is going to take some time to adjust, I'm either over or under steering the car. I do LOVE the electric assist when I'm stationery or moving very very slow, the steering is light as a feather.

My car didn't come with some features I was expecting because I was researching the 2015 model (not yet available) but bought a 2014. It seems my car came with the SV Convenience Package but not the SL Tech Package and this must be ordered and installed by manufacturer. SL Tech is not a dealer retrofit.

Do I need 4 cameras, navigation, etc etc . . . . well I really don't. I have Bluetooth, Rear camera with 4 inch screen, heated outside mirrors and inside seats ;-) what more does a 3000 km a year driver need???

The car is great, I'm gradually liking it more and more each day. My Note is much quieter inside and the ride is far more comfortable than the old car. I love the radio and cell phone (bluetooth) controls on the steering wheel. What all the other stuff on the steering wheel is . . . I haven't a clue . . . yet.

When I get in or out of the car I don't need a winch to pull me up because the Note is so much higher than my old car. When I sit in traffic I can look into the next car's window and see people . . . . old car, sat in traffic and stared a door handles of next car and if a huge SUV the wheel wells or running board.

All in all I'm not missing the old car as much as I thought.
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