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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here are my first impressions on our new Nissan Versa Note after 600 miles of use in about 3 weeks. We have the SV model with no added options except for floor and cargo mats.

The car handles, rides and performs very well. It feels like a much larger car with a solid, smooth, quiet ride for a sub compact. Considering the exterior size, the interior is simply amazing with lots of room for both passengers and cargo.

Overall fuel economy for my first 2 tanks (95% city/5% highway use) is 28.5 mpg (actual calculation based on fuel used over distance traveled). The dashboard average MPG display showed 30.5 mpg. I’m hoping to see some improvement with a broken-in powertrain. Performance is appears to be adequate although I’ve refrained from pushing it hard, at least for now.

The CVT transmission, although designed to make it feel as similar/identical to a conventional transmission, has some unique quirks which I assume are normal (this is my first car with CVT). The torque converter appears to lock up as soon as it crosses 10 MPH at which point it lets the CVT take over. Interesting that on light to medium throttle acceleration it even gives you a “fake” shift between 10-30 MPH (depending on your throttle opening), momentarily dropping the engine speed about 200 RPM for about ½ second, just enough to change the engine sound briefly. When coming to a stop, the engine speed hangs for a brief period around 10 MPH. I think this is when the CVT transfers control to the torque converter. Not quite the typical smooth transition on a conventional automatic.

Yes, there’s quite a bit of hard plastic all around the interior although it looks good and feels very smooth to the touch. It is an inexpensive car after all, so I somewhat expected it. All controls and the dashboard layout are very simple and straightforward which is the way I like it.

A few items that surprised me for a car in this price/size class:
• Very quiet cabin at all speeds (obviously helped by dual door seals and great aerodynamics)
• Nice solid “thud” when the door/s and/or lift gate are closed
• Chrome interior door opening levers are a nice touch, makes the car feel more substantial
• Leather covered steering wheel (although I would have preferred smooth leather instead of grained)
• CD Player plays MP3 CDs (no need to carry as many disks)
• Dedicated audio volume adjustment for Aux Input
• Steering wheel audio volume control
• Built-in bluetooth/cell phone feature on the radio
• Rear Wiper has both intermittent and full on positions
• Separate dashboard light intensity control with headlights on or off positions

Some items lacking or wished it had:
• Variable speed intermittent wipe feature for the front wipers (apparently standard on SL pkg)
• Sun visors are a tad too small even with the slide out extension
• Auto up for the driver’s power window (well at least it has auto down)
• A bit of padding on the arm rests on the door
• Center armrest for the front passenger

Overall, after researching this car for quite some time, comparing it to other brands, and owning it for a few weeks, I am quite pleased with our purchase decision. It addresses all the things we wanted in a small car and our intended use mainly as short trip, running around town transportation. I just hope it turns out to be a durable and trouble free vehicle.
 

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Congratulations on the purchase and I hope that it is a good and reliable car for you in the future as it has been for me.you are right on the intermittent wipers as I have the sl package and it comes with this feature, the armrest for the front passenger I can definitely agree on, but then hopefully in the future that can be solved by a good aftermarket solution.as far as the performance of the car, well let's just say that can be fixed lol, but where this car surprisingly does well is in the handling department especially with the right suspension upgrades. Lastly concerning the cvt, the slightly rough transition that you feel when the cvt transfers control from the Auxiliary gear set to the cvt belt, that will go away more and more as you break in the cvt, mine is now almost non existent and drives very smooth so hopefully that eases your worries a little bit, but if you have any questions feel free to ask as there are plenty of very helpful people on these forums
 

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I have a 2014 Note w/ 3400 mile. I do 95% highway driving and was initially seeing about 33mpg @ 75mph. I too was hoping for better numbers once it breaks in a little. Just did my first oil change and it did indeed go up. Drove for about 30 min. and was seeing a jump of about 4-5mpg (per the car's gauge which appears to be accurate in general). I'm happy about that, because a co-worker has the sedan and said he was getting 38mph highway.

I'm guessing maybe the factory has a "break-in" oil formula when new. Anyone confirm?
 

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I have a 2014 Note w/ 3400 mile. I do 95% highway driving and was initially seeing about 33mpg @ 75mph. I too was hoping for better numbers once it breaks in a little. Just did my first oil change and it did indeed go up. Drove for about 30 min. and was seeing a jump of about 4-5mpg (per the car's gauge which appears to be accurate in general). I'm happy about that, because a co-worker has the sedan and said he was getting 38mph highway.

I'm guessing maybe the factory has a "break-in" oil formula when new. Anyone confirm?
you will never see the advertised 40mpg driving at those speeds on the freeway, i have done quite a few all highway trips in mine and regularly see over 40mpg doing 65mph, just remember...for every 5mph over 60mph you will see something along the lines of a 1mpg drop in fuel economy if i remember correctly...on my last trip from my house all the way to san francisco i managed about 46mpg. you also have to remember, the sedan has a bit better aerodynamics than the hatchback does so you're friend driving at the same 75mph will always get better gas mileage than you as the higher profile of the hatch creates more drag at those speeds than your friends sedan will.

P.S.

to answer your question more directly, yes the oil in the car from the factory is more a break in formula type oil as i experienced a slight jump in fuel economy after my first oil change also.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have a 2014 Note w/ 3400 mile. I do 95% highway driving and was initially seeing about 33mpg @ 75mph. I too was hoping for better numbers once it breaks in a little. Just did my first oil change and it did indeed go up. Drove for about 30 min. and was seeing a jump of about 4-5mpg (per the car's gauge which appears to be accurate in general). I'm happy about that, because a co-worker has the sedan and said he was getting 38mph highway.

I'm guessing maybe the factory has a "break-in" oil formula when new. Anyone confirm?
I am assuming that the MPG numbers you are quoting are from your dashboard Average MPG readings. Based on my last 3 fill ups (I only have 1100 miles), the dash displayed Average MPG is consistently 2-3 MPG higher than actual. I assume the instantaneous FE display (the one that jumps around) is just as optimistic.

I compute actual MPG as miles traveled (based on trip odometer) divided by actual fuel fill reading from the gas pump. The discrepancy is not surprising since generally, all manufacturers who have this feature do not want to err on the low side. At the same time, not very many people will do an actual measurement as I described and customers typically accept the dash display as gospel truth.

The drop in FE as speed increases is a known fact. One study done by Bridgestone Tires show a 30% drop in FE from 55 to 75 MPH and a 15% drop from 55 to 65 MPH. Also as speed goes up, aerodynamics becomes the biggest factor in FE. This should confirm Note-ified’s comment regarding the Vsedan getting better FE than the Note at higher speeds. Obviously the difference varies from vehicle to vehicle.

EPA’s highway test cycle’s average speed is approx 48 MPH and tops out around 60. Since the OEMs optimize the vehicle based on this cycle, most of us should get our best FE if we drive between around 35 and 60 MPH. It would not be surprising to get even better than the highway FE label as adjustment factors are applied by EPA to make the numbers consistently achievable.

I do not know what Nissan (or other OEMs) does for engine oil factory fill but I’ve worked for quite a few years for a domestic OEM in powertrain engineering and have not heard any discussion regarding break-in oil.
 

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I am assuming that the MPG numbers you are quoting are from your dashboard Average MPG readings. Based on my last 3 fill ups (I only have 1100 miles), the dash displayed Average MPG is consistently 2-3 MPG higher than actual. I assume the instantaneous FE display (the one that jumps around) is just as optimistic.

I compute actual MPG as miles traveled (based on trip odometer) divided by actual fuel fill reading from the gas pump. The discrepancy is not surprising since generally, all manufacturers who have this feature do not want to err on the low side. At the same time, not very many people will do an actual measurement as I described and customers typically accept the dash display as gospel truth.

The drop in FE as speed increases is a known fact. One study done by Bridgestone Tires show a 30% drop in FE from 55 to 75 MPH and a 15% drop from 55 to 65 MPH. Also as speed goes up, aerodynamics becomes the biggest factor in FE. This should confirm Note-ified’s comment regarding the Vsedan getting better FE than the Note at higher speeds. Obviously the difference varies from vehicle to vehicle.

EPA’s highway test cycle’s average speed is approx 48 MPH and tops out around 60. Since the OEMs optimize the vehicle based on this cycle, most of us should get our best FE if we drive between around 35 and 60 MPH. It would not be surprising to get even better than the highway FE label as adjustment factors are applied by EPA to make the numbers consistently achievable.

I do not know what Nissan (or other OEMs) does for engine oil factory fill but I’ve worked for quite a few years for a domestic OEM in powertrain engineering and have not heard any discussion regarding break-in oil.
my average is derived from dividing miles driven by gallons used and as surprising as it may seem i did in fact average out to 46mpg over a 400+ mile trip from my home to san francisco with the cruise control set at 65mph with a few short stints at 60mph where the speed limit asked for it. my average on the highway local to where i live is usually around 43mpg, but yes i find that the dashboard readout is usually within 1-2mpg over what i actually get since on that same trip to san francisco my dashboard was actually reading out around 48mpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
my average is derived from dividing miles driven by gallons used and as surprising as it may seem i did in fact average out to 46mpg over a 400+ mile trip from my home to san francisco with the cruise control set at 65mph with a few short stints at 60mph where the speed limit asked for it. my average on the highway local to where i live is usually around 43mpg, but yes i find that the dashboard readout is usually within 1-2mpg over what i actually get since on that same trip to san francisco my dashboard was actually reading out around 48mpg
There is no doubt the Note is capable of attaining high FE in the 40-45+ MPG as long as you keep your speeds moderate and drive it easy. Our use is about 95% city so I get right around 30 MPG (way better than our Jeep at 13). It appears (as expected) I lost about 1-2 MPG when I upgraded my wheels and tires. The OE tires were definitely optimized for FE but did not fare too well on Tirerack's surveys, so I decided to compromise and went with a different brand.
 

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There is no doubt the Note is capable of attaining high FE in the 40-45+ MPG as long as you keep your speeds moderate and drive it easy. Our use is about 95% city so I get right around 30 MPG (way better than our Jeep at 13). It appears (as expected) I lost about 1-2 MPG when I upgraded my wheels and tires. The OE tires were definitely optimized for FE but did not fare too well on Tirerack's surveys, so I decided to compromise and went with a different brand.
found the same thing here when i had my rims switched out to my SSR Type C's, of course the tires on those are road legal track tires and my alignment was off when i had them on, but i was still able to manage around 36mpg if i remember correctly...in all honesty though i was enjoying the improved acceleration and handling that the super lightweight and wide Type C's afforded me so i wasnt really focused on mpg's lol...im hoping when i get everything sorted out though between the body kit, getting the car lowered and an exhaust put on at Tanabe and getting an alignment after i put my rims back on, that the trade-off between extra performance and handling and fuel efficiency is a minor one :)
 

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It appears (as expected) I lost about 1-2 MPG when I upgraded my wheels and tires. The OE tires were definitely optimized for FE but did not fare too well on Tirerack's surveys, so I decided to compromise and went with a different brand.
can we see a full-sized picture of you Note with the new wheels/tires?
 
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