As the all-new 2020 Versa sedan gets ready to enter Nissan’s U.S. lineup, the five-door Versa Note is about to go the way of the dodo.
Nissan will discontinue the hatchback in North America in the 2019 model year, Autonews found. As it turns out, the Versa Note’s demise has less to do with the all-new Versa sedan and more with the Kicks subcompact crossover. The Juke successor uses the same platform as the Note, but has the advantage of being an SUV, which is more in demand and can be priced higher, thus allowing for increased sales and, possibly, a higher profit margin.
We contacted Nissan for more details and here’s what we learned. “Yes, I can confirm that the Versa Note will stop production after the 2019 model year. With the introduction of the Nissan Kicks last year, and the reveal of the all-new Versa this past Friday, Nissan has a number of great vehicles to introduce customers to the Nissan family – Versa for those looking for a car and Kicks for those who prefer a crossover,” Nissan USA representative Jeff Wandell told us via email.
While the Note will continue to be sold in other markets worldwide, in the U.S. Nissan will try to draw subcompact vehicle buyers with the Kicks and the all-new Versa sedan. Both models feature a 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine that makes 122 hp and 114 lb-ft (154 Nm), improvements of 13 hp and 7 lb-ft (9 Nm) of torque over the Versa Note’s 1.6-liter unit. In the Kicks, the engine is mated as standard to a CVT, while the Versa sedan offers a five-speed manual as the default choice and the CVT as an option.
Interestingly, besides the slight power bump and crossover styling, the Kicks doesn’t really have that much more to offer than the Versa Note. It’s not available with AWD and its interior is only marginally more practical than the hatchback — not to mention the latter offers better fuel economy. But customers want their SUVs, so it’s no surprise that the automaker decided to accommodate them.