This Japanese Nissan Holds the Key to Future U.S. Models

As tragic it is, some very cool vehicles never make it to the United States. Or worse, they were once popular stateside until an automaker pulled them. That’s the case with the Nissan Versa Note. Car and Driver reports the vehicle just got a major upgrade that Americans could benefit from but can’t because the Note is no longer available on U.S. soil.

The Nissan Note wasn’t popular in the States

The car — known stateside as the Nissan Versa Note — made its way to America in 2013. It came with a 1.6-liter DOHC four-cylinder engine with dual fuel injection and Twin CVTC, as well as a five-speed manual transmission. 

It drew consumers because it was fast and cheap. It was a combination that many American car buyers on a budget couldn’t say no to. 

But that wasn’t enough to save it. The Nissan Note is essentially a smaller version of the Versa, and it didn’t get much love from American consumers. In fact, many drivers who bought the Nissan Versa Note sold it within a year of buying it. If that wasn’t bad enough, they were so desperate to get rid of it that they took a 20 percent loss.

In 2019, Nissan pulled the Note because subcompact hatchbacks had fallen out of favor with Americans. By then, SUVs and trucks were getting most of the attention, and the Note was another casualty of the trend.

The Note is having better luck on the global market

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It isn’t the most beloved vehicle in the world, but the Nissan Note is finding better luck on the global market than it did in America. This might be because trucks aren’t as popular overseas as they are in the States.

Whatever the reason, the Note is performing well enough that Nissan is comfortable giving it major upgrades. One of those is the new e-Powered hybrid. 

According to Car and Driver, “The Note comes standard with an e-Power hybrid drivetrain that primarily powers the car with an electric motor and uses a gasoline engine as a generator to power the battery pack. Nissan also says a fully electric version of the Note is coming in December with front and rear electric motors providing all-wheel drive.”

Nissan has chosen Japan as the arena to test this new hybrid. Whether the automaker decides to expand the e-Power hybrid Note to other markets is unclear, but it seems unlikely Americans will get to try it.

The e-Power hybrid model would be perfect for Americans

Whether you love them or hate them, hybrids are becoming increasingly popular. They boast the reliability of gasoline-powered vehicles and the planet-saving power of EVs. The once-sparse market is beginning to thrive as more and more automakers turn to hybrid and electric vehicles, and the global market is heating up as well.

That’s why the new e-Power hybrid note would fit in well on American soil. Not everyone wants a large vehicle, and the lack of sedan models frustrates some consumers.

The hybrid Note’s absence in the States disappointed Car and Driver, especially because Nissan’s current American drivetrains aren’t that exciting. Though there’s little hope the Note will ever come back to America, there’s always a chance the e-Power technology will return. If that’s the case, Nissan will find a much more receptive market of American consumers eager to save the planet.