2016 Volkswagen Golf vs 2016 Nissan Versa Note

In the battle of the hatchbacks, things can get complicated. The body style is basically the definition of practical, as it washes away some of the sleek lines of a sedan in favor of a functional cargo area that provides the ability to access the full rear-seating area when larger purchases are made. For those who don’t always have a full carload of passengers, this makes it a smart everyday driving option. When considering practical aspects, however, pricing becomes a major consideration. Naturally, we’re seeing more people comparing the 2016 Volkswagen Golf vs 2016 Nissan Versa Note and weighing the pros and cons. Of the Versa’s five total trim levels, even the top trim falls behind the starting price of the Volkswagen Golf. We can see how that is appealing for many shoppers, but when considering the long-term ownership of a vehicle, will you be proud of the savings or learn to regret your purchasing decision? Weighing the pros and cons of each model will help you decide which option is the smartest.

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2016 Volkswagen Golf vs 2016 Nissan Versa Note
116.3 cu. ft. Interior Volume 112.9 cu. ft.
22.8 cu. ft./52.7 cu. ft. max. Cargo Space 18.8 cu. ft./38.3 cu. ft. max.
1.8-liter turbo 4-cylinder
170 hp/184 lb-ft
Engine Specs 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder
109 hp/107 lb-ft
5-speed manual/6-speed automatic Transmission Options 5-speed manual/Xtronic CVT

Differences between the 2016 VW Golf and 2016 Nissan Versa Note

For the purposes of comparison, the top trim level for the Nissan Versa Note is being compared to the base trim level of the Volkswagen Golf. You could theoretically save a whole lot of money by opting for the Versa, and this might be an acceptable compromise for those on a tight budget who really only expect to bum around the city. With a 1.6-liter engine that delivers just 109 horsepower, the Nissan Versa Note is anything but powerful, and those who crave acceleration might even find it painful to drive. To put this in perspective, Car and Driver lists the acceleration time of the 170-horsepower Golf as 6.8 seconds to go from 0 to 60. This Nissan Versa Note takes 9.5 seconds to achieve the same.

You will notice the Versa Note achieves better fuel economy as a result, but many drivers hate the feel of the continuously variable transmission. The numbers just aren’t outstanding when you consider the model is underpowered and receives negative reviews for a noisy transmission and poor handling.

Performance is certainly a top priority for many drivers, and the Golf clearly wins in that category, but it is also a more spacious model overall, and is designed to make optimum use of the cargo area. For those who are considering a hatchback for this very purpose, the Golf scores big.

Of course, another major reason for the price difference is the available features and overall build quality. At every trim level, the Nissan Versa Note feels exactly like an economy option, from the inexpensive plastic pieces throughout the interior, to the fact that a telescoping steering wheel isn’t available at all. When comparing the top trim to the base Golf, you’ll find Bluetooth, heated side mirrors, a touchscreen display, full power features, cruise control and a rearview camera on both models. The Versa Note has keyless access at its top trim and heated front seats, which are available on the Golf, and surround-view camera, which is not.

The best way to discover which model is right for you is to take a test drive. Stop by New Century Volkswagen to see if the quality build of the 2016 Volkswagen Golf makes it the top hatchback option for you.

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