Childre Nissan Compares 2016 Nissan Versa Note VS 2015 Smart ForTwo Near Macon, GA

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2016 Nissan Versa Note

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2015 Smart ForTwo

Safety Comparison

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Versa Note are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Smart ForTwo doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

The Versa Note SV/SR/SL has a standard backup monitor to help drivers see any and all obstacles behind their vehicle. The Versa Note SL also has a standard Around View ® Monitor to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The ForTwo doesn’t offer any parking assist system.

Compared to metal, the Versa Note’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Smart ForTwo has a metal gas tank.

Both the Versa Note and the ForTwo have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

The Nissan Versa Note weighs 562 to 715 pounds more than the Smart ForTwo. The NHTSA advises that heavier cars are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts. Lighter cars are also affected more by crosswinds.

Warranty Comparison

Nissan’s powertrain warranty covers the Versa Note 1 year and 10,000 miles longer than Smart covers the ForTwo. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 5 years or 60,000 miles. Coverage on the ForTwo ends after only 4 years or 50,000 miles.

The Versa Note’s corrosion warranty is 1 year and unlimited miles longer than the ForTwo’s (5/unlimited vs. 4/50,000).

There are almost 15 times as many Nissan dealers as there are Smart dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the Versa Note’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Versa Note has a standard 110-amp alternator. The ForTwo’s 90-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2015 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Smart vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 20th in initial quality. With 33 more problems per 100 vehicles, Smart is ranked 32nd.

Engine Comparison

The Versa Note’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 39 more horsepower (109 vs. 70) and 39 lbs.-ft. more torque (107 vs. 68) than the ForTwo’s 1.0 DOHC 3 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Versa Note is faster than the Smart ForTwo (automatics tested):

Versa Note


Zero to 30 MPH

4 sec

5.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

10.9 sec

14.6 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

6.6 sec

9.2 sec

Quarter Mile

18.2 sec

20.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

78.7 MPH

69.3 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Versa Note uses regular unleaded gasoline. The ForTwo requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

The Versa Note has 2.1 gallons more fuel capacity than the ForTwo (10.8 vs. 8.7 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Versa Note’s standard front disc brakes are vented to help dissipate heat for shorter stops with less fading. The front discs on the ForTwo are solid, not vented.

The Versa Note stops shorter than the ForTwo:

Versa Note


60 to 0 MPH

135 feet

139 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

149 feet

153 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels Comparison

For better traction, the Versa Note has larger standard tires than the ForTwo (185/65R15 vs. 155/60R15). The Versa Note SR/SL’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the ForTwo (195/55R16 vs. 175/55R15).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Versa Note SR/SL has standard 16-inch wheels. The ForTwo’s largest wheels are only 15-inches.

The Nissan Versa Note’s wheels have 4 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Smart ForTwo only has 3 wheel lugs per wheel.

The Versa Note SL has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The ForTwo doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

The Versa Note has a standard space-saver spare tire so you can replace a flat tire and drive to have the flat repaired or replaced. A spare tire isn’t available on the ForTwo, it requires you to depend on roadside assistance and your vehicle will have to be towed.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

For superior ride and handling, the Nissan Versa Note has fully independent front and semi-independent rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Smart ForTwo has a solid rear axle, with a non-independent rear suspension.

The Versa Note has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Versa Note flat and controlled during cornering. The ForTwo’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

The Versa Note has standard power steering to make quick and controllable low speed maneuvers easy. Power steering costs extra on the ForTwo.

The Versa Note has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The ForTwo doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa Note’s wheelbase is 28.9 inches longer than on the ForTwo (102.4 inches vs. 73.5 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Versa Note is 7.8 inches wider in the front and 4 inches wider in the rear than on the ForTwo.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan Versa Note amounts to more than styling. The Versa Note has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .308 Cd (optional .298 Cd with CVT). That is significantly lower than the ForTwo (.34) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Versa Note get better fuel mileage.

The front grille of the Versa Note S Plus/SV/SR/SL uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The ForTwo doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Versa Note has standard seating for 5 passengers; the ForTwo can only carry 2.

The Versa Note has 48.7 cubic feet more passenger volume than the ForTwo (94.1 vs. 45.4).

The Versa Note has 1.1 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 3.1 inches more front hip room and 3.7 inches more front shoulder room than the ForTwo.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Versa Note has a much larger cargo area with its rear seat up than the ForTwo (18.8 vs. 7.8 cubic feet).

The Versa Note’s liftgate lifts up in one piece, completely out of the way of loading and unloading, while sheltering the cargo loading area. The ForTwo’s tailgate’s top part raises up, but the bottom part lowers, getting in the way of loading and making an uneven surface for sliding cargo.

Ergonomics Comparison

The Versa Note’s standard tilting steering column adjusts to different sized drivers and makes entering and exiting easier. Smart doesn’t offer tilt steering on the ForTwo.

The Versa Note’s standard power windows have a locking feature to keep children from operating them. Smart does not offer a locking feature on the ForTwo’s available power windows.

The Intelligent Key standard on the Versa Note SL allows you to unlock the driver’s door, trunk and start the engine all without removing a key from pocket or purse. This eliminates searching for keys before loading groceries, getting in the vehicle in bad weather or making a hurried start to your trip. The Smart ForTwo doesn’t offer an advanced key system.

To improve rear visibility by keeping the rear window clear, the Versa Note has a standard rear fixed intermittent wiper with a full on position. The rear wiper standard on the ForTwo only has an intermittent setting, so in a hard rain visibility isn’t as good.

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Versa Note has standard extendable sun visors. The ForTwo doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Versa Note has standard power remote mirrors. The ForTwo Pure doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.

The Versa Note’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The ForTwo doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

To help keep the driver’s hands on the wheel, the Versa Note has standard steering wheel controls for the radio. The ForTwo doesn’t offer steering wheel audio controls.

Standard NissanConnect for the Versa Note SV/SR/SL allows the driver and passengers access to select programs on their smartphones, including reading text messages aloud, playing internet radio stations and other connected activities without taking their eyes off the road or their hands from the wheel. The ForTwo doesn’t offer factory integrated smartphone program access.

The Versa Note (except S/S Plus/SV)’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The ForTwo’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

With optional voice command, the Versa Note SL offers the driver hands free control of the radio and the navigation computer by simply speaking. The ForTwo doesn’t offer a voice control system.

Bluetooth wireless connectivity is standard on the Versa Note, connecting the driver and passenger’s cell phones to the vehicle systems. This allows them to use the vehicle’s stereo and hand controls to place calls safely and easily. Bluetooth costs extra on the ForTwo.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Versa Note will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. Kiplinger’s estimates that the Versa Note will retain a greater percentage of its original price after three and five years than the ForTwo.

Versa Note


Five Year

38% to 47%


Three Year

49% to 59%


Recommendations Comparison

Consumer Reports® recommends the Nissan Versa Note, based on reliability, safety and performance.

The Nissan Versa outsold the Smart ForTwo by almost eighteen to one during the 2015 model year.

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