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Nissan’s 2017 Versa Note gets some plastic surgery ahead of L.A. debut

The Nissan Versa Note hatchback has sat near the bottom of the Japanese automaker’s lineup largely unnoticed since its introduction to the United States in 2013 alongside the Versa sedan. For the 2017 model year, it at least gets a styling update to help attract more attention.

Debuting at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show next week, the 2017 Nissan Versa Note is actually pretty much identical to the 2016 model, except for the revised styling and some content changes. The subcompact hatchback now boasts the “V-Motion” grille used on most other Nissan models, plus new headlights and a rear fascia previously used only on the (mildly) sporty Versa Note SR model.

The interior gets some minor changes, including larger cup holders, a second 12-volt outlet on certain trim levels, and relocation of the first 12-volt outlet and USB port to the front of the center console. The Versa Note is still available with a decent amount of tech, including a NissanConnect infotainment system with voice control, navigation, a mobile app suite, and Around View Monitor camera system.

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The 2017 Versa Note sticks with a 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine, which sends 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque to the front wheels. A continuously variable transmission (CVT) is now mandatory, as Nissan ditched the five-speed manual previously offered on base models. Nissan recently debuted a hybrid powertrain for Japanese-market models, but it’s unlikely that it will be offered in the U.S.

Nissan eliminated the Versa S base model, which started below $16,000, but didn’t even include basic features like power windows and door locks. Pricing for the remaining trim levels remains unchanged, meaning the 2017 Versa Note starts at $16,345 (including destination).

The 2017 Versa Note will be one of three Nissan debuts at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show. Nissan will also show a special edition of the Juke called the Black Pearl, as well as a special version of the updated 2017 Rogue tying in with Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The carmaker will also debut one more unspecified model.