Overview & Reviews
Like other vehicles in the growing subcompact segment, the Nissan Versa offers excellent fuel economy and available upmarket features while remaining very affordable. The current Versa also distinguishes itself with two available body styles -- the sedan and the Versa Note hatchback (reviewed separately) -- as well as one of the biggest backseats this segment will ever see. It's an adequate choice as an entry-level vehicle, though drivers looking for any degree of excitement or personality are advised to look toward the Versa's competition.
Current Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa sedan is offered in S, S Plus, SV and SL trim levels. The S is about as basic as it gets, providing steel wheels, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat and a two-speaker sound system. The S Plus gets a rear spoiler, cruise control and four-speaker audio. The SV adds alloy wheels, a folding rear seat and higher-quality interior trim. The SL boasts larger alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth and a USB/iPod input. Some of the SL's features are optional on the SV. The SL is eligible for additional technology features, including a navigation system and a touchscreen interface.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base S trim level, while a four-speed automatic transmission is optional. The other trims come standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which greatly improves the car's fuel economy.
In reviews, we've found the Nissan Versa's tall roof line allows for a huge amount of interior space. Headroom in particular is extraordinary. There's also ample legroom, even in back, where 6-footers can miraculously ride in comfort. Cargo space is similarly impressive, with the trunk outdoing those of several larger cars. Materials quality, however, is underwhelming.
As a daily driver, the Versa provides pleasant enough service. It's a sensible sort of car, with an uncommonly cushy ride for a subcompact. The 1.6-liter engine doesn't like to be rushed, but it remains reasonably civilized in normal operation. If you're looking for a little flair or excitement, something like a Chevrolet Sonic or Ford Fiesta will probably be a better choice, as they provide more involving handling and distinctive styling.
Used Nissan Versa Models
The current, second-generation Nissan Versa sedan debuted for the 2012 model year. The current Versa's dimensions are largely unchanged from those of its predecessor, but the car is considerably more fuel-efficient. If you're shopping for a used current-generation Versa sedan, keep in mind that the 2013 model received a handful of additional standard and optional features. There have been no major changes, though.
The first-generation Nissan Versa sedan was produced from 2007-'11, and there was also a Versa hatchback (now known as the Versa Note) offered from 2007-'12. Originally, every Versa sedan and hatchback came standard with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder that produced 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. A six-speed manual transmission was standard. A four-speed automatic transmission was optional on the base Versa S trim, while a CVT was optional on the more upscale SL. For 2009, the SL sedan came standard with the four-speed automatic, while the SL hatchback got the CVT standard.
Another, more significant revision occurred for '09 when Nissan added a pair of even cheaper entry-level sedan models: the 1.6 Base and 1.6. As the number suggests, it had a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produced 107 hp and 111 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual was standard and the four-speed automatic was optional. These 1.6 models had even fewer features than the 1.8 (air-conditioning and a radio were options).
It's important to note that antilock brakes were optional on all trims until 2010, when they became standard. ABS was always optional on the 1.6 variants. We highly recommend making sure a used Versa has this important safety feature.
We liked the original-generation Nissan Versa's spacious, comfortable and well-equipped cabin. We also found the 1.8-liter Versa to be surprisingly peppy and comfortable to drive. The CVT did a commendable job of getting the car up to speed on the highway; however, the six-speed manual made better use of the 1.8-liter engine's power reserves, so we recommend it to buyers who don't mind doing their own shifting.
As for the 1.6, it actually wasn't the downgrade you'd think it would be given its lower power. A sprint from zero to 60 mph still was accomplished in less than 10 seconds with the manual, and it rarely felt overwhelmed on the road. It's not the most pleasant-sounding engine in the world, however. Regardless of engine, this Versa suffered on rough roads, with the wheels tending to hop over obstructions rather than settling quietly back into place.
User Reviews:Showing 1 through 10 of 726.00
A good little car with great mileage! - 2012 Nissan Versa
By buck1810 - December 31 - 1:04 am
Bought my Versa in September and have been relatively happy with it. Most important: great gas mileage. I drive 40 miles each way to work and, according to the computer, I am averaging 40.4 mpg. Amazing. That figure reflects mostly freeway driving. In-town stop and go driving brings the average down. This is a car for cruising. It is quiet inside the cabin and pretty smooth going over bumps. A lot of room inside the cabin. I call my car The Beast, because it is a big car inside, although it looks little outside. Very high roof, so it feels very spacious. I am happy....though not overjoyed.
Best things come in small packages - 2011 Nissan Versa
By asplaksiy - December 29 - 7:28 am
When my 03 Toyota Camry gave out on me, i was devestated- but it lead to the best buy ever. I am completely in love with my espresso black 2011 versa hatchback. Its sleak and trendy and very fun to drive. I love fiting in smaller parking spaces and and the great added features that I chose really puts my "luxery" camry to shame. Between the cd, am/fm, ipod dock and auxiliry plug i'm never bored in my car. I love the inteligent key and bluetooth. Couldn't ask for more! love love love it.
Leaking Versa w/ bad gas mileage - 2008 Nissan Versa
By MSL - December 23 - 11:56 am
Purchased this Nissan Versa in April, 2008 as a commuter vehicle. I have a 64 mile round trip daily commute. I have had the Versa back four time to the dealership. Once for highway mileage that is only 27 mpg. The other three times have been for roof or door leaks. All have been part of warranty coverage, with free loaners to use during work. My floors are slopping wet and have been wet more than half of the eight months I have owned the vehicle. The last time I noticed wetness was after a free car wash that my dealership offers with each oil change. Living in Maine, a wet vehicle means frozen interiors to your windows each morning. Wish I had not purchased this vehicle.
not the prettiest peach! - 2008 Nissan Versa
By kasey - December 22 - 9:33 am
I love this car. Straight up. Personally, I think the exterior design leaves a bit to be desired. However, I've put 40k hard-driven city and highway miles on it since purchase (1/08) and it's given me no problems.. Other than a recalled starter issue, which was covered by Nissan. I have the hatchback, and am mindblown by the amount of stuff and people I can comfortably pack into the versa. Nice base stereo, interior design is intuitive and ambient. I have manual trans with the standard 6-speed, Nice for highway driving. A bit squirrely on highways during windy weather and suspension is indeed soft. Standard stereo has trouble reading mp3 cds sometimes. Solid deal for a tough little car.
found versa very comfortable - 2007 Nissan Versa
By don moore - December 15 - 1:40 am
Car is realy enjoyable to drive and have passengers in back seat say there was ample room.
An Excellent Car for the Price - 2009 Nissan Versa
By ksmith45 - December 11 - 12:20 am
For its price, this car is undeniably a great deal. The hatchback is sporty in appearance, the interior is incredibly spacious for its overall size and the interior is very well designed. While the car is considered a compact by class, it doesn't feel so while driving as its 1.8 L engine has plenty of power for the car, and the transmission has almost seamless smooth transitions. Overall, this car is perfect for people who want a sporty commute to work and great fuel efficiency.
Best New Car for the price - 2010 Nissan Versa
By kate&cal - December 4 - 9:06 pm
So far the car is amazing! We looked all around car shopping and we could not find any other car that could compare. As they say the price was right. Make sure to get the S series not the base it makes a difference. The only problem we ran into is we never owned a brand new car so no one told us that the first 5000 miles you get less MPG than on the sticker "engine Brake in they call it" except no one at the dealership told us. Worth the test drive!
FIRST NEW CAR - 2015 Nissan Versa
By POOGIE 49 - December 3 - 2:39 pm
This is the first new car I have ever bought and I am 65. After reading the reviews I am worried. I pay a lot for this car each month and will have payments for 6 years. I do have a 5 year warranty on the engine so if I have a problem I will take it to the dealer. If I get no satisfaction I will get a lawyer. Hopefully I dont. So far the car is great but I have only had it 4 months.
Nice fit, bad ride - 2007 Nissan Versa
By Steve J - December 1 - 4:20 am
The interior space in this is amazing! I have a 36" inseam, not too many cars fit my legs. After time, the headroom is even more impressive. The hp is fine, more than enough, doesn't get great mileage for a small car. Bad speakers, replace those. Also the cornering at speeds over 50 is awful! Still a great value, but I will trade it in as soon as I have enough equity in it.
Great Small Car - 2007 Nissan Versa
By NJ Versa - November 28 - 3:23 pm
Affordable. Packed with features, space, and technology/amenities you won't find anywhere else... and trust me I looked. Unbelievable value for the money.