2008 Nissan Versa Review | Edmunds.com
 

2008 Nissan Versa

   
 
Nissan Versa Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 6-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 26/31 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2008 Nissan Versa

  • Larger and more comfortable than other entry-level hatchbacks and sedans, the 2008 Nissan Versa is a reasonable choice for budget-minded consumers with long commutes. However, several of its rivals offer greater agility in the corners, along with a higher level of overall refinement.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat, comfortable ride, available with many useful convenience features.

  • Cons

    Engine gets noisy at high rpm, less than athletic handling and braking capabilities, inconsistent build quality.

  • What's New for 2008

    After its debut last year, the Nissan Versa receives only minor equipment revisions for 2008. The SL sedan can now be equipped with a…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (155 total reviews)


Loved my versa for the

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Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

Off the bat the first year I took it into the dealer multiple times before they replaced the fuel pump and I think there was a recall at the time. The muffler and exhaust system rod severed at 3 years. The horn quit at 3-4 years. The visor fell off, the rubber sealing around the doors fell off and the fabric around the back door peeled off. Lots of discoloration on the turn signal bar and other levers. Was told by mechanic that this is a Renault with a Nissan Logo on it.




Love it! a few problems,

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

I've got over 105,000 miles and I've never had the alignment problems people keep mentioning. I did however have the muffler problem at about 95000 miles which is longer than most people got hah. The manual recommends a spark plug change at 105k but I started to notice it needed changing around 90k. I've never had it stop or lockup in traffic and I actually get BETTER gas mileage than what's posted. 24 city/30 hwy 27 hybrid was what the dealership sold it as; I usually get about 30-35 hybrid driving. But I do my best to drive it right though, make sure my tires are inflated and do maintenance on time. I got it new in 2008 and drive it A LOT!



2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Never had an alignment problem

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I have read these reviews and I have to wonder if the people that have had alignment problems are just hitting too many potholes. I have over 70k on my car and have only had one alignment and I know it was due to the terrain. Nothing flimsy about this car. It's been an excellent car, I drive a lot and I highly recommend it. It's held up extremely well, no mechanical problems at all. I think it's all in how you drive.




A fool is born everyday

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

Yes, I'm the fool. I wish I could go back and get the Honda Fit I originally wanted but didn't get b/c Honda wouldn't come off $1,000 from the price. I purchased the 2008 Nissan Versa and have hated it from the 1st week of ownership. 64,000 miles and the windows won't go up and down smoothly, When accelerating going up an entry ramp to the hwy, I lose MPH and the RPM's redline. I have to pull over on the shoulder of the highway at 5:00pm traffic, put it in park, then back to drive to reset it. Only to have it happen again going up a hill slowly. Sometime I have to push the petal to the metal (floorboard) just to get it to move! And the steering wheel gets loosey goosey when I lose the MPH's.



1 of 5 people found this review helpful

Nissan....not again!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I have been driving this vehicle from brand new from September 2007 and I very disappointed that at 68,000 miles, I have been nickled and dimed to death with vehicle. Tires replaced twice due to the super poor alignment! I have had it realigned twice now, working on a 3 rd time. Muffler rusted through and had to have that repaired. Now I am dealing with the fuel injectors.....just had to put out $350 to have them cleaned and coolant flush. Rear door seal falling off. Break lights needed replaced by mechanic because the average person can't do it by themselves.This will be my 1st and last Nissan.




The worst car ever...

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl 4A)

The build quality of this car is really poor, the lens of the transmission console fell off (?), the front driver side splash guard came off on the road, the decorative cover of the driver side door lock came off for no reason, and the entire exterior door handle itself came fell off a few months later. These are items that hardly ever break down on any car. I addition I had to replace oxygen sensors at just 50 K miles, and exhaust pipe at just 56 K miles. After being a loyal Nissan customer (I owned Stanza, Quest, and Sentra in the past) I will never buy a Nissan again. I wonder what happened to the Nissan quality...it is not there anymore.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 26
  • cty
/
  • 31
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2008 Nissan Versa Review

What's New for 2008

After its debut last year, the Nissan Versa receives only minor equipment revisions for 2008. The SL sedan can now be equipped with a rear spoiler and a lower body kit, while cruise control is a new option on base S models.

Introduction

Since its introduction last year, the Nissan Versa has been grouped with the recent wave of subcompact import cars. The association is only natural considering the Versa's small exterior size, hatchback body style (a sedan followed later) and entry-level status in the Nissan lineup. However, a closer examination reveals that the 2008 Nissan Versa stands a bit apart from -- and perhaps above -- its peers.

Compared to other subcompacts, the Versa offers an extra helping of everything. Its 1.8-liter engine is among the biggest power plants in the class, and features more horsepower and torque than most competitors' offerings. It stands alone in offering a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which provides better performance and fuel mileage than the four-speed automatics typically offered in this price range. The Nissan Versa also lays claim to the most interior room in its class (enough to qualify as an EPA "midsize" car), evident in the cabin's open, airy feel. The payoff is especially apparent for rear-seat passengers, who enjoy even more legroom than in Nissan's Maxima. The downside to this extra size is extra curb weight: The Versa weighs more than its subcompact rivals, and in spite of its larger engine, isn't as quick.

Nissan's entry-level car doesn't feel as adroit through the corners either. Still, its softly tuned suspension delivers a comfortable ride quality that will appeal to those with long commutes. Generously cushioned seats are another plus, and the Versa's lengthy list of optional convenience features makes it possible to outfit the car to a level unheard of in most low-end economy cars. Among these items are Bluetooth connectivity, a sonically satisfying Rockford Fosgate stereo and an "Intelligent Key" keyless ignition system that we find especially convenient.

Among the current crop of subcompacts, we'd give an edge to the Scion xD and Honda Fit, which are quicker, better-handling and more refined than the Versa. But the 2008 Nissan Versa remains a solidly qualified, budget-friendly option for long-haul commuters, small families and anyone else who places a high value on interior room. It's worth a look.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Nissan Versa is available as a four-door hatchback or sedan. Both body styles come in base 1.8 S and more upscale 1.8 SL trim levels. The 1.8 S starts you out with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, a tilt steering wheel, a four-speaker CD stereo, power mirrors, a split-folding rear seat and on the hatchback, a rear windshield wiper and a cargo cover. The Versa 1.8 SL adds alloy wheels; upgraded cloth upholstery; power windows and locks; cruise control; keyless entry; height adjustment for the driver seat; front and rear armrests; additional storage spaces; and a six-speaker stereo with MP3 playback and an auxiliary input jack.

The 1.8 S can upgrade with power accessories and keyless entry, while the 1.8 SL offers a Rockford Fosgate premium stereo, a sunroof and satellite radio. The SL's Convenience Package bundles Bluetooth connectivity, the Intelligent Key keyless entry and startup system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls. Another SL exclusive is the Sport Package, which provides cosmetic upgrades like a rear spoiler, side sill extensions and an extended front fascia with foglights.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive Nissan Versa comes with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine rated for 122 horsepower and 127 pound-feet of torque. The standard transmission is a six-speed manual. The optional transmission on the 1.8 S model is a four-speed automatic, while the 1.8 SL offers a CVT, which has an edge over the automatic in both performance and fuel economy. For 2008, the CVT-equipped Versa has the highest mileage ratings of the bunch at 27 mpg city/33 highway. In the small-hatchback segment, this is an average rating.

Safety

The 2008 Nissan Versa comes standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitor. Antilock brakes with brake assist are optional. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration crash tests, it earned a four-star rating (out of a possible five) for driver and front-passenger protection in head-on collisions; five stars were given for side-impact safety. In the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's frontal-offset and side-impact tests, the Versa earned the top score of "Good."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Nissan Versa's interior is notable for its spaciousness. Its tall roof makes headroom a non-issue, and its expansive legroom lets 6-foot-plus passengers sit comfortably in either the front or rear. A fifth person can be wedged into the rear center seat, though the Versa's skinny body makes it a squeeze. Interior controls are attractive and easy to use, and the optional keyless startup system offers unexpected real convenience in a budget car. The overstuffed front seats are comfortable during hour-long commutes, but support fades on longer drives. The hatchback's split rear seat doesn't fold even with the cargo floor, but lowering it reveals a sizable 50.4 cubic feet of space. Likewise, the sedan's 13.8-cubic-foot trunk is on the high side for its segment.

Driving Impressions

Acceleration is adequate with any of the transmissions available for the 2008 Nissan Versa, but the six-speed manual is our recommendation if you don't mind shifting your own gears. The efficient CVT also makes decent use of the 1.8-liter's power reserves, but its presence results in a raucous cabin environment: In its quest for quick response, it sends the engine shooting up to high rpm, at which point the 1.8-liter becomes noisy and gruff. Ride quality is quite good on the highway, but the Versa's soft suspension gets a bit out of sorts over rough road surfaces. Moreover, the car feels tall and out of its element when going around corners, a quality accentuated by the Versa's considerable body roll and slow steering. Tire grip also leaves much to be desired and likely accounts for the Versa's long braking distances.

Read our Nissan Versa Long-Term 20,000-Mile Test

Talk About The 2008 Versa