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 rear spoiler and a lower body kit, while cruise control is a new option on base S models.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (6 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Once it starts, it's great...

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

Everything is great on the vehicle, except the starting problems... has difficulty starting, it takes 2 cranks sometimes (not only in winter, but in all seasons). It has been in the dealership 5 times in the first 12 months I bought it. Nissan Corporation refuses to buy back the vehicle, because the dealership I bought it from keeps on replacing different parts (the dealership also don't report this to CARFAX either (bad dealership)). I am now going to take it to a different Nissan dealership and see what their mechanic says. Nissan has made me miss 5 days of work - not good! I have a manual and I am lucky if I get 27 mpg in the city, I don't drive it hard.




I love my car!

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I test drove a Scion xD and a Honda Fit before this one, and I fell in love immediately with the Versa. It's amazingly roomy, drives very smoothly at highway speeds (compared to other cars in it's class) and is cute but not too cute like the Fit and Yaris are. I get good gas mileage, about 34 mpg with 60% highway 40% city driving. The model I bought has neat extras like audio and cruise controls on the steering wheel, armrest, etc. My fiancee loves how roomy it is, and I can fit both our bikes in the back easily. I think this is an underrated little car and a GREAT value!




2008 nissan versa... what a

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

Great car. I drove the Honda Fit, the Toyota Yaris, the Suzuki SX4, and the Nissan Versa won hands down. It's a great car. Has a lot of interior room. The Versa has tons of room and I can straighten my leg all the way out, which is great when you are commuting 2 hours round trip a day. The mileage is great. I'm getting 33 MPG and It's not even broken in yet. Very quiet ride (w/windows closed) and does great at highway speeds of 70 MPH. It feels stable and solid. Has a big car feel to it. The others felt like scary go-carts at high speeds.




Best for the money

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

The Yaris was like driving a bubble, the Fit was nice but cost too much, my Versa is bigger has more power and better MPG. The only thing I would change would have been my color selection (2) which did not not make my head turn.




Excellent car, fair price

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

I gave up my Suzuki Grand Vitara for this Versa SL Hatchback and it is impossible to be more happy. I cut my gas expenses a lot (you save more using cruise control), it has plenty of room, actually the back space is bigger than the SUV, my kids are more comfortable now, there are plenty room for legs. I feel pretty safe driving it, very stable on highways, very comfortable to ride (65 miles commute daily) with the back sit folded I have plenty of space to load almost everything, so I don't miss my SUV, without folding them you can fit 2 medium suitcases perfectly. Excellent car and very fair price




My versa

by on
Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)

This car is just OK, but not comfortable at all. Very small trunk, can't fit a small suitcase. Very hard to take anything out of the trunk. Heating does not work well.



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

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

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