2008 Nissan Versa Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Nissan Versa

Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
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Nissan Versa Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 1.8 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission CVT Automatic
  • Horse Power 122 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 27/33 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.

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Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 27
  • cty
/
  • 33
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews



Very pleased with the cost-benefit

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Vehicle: 2008 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL 4dr Sedan (1.8L 4cyl CVT)

I bought this as a "first car" for my daughter in 2008. Honestly, either my wife or I would like to drive it full time! We took a family of 4 on a weeklong beach trip (10 hours one way drive). It was amazingly comfortable and zippy even with 4 adult passengers. My wife calls it the 'zip zap'. The CVT makes it accelerate like a golf cart (on steroids). Just puss the gas pedal and off it goes as fast or as slow as you want. No herky jerky gear changes. As a teenager, my daughter just puts gas in it and goes. We haven't been back to the shop for any reason other than normal maintenance. I'm very, very happy with this vehicle.



1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Versa

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

I bought my versa new and actually liked my versa for the first 20,000 miles. Then my CD player stopped working, and was replaced, but now at 2 yrs the a/c compressor is fried, but no longer under warranty. I bought this car to save $ on repairs. I had a great car for 16 years until it became costly, so this is shocking to have to shell out nearly 2 grand for a car that's practically new.




Major flaw

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

Gas mileage 33 as advertised, tank is small though, requiring frequent refills. Defroster barely adequate in cold weather, road noise a big problem with windows down. Biggest problem is that is gets blown around the road in the wind. Anything over 35 mph and you need two hands on the wheel, especially when a truck passes. Won't buy this car again, and road tests should include wind tests for this problem.




Perfect for 47,000 then problems

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

Car really performs great in the hills. Fun to drive and good ride for a compact. Gas mileage in hot weather is 34 mpg. No problems at all until 45,000 miles, then the fuel pressure regulator started leaking and resulted in hard starting. Now at 48,000 miles the ABS warning light is on and I have been told the repair could be over $2,000. The ABS option was only a fraction of that. Makes you wonder what may come next. Drove my last 2 LeSabres and Silverado for a total of 275,000miles with no failures.




Perfect for the spouse

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

My wife owned a used '97 Sentra for a few years. When we went new, she insisted on a new Nissan. As she is from S. America, and grew up with hatchback family haulers, the Versa is perfect for her. Her biggest want was space, esp. for the suitcase laden trips to visit her folks. The car has no pretensions of sportiness, but the CV transmission pulls well enough and the car is relatively quiet. It has had a few problems (ones that I have read as common): hard starting (replaced fuel pump regulator, front end "clunk"(in for service on this once, now has it again -dealership says it cannot replicate this), 6- changer CD player replaced. Overall, not a bad car, the wife loves it, would buy again




30,000 and running great

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

I am very satisfied with this car. After 30,000 miles I have had no problems and gas mileage has been averaging 34.3mpg. I drive mostly in the mountains and small towns. The cvt transmission is the best automatic that I have driven in the mountains. The holdback saves on the brakes and there is no shifting as I navigate these winding mountain roads. The antilock braking system works great in ice and snow.



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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

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Talk About The 2008 Versa

2008 Nissan Versa Discussions See all Started By

mawiedr
mawiedr
07-08-2013
We are now in 2013, and I have the SAME problem with my Versa 2008 for about 6 months or so....


masa3
masa3
09-01-2008
I recently got a 2009 Versa SL sedan and am very happy with it except with the mileage. I have 650 miles and I am getting an average of 30 mpg with mostly highway driving and driving at 60 miles/hour ...


nel740
nel740
05-23-2009
i just noticed the same thing on my Nissan Versa 2008, after only 10000 miles. Windshield crack appeared on the upper portion of the passenger side and went downward nearly 4 inches . Glad i found ...



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