This car has been reliable for us! We bought it in Georgia (brand new) and now live in Ohio, so we've had the car in extremes of weather. We've used it to move, to drive people around town, for work, and for play. I had to replace the air conditioning compressor this summer, and just had the exhaust system redone. But those have been the only big items maintenance-wise. I love my Versa!
If the fuel pump has not already been replaced, it may have to be. It's an expensive job. This is a known vice in this model yet Nissan has not issued a TSB. That aside, this is a great small car: well designed with plenty of interior space, comfortable back seat, good brakes and steering, smooth shifting 4-speed automatic trans, adequate power and pickup though the smooth idling engine gets noisy under hard acceleration. The ride is about average for a shortish wheelbase car. Unfortunately there are only warning lights for engine temperature and amps. The sharply sloping hood is hard to see the end of which at the start can complicate parking. The model I purchased has power windows and door locks and a keyless entry though to start the car the coded key is needed.
We bought the Versa in 2009 in the cash for clunkers program in exchange for an AWD Toyota Previa (which had served us very well for 18 years and 225,000 miles) and have done about 30,000 varied miles in the Nissan. It has been trouble free, pretty economical, easy to park in little spaces, a good load carrier and enjoyable to drive. Interior space is generous and the seats are very comfortable but the stowage space around the driver is a bit limited and there is not really anywhere to rest your elbows. Overall build quality is high but the plastic around the heater controls has started to rot. I also find the blue "cold engine" warning light unnecessary and at night easy to confuse with high beam.
25,000 miles further on and a coast to coast cross country trip later, still happy with the vehicle though I read some worrying reviews of the safety of the sedan version (mine is a hatchback). No repairs have been needed, still has the original tires and battery. Only the wiper blades have needed replacing.
Besides the fact that I overpaid for a whopping 3 year warranty the effort of Nissan to rectify any portion of this incident is non existent. It is sickening to think when I am driving that such a poor quality product is considered acceptable by Nissan. There are several complaints on forums and other consumer websites reporting this same safety issue with Versa springs sheering off completely. Don't let your family drive a Versa.
Hatchback, Gas Mileage, Steering Wheel Layout
Springs, Sensors, Wheel Hubs, Stock Tires, Warranty, Customer Service, Warranty.
For 50,000 km (about 30,000 miles) my Versa was perfect. Then one day the problems started....
1) Car started to make diesel-like noise every time I accelerated. I took it to the dealer and they informed me there was a crack in the pistons. Result=a new engine at 50,000 km 2) Air conditioning pump failed about 5,000 km later. Dealer repaired under warranty 3) The final draw was this week, when the car wouldn't start and left me stranded in a parking lot at night. I had the car towed to the dealer where I learned that the fuel pump was finished. As the car is out of warranty, repairs were $700
I signed for a Toyota Corolla yesterday, and I feel like a huge weight has been lifted.
This is a very comfortable car to drive, with nice seats and tons of rear leg room. The stereo and air conditioning (when it works) are also excellent. The car also offers a lot of cargo room when the rear seats are folded flat. The manual transmission is nice to operate, and the car is very quiet on the highway.
Before I begin, I fully understand that lemons exist in the auto industry and that I very well may have a lemon. However:
1) Build quality. These cars are particularly not suitable to Canadian winters. They are built for freeway driving in Orange County. The paint scratches very easily and the interior is rickety when you drive over potholes
2) Reliability (see review section). The 14 year-old Mazda I replaced with this vehicle is still going strong, while the Versa is practically falling apart
3) Fuel economy is very sub-par for the category. On average, the car gets about 9.5L/100 km (22mpg)
If you're in the market for a small hatchback, I suggest looking at Honda, Toyota or Mazda.