2009 Nissan Versa 1.8 S 4dr Hatchback (1.8L 4cyl 6M)
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.