Like other vehicles in the growing subcompact segment, the Nissan Versa offers excellent fuel economy and available upmarket features while remaining very affordable. The current Versa also distinguishes itself with two available body styles -- the sedan and the Versa Note hatchback (reviewed separately) -- as well as one of the biggest backseats this segment will ever see. It's an adequate choice as an entry-level vehicle, though drivers looking for any degree of excitement or personality are advised to look toward the Versa's competition.
Current Nissan Versa
The Nissan Versa sedan is offered in S, S Plus, SV and SL trim levels. The S is about as basic as it gets, providing steel wheels, air-conditioning, a height-adjustable driver seat and a two-speaker sound system. The S Plus gets a rear spoiler, cruise control and four-speaker audio. The SV adds alloy wheels, a folding rear seat and higher-quality interior trim. The SL boasts larger alloy wheels, keyless ignition and entry, Bluetooth and a USB/iPod input. Some of the SL's features are optional on the SV. The SL is eligible for additional technology features, including a navigation system and a touchscreen interface.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base S trim level, while a four-speed automatic transmission is optional. The other trims come standard with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), which greatly improves the car's fuel economy.
In reviews, we've found the Nissan Versa's tall roof line allows for a huge amount of interior space. Headroom in particular is extraordinary. There's also ample legroom, even in back, where 6-footers can miraculously ride in comfort. Cargo space is similarly impressive, with the trunk outdoing those of several larger cars. Materials quality, however, is underwhelming.
As a daily driver, the Versa provides pleasant enough service. It's a sensible sort of car, with an uncommonly cushy ride for a subcompact. The 1.6-liter engine doesn't like to be rushed, but it remains reasonably civilized in normal operation. If you're looking for a little flair or excitement, something like a Chevrolet Sonic or Ford Fiesta will probably be a better choice, as they provide more involving handling and distinctive styling.
Read the most recent 2016 Nissan Versa review.
If you are looking for older years, visit our used Nissan Versa page.