2014 Nissan Versa Review

Pros & Cons

  • Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat
  • low base price
  • comfortable ride
  • many available convenience features
  • large trunk
  • high fuel economy with CVT.
  • Bland performance and driving dynamics
  • noisy engine
  • no telescoping steering wheel
  • low-quality interior materials.
List Price Range
$3,999 - $9,998

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Edmunds' Expert Review

The 2014 Nissan Versa sedan provides simple, spacious and inexpensive transportation.

Vehicle overview

The 2014 Nissan Versa is a subcompact car built with two central priorities: getting you where you're going and doing it on the cheap. The Versa isn't designed to thrill in the corners or press you back against the seat during acceleration. But it does take you from Point A to Point B, and considering its low price, its cabin accommodations are respectable.

For 2014, the Nissan Versa continues to be a practical option for buyers who don't want to spend a lot on a new car. In fact, the Versa S has held the crown as the cheapest new car available in the United States for more than two years. It's not abundantly equipped, but it provides the same utility as many competitors do for much less.

On top of this, the Versa boasts a rare attribute in this segment: an extremely spacious backseat that provides plenty of legroom even for adults. This is a major advantage for those who frequently ferry taller passengers who would likely be uncomfortable in most of the Versa's less spacious rivals.

Although performance and handling typically aren't primary concerns for consumers shopping in this class, they still might factor into your decision after you take a few test-drives. The Versa falls a bit flat here: Apart from its comfortable ride, it's not a particularly inspiring car to drive. Competing subcompacts such as the Ford Fiesta and Honda Fit are more enjoyable, for example, thanks to their sharper handling and steering. The Hyundai Accent and Chevrolet Sonic sprint to 60 mph more quickly than the Versa and still get very good fuel economy.

Equipping the 2014 Nissan Versa to match other base-model subcompacts takes away some of its cost advantage as well, so you need to pay attention to all of the numbers before you decide. But if having plenty of space for your passengers and sticking to your budget are a top priority, the Nissan Versa is a great place to start.

2014 Nissan Versa models

The 2014 Nissan Versa sedan is offered in four trim levels: S, S Plus, SV and SL. Buyers interested in the hatchback version should check out the recently introduced Nissan Versa Note, which is covered in a separate review.

The entry-level S model is pretty bare-bones, with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a trip computer and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack.

The S Plus gets a standard continuously variable transmission (CVT), a rear spoiler, cruise control and two rear speakers.

Stepping up to the SV model gets you keyless entry, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a six-way adjustable driver seat with armrest, upgraded upholstery and gauges, cloth door trim and full power accessories. The SV Convenience package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth phone connectivity, steering wheel audio controls, a USB/iPod interface, a front-passenger vanity mirror, map lights and passenger grab handles.

The Versa SL sedan has all of the items from the SV Convenience package as standard along with 16-inch alloy wheels, keyless ignition/entry and Nissan's Easy-Fill system. The SL Tech package adds a navigation system, a 5.8-inch touchscreen interface, a rearview camera, satellite radio and upgraded Bluetooth phone and audio connectivity.

2014 Highlights

The 2014 Nissan Versa sees some minor changes to available options packages and trim levels, but otherwise it is unchanged.

Performance & mpg

The front-wheel-drive 2014 Nissan Versa is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the S, and a four-speed automatic is optional. A CVT is standard on all other Versas.

In Edmunds performance testing, the Versa sedan with the CVT went from zero to 60 in 10.4 seconds, which is average for this class of car. With the CVT, EPA estimated fuel economy stands at an excellent 35 mpg combined (31 mpg city/40 mpg highway), though most competitors have similar numbers. With the standard five-speed manual transmission, those numbers dip to 30 mpg combined (27 mpg city/36 mpg highway). The four-speed automatic is even lower at 30 mpg combined (26 mpg city/35 mpg highway).


The 2014 Nissan Versa comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction and stability control, front seat side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags. A rearview camera is optional on the Versa SL. Another worthwhile feature is the SL's tire pressure alert system, which makes it easier to add air to your tires by sounding the horn when you've achieved the correct psi.

In Edmunds brake testing, a Versa SL sedan came to a stop from 60 mph in 128 feet, which is a respectable distance for a car in this class.

In crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, the Versa sedan received four out of five stars for overall crash protection, with three stars for frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety tests, the Versa sedan earned a top rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof-strength tests. In the small-overlap frontal-offset test, however, the Versa sedan got the lowest score of "Poor." The Versa's seat/head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.


On the road, the 2014 Nissan Versa sedan's 1.6-liter engine is pretty unremarkable, but acceleration should be sufficient for most buyers. With a 35 mpg rating in combined driving for CVT-equipped models, the Versa is one of the thriftiest non-hybrid cars on the road.

The CVT is smooth and unobtrusive around town, but it can have the engine revving noisily if you abruptly press down on the gas pedal (in a highway passing situation, for instance) as it searches for its ideal ratio. This is a common complaint with CVTs that are paired with small four-cylinder engines, and most owners get used to this trait over time.

The Versa's suspension is tuned for comfort, and the result is a smooth ride quality that many subcompact models can't match. On the other hand, the small Nissan's steering and handling are pretty uninspiring compared with most competitors. You'll probably never notice those characteristics if you only drive your Nissan Versa to the office and back, but if you want something more fun, the Fiesta and Fit are worth a look.


The first thing that strikes you about the 2014 Nissan Versa's passenger cabin is the roominess. Nowhere is this more evident than in the backseat, where even tall adults will find a surprisingly generous amount of legroom. Even the trunk is big for a car this size, with 14.8 cubic feet of cargo space available before you fold down the 60/40-split-folding rear seats that are standard in the SV and SL models.

The front seats are fine for short hops, but comfort wanes on longer drives. Taller drivers might find it hard to achieve a comfortable position due to the lack of a telescoping steering wheel. The quality of the interior materials is low, even for the subcompact segment, but gauges and controls are at least well placed and intuitive. The availability of desirable features such as keyless ignition/entry and a rearview camera is a nice touch for a car with a sub-$20,000 sticker price.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2014 Nissan Versa.

19 reviews
Trending topics in reviews

Most helpful consumer reviews

this car handles well and it commutes well
1.6 S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M)
I bought this car brand new on January 2014 during a snowy day in IL. Unfortunately I ended paying over two grand over what i should originally pay for it. However, I frequently brought the car the dealership and received honest and fair service at the right intervals. The car has been through only recall for the instrument panel console trim that got your foot stuck in the accelerator but it got fixed promptly with no issues (I suspected about this issue even before it made it to a full recall and Nissan contacted me right away about the issue. Unfortunately, I lived in a very crowded area and my vehicle got hit and scratched in the rear bumper and side front panel and of course that is not a cheap fix and noticed that they could do a better job in the quality of the paint. I was also satisfied with the ability of commuting in a crowded area with ease. I was able to zoom through traffic, go through snow, rain, ice with no hesitations on handling or riding quality. I was a bit dissatisfied with the handling/steering abilities in the highway and I suspected I needed to replace the stock tires which I did and I couldn't regret about that. I even had to drive cross country from IL to TX across different states including Iowa, Kansas, Oklahoma, Missouri, etc. and i was never afraid to drive 1700 miles on this vehicle. I had to admit that winds create unsafe conditions in vehicles like this one, but you also need to remember that any vehicle can experience issues when is windy but it took me time to get used to the handling/steering styles that this vehicle had. Not only I was able to drive many miles on stock brakes, but I now have almost 15,000 miles on it and I haven't had to replace any major parts yet other than oil change, air filter and one new tire again ( got a flat on Texas but that was out of my control). I must say that even so the tire was busted, I was able to ride safely because the TPMS tire pressure sensor saved my life. I kept on filling up the air until I brought it to Costco and had to put the spare tire and got it replaced under warranty. Please, do your research when you go to a Nissan Dealership. I got the worst experience in one of them and find out which are the ones with better reputation. I opted to do oil changes elsewhere but I am also doing every tune up at recommended intervals. I do highway driving all the time and very little city driving since I live in the suburbs. I must say that what other people are saying about acceleration is not correct. If you have a tendency to floor the gas pedal on a car so you can drive faster, then this is not your vehicle. This car WILL accelerate as any other vehicle if you DON'T smash the gas pedal. The CVT transmission requires you to gradually step on the gas pedal and I have to say that I can confidently pass other vehicles with ease that are not necessarily the same size of this car. The steering over 85 mph or even 90 mph requires you to have attention on the wheel (I don't text, do phone calls, etc only using wireless technologies). This car can drive those speeds with ease and it can also switch between 6 lanes of traffic with ease. Also, I personally don't like lane change assistance, cameras, etc. I have to admit this car has blind spots but you can buy little mirrors at the automotive stores and attached them over the regular review mirrors. That solved the issue but of course you also need to look out in the lanes next to you before you merge. I also feel confident when I am braking, because this vehicle can brake at higher speeds without feeling that I am going to loose control. Other vehicles had cut me off on the highway and I have been able to drive safely even on ramps or quick lane changes. I am very happy with the gas mileage on this vehicle. My daily commute is about 32 miles every day and I am averaging almost 35 MPG but please keep in mind that rush hour highway driving has way too much traffic at times. I only spend roughly 5 gallons per week to go to work. Yes, this car has flaws in the paint quality, overall trim panels, interiors, etc. This car has very good sound (mine has the premium option) as well as blue-tooth which is a must in Texas highways. This car has a good instrument layout and all the controls are located where they need to be. I am 6 feet tall and I can comfortably ride this vehicle (even during the cross country driving I was able to drive this vehicle for 19 hours non-stop without issues. In Texas, I drove excessively in the highway and wad able to get 46 mpg driving to the airport. Very impressive. Update: I had to replace 2 rear shocks and 2 front cupped tires under the tire shop warranty. Shocks were not covered. I also replaced brakes that were at 2/3 of thread wear because at the time I did a lot of highway driving. I went back to Chicago and put another 1500 miles. These repairs are common highway driving repairs since I used to drive 70-90 mph speeds.
New so new I shouldn't be writing this review yet.
I bought a sedan over the Note even though I could have gotten a Note for a lot less. I like the sedans looks better. I bought the car for the gas mileage, interior space and trunk size. I am a large guy and fit with no problems. I did not buy it because it is a sport sedan, but it is practical for my daily commuting needs. Many reviews I read on here this site and others make me wonder how many are disgruntled owners that wanted a more expensive car (ALTIMA) and could only afford the Versa!?! I could have bought most any Nissan on the lot, but I chose the versa-tility of the Versa sedan
No complaints
Car does what it was intended to do. Gas mileage has been 37 mpg so far and its a decent little car. Basic model with manual windows and locks. Basically less stuff to break down the road. Very happy with this car seeing my last one averaged 14 mpg.
Little traveler
1.6 SV 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT)
Owned this car for three years and put over 65,000 miles on this car and have had not had one single issue with it. Although the car is extremely slow at acceleration. Moreover the cabin materials are all plastic and gives the vehicle a rather cheap feel but that was to be expected with such a low priced vehicle. So i would recommend for anyone who wants low price and reliability over looks and speed.

Features & Specs

31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
31 city / 40 hwy
Seats 5
Continuously variable-speed automatic
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
27 city / 36 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
26 city / 35 hwy
Seats 5
4-speed automatic
109 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 2014 Nissan Versa features & specs


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver4 / 5
    Passenger3 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    Overall4 / 5
  • Side Barrier Rating
    Overall3 / 5
    Driver3 / 5
    Passenger4 / 5
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front Seat4 / 5
    Back Seat4 / 5
  • Rollover
    Rollover4 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of Rollover14.7%
IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
  • Roof Strength Test
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test

More about the 2014 Nissan Versa
More About This Model

By the numbers, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note has the potential to rule the entry-level car segment. By Nissan's reckoning, this new hatchback lays claim to best-in-class fuel economy, passenger room and cargo space. The Versa Note further entices shoppers with one of the lowest sticker prices in the hatchback class, along with a few exclusive features.

But numbers don't always tell the whole story, so we got behind the wheel of the Versa Note in San Diego to see how this new hatchback stacks up.

Considering the modest $13,990 price tag for the no-frills base model, our expectations were decidedly low, and the Note easily met and sometimes exceeded them. In other areas, though, and especially compared to its competition, the little Nissan came up a little short.

High and Low Notes
In terms of styling, the 2014 Nissan Versa Note exhibits significantly more visual interest than the unimaginative Versa sedan. The designers incorporated some Nissan styling cues like headlights from the 2013 Nissan Leaf and taillights from the Z sports car, along with a strong character line on the side to break up the expansive door panels. Among competing hatchbacks, the Note's exterior design holds up well.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the Note's interior, which is nearly identical to the sedan. It's the most basic of layouts, with plenty of hard plastics. Compared to competing hatchbacks, this Versa's cabin is uninteresting and dated-looking. That said, most systems and controls in our range-topping SV trim with SL Tech package test car were easy to operate and functioned as intended. Perhaps there's something to be said for simplicity, but it still doesn't need to be plain.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

To the Note's credit, there is an abundance of space inside. This is especially true for the rear seats, which can comfortably accommodate full-size adults thanks to its class-leading 38.3 inches of legroom and generous headroom. Up front, there's ample space as well, but we took issue with the seats themselves.

We found the shoulder sections of the seatbacks too narrow for our 5-foot-10 frame. Had we been 3 inches shorter, it may not have been an issue. Regardless of height, we're confident that front passengers would find the hard plastic door armrests objectionable. Using both elbow perches simultaneously will make you feel as if you have scoliosis.

When it comes to cargo capacity, the Note beats the competition, with 21.4 cubic feet of storage behind the rear seats. The rear seats fold flat for bigger items and there's also a built-in cargo divider to keep smaller items out of view below, while allowing larger parcels to be transported on top.

Driving Notes
There's nothing inspiring about the way the 2014 Nissan Versa Note drives. And in this class that comes as no surprise. This isn't a car made to slice through canyons or beat other cars away from stoplights. No, the Note is just an honest and inexpensive way to get around.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine makes a satisfactory 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. The base S trim comes only with a five-speed manual, while the vast majority sold will feature a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan has a reputation for producing decent CVTs, but drivers unfamiliar with shiftless driving may have to adjust to the Versa.

And shiftless is a somewhat appropriate description of this drivetrain feel. Accelerating up to highway speeds requires a firmly planted accelerator. The revs climb lazily, then remain there while the engine emits a very loud and strained mooing noise. There's little sensation that you're really making any headway until you look down at the speedometer. Once you let off the pedal, though, the bovine drone stops immediately and revs drop below the 2,000-rpm mark for quiet cruising.

Passing slower traffic or tackling steep grades takes some planning, as the CVT is mostly unresponsive until you floor the pedal once again. Then you wait for the underhood cow to awaken to pull past. When it comes to power, the Note goes no further than adequate.

Quiet Cruiser
We were pleasantly surprised, however, by how calm the cabin remains on the interstates. Road and wind noise are kept in check as well or better than other economical hatchbacks. With the engine revving low, long stretches behind the wheel are agreeably fatigue-free.

In the handling department, the Versa Note is also solid, as it manages to track through corners without any drama. According to Eric Vaughen, the Versa team manager, the engineers weren't shooting for sporty, instead opting for just a whiff of fun. Admittedly, catching that whiff takes some concentration.

We did pick up a lack of compliance over moderate-to-large dips and bumps, though. Small cracks and ruts were well absorbed by the tire sidewalls, but anything larger resulted in unsettlingly large reactions followed by residual rebounds. It's not unlike a rough landing in a commercial jet.

Noteworthy Figures
Of all the figures the new 2014 Nissan Versa Note is touting, its EPA fuel economy ratings are its most impressive. Fuel economy sees a healthy improvement for the CVT, with a 31 city/40 highway and 35 mpg combined estimate. That's up from 28/34/30 mpg from its hatchback predecessor.

2014 Nissan Versa Note

Nissan accomplished this through an aggressive weight loss campaign. The engineers managed to slim down the compact hatchback by a whopping 300 pounds. Then they took it a step further by adding improved aerodynamic elements that include an active shutter grille that opens and closes according to vehicle speed.

Then there are the Versa Note's bells and whistles that may serve as further enticement. Items like heated front seats, a Google-enhanced navigation system, voice recognition, Pandora and hands-free text messaging either meet or beat rival offerings. There's also a class-exclusive around-view camera system that makes parallel parking a no-brainer.

These perks do kick up the price, of course. The range-topping SV trim with option packages stickers at $19,280.

The 2014 Nissan Versa Note's low price of admission will certainly have an undeniable appeal for tight budgets. The Note undercuts the perennial favorite 2013 Honda Fit by $1,435, a sizable savings for a car in this class. On the other hand, the 2013 Kia Rio hatchback beats the Versa by $190 so it's not the least expensive choice in the class.

More likely than not, deciding on the Versa Note will come down to the bottom line at both the dealer and the gas pump. In that regard, sensibility will keep it humming along just fine.

Yes, you can do better when it comes to interior design and ride refinement, but it'll cost you. The new Note delivers on the basics: great fuel economy, a spacious interior and predictable handling. Nothing exciting, nothing surprising, just straightforward utility and efficiency in a cleanly styled package.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Used 2014 Nissan Versa Overview

The Used 2014 Nissan Versa is offered in the following submodels: Versa Sedan. Available styles include 1.6 SV 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), 1.6 S Plus 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT), 1.6 S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M), 1.6 S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 4A), and 1.6 SL 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT).

What's a good price on a Used 2014 Nissan Versa?

Price comparisons for Used 2014 Nissan Versa trim styles:

  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa 1.6 SV is priced between $6,841 and$9,998 with odometer readings between 33155 and81417 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa 1.6 S is priced between $3,999 and$6,500 with odometer readings between 55430 and97164 miles.
  • The Used 2014 Nissan Versa 1.6 S Plus is priced between $5,995 and$9,998 with odometer readings between 46189 and80497 miles.

Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, VA. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.

Which used 2014 Nissan Versas are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2014 Nissan Versa for sale near. There are currently 7 used and CPO 2014 Versas listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $3,999 and mileage as low as 33155 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2014 Nissan Versa.

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Find a used Nissan Versa for sale - 9 great deals out of 20 listings starting at $23,440.

Find a used Nissan for sale - 4 great deals out of 11 listings starting at $23,951.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan Versa for sale - 2 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $20,598.

Find a used certified pre-owned Nissan for sale - 4 great deals out of 24 listings starting at $12,659.

Should I lease or buy a 2014 Nissan Versa?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Nissan lease specials
Check out Nissan Versa lease specials