2015 Nissan Versa Sedan Review

2015 Nissan Versa Sedan

Edmunds Summary Review of the 2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S Sedan

  • The 2015 Nissan Versa sedan provides comfortable, spacious and inexpensive transportation, and comes with a generous choice of available amenities. Just don't expect much in terms of personality or driver engagement.

  • Pros

    Roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat; low base price; comfortable ride; many available convenience features; large trunk; high fuel economy with CVT.

  • Cons

    Bland performance and driving dynamics; noisy engine; no telescoping steering wheel.

  • What's New for 2015

    The 2015 Nissan Versa gets refreshed exterior styling along with cabin upgrades designed to impart a more modern and refined look. Bluetooth connectivity is now standard on all models, and all trims get additional feature content.


Budget-priced cars used to be synonymous with cramped accommodations, subpar materials and coarse ride quality. The spacious and comfortable 2015 Nissan Versa shows how much the species has evolved. This industrious little Nissan has been one of the least expensive new cars on the market for a few years running, yet it still delivers the qualities that matter most for shoppers in this segment.

The Versa's big selling point is its backseat, which offers enough room to ensure that even taller passengers are comfortable on long journeys; it's an attribute that's conspicuously absent in many of the Nissan's rivals. Those who prefer not to travel light will appreciate the sedan's spacious trunk. Ride quality is forgiving and the Versa offers a generous array of available convenience features. High fuel economy is another big draw for the Versa.

While the Versa excels as a practical choice, though, it does little to go beyond being basic transportation. While Bluetooth has been added to the standard features list this year, base-model Versas are still leanly equipped. Amenities like keyless entry, full power accessories and satellite radio are standard on certain competing models, but you'll have to pay extra to get them on the Versa. This can work to undercut its cost advantage.

The Versa is also pretty uneventful to drive. Rivals like the Chevrolet Sonic and 2015 Ford Fiesta feel more alert and engaging when you're behind the wheel, for instance, and the Kia Rio and Hyundai Accent are quicker to accelerate. Plus, all offer more memorable styling inside and out and the general sense you're getting a little extra for your money. You'll certainly want to drive a few of these cars before making a decision, but overall the 2015 Versa should work out well if your main priority is getting a car that's roomy, easy to live with and very affordable.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2015 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 Nissan Versa Note, which is covered in a separate review.

The entry-level S model comes with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, cloth upholstery, Bluetooth phone connectivity, a trip computer and a two-speaker sound system with a CD player, steering wheel audio controls and an auxiliary audio 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 full power accessories (power locks, mirrors and windows), keyless entry, interior trunk release, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a height-adjustable driver seat with an armrest, upgraded upholstery and gauges, map lights, a USB/iPod interface and body-colored mirrors (versus black plastic). The SV Alloy Wheel package adds 15-inch alloy wheels.

The Versa SL sedan adds 16-inch alloy wheels, foglights, side mirrors with integrated turn signals, Nissan's Easy-Fill tire alert system, keyless ignition and entry, hands-free text messaging functionality, satellite radio, a 5-inch display screen, smartphone integration apps and Bluetooth audio connectivity. The SL Technology package adds a navigation system, voice recognition for audio and navigation, real-time traffic, a 5.8-inch touchscreen interface and a rearview camera.

Powertrains and Performance

The front-wheel-drive 2015 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 mph in 10.4 seconds, which is average for a subcompact sedan.

With the CVT, EPA estimated fuel economy stands at an excellent 35 mpg combined (31 city/40 highway), though most competitors have similar numbers. With the standard five-speed manual transmission, those numbers dip to 30 combined (27/36). The four-speed automatic gets the same combined mileage as the manual but 26 city and 35 highway.


The 2015 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 Easy-Fill tire 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 but nevertheless a bit long for the segment.

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 and four stars for risk of rollover. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, 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.

Interior Design and Special Features

The first thing that strikes you about the 2015 Nissan Versa's passenger cabin is its 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. Shorter drivers will likely find the S and S Plus trims' lack of a height-adjustable seat to be problematic. Gauges and controls are well placed and intuitive. The availability of desirable features such as keyless ignition and entry and a rearview camera is a nice touch for a car with a sub-$20,000 sticker price.

Driving Impressions

On the road, the 2015 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 is worth a look.

Reviews from owners of the 2015 Nissan Versa 1.6 S Sedan

Stouts versa review

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

Ok, lets start this off with...I love my Versa. Most of the reviews (like mine), are subjective at best. People do not like the look, or the "CVT" transmission making noise. Things like that. So lets get that out of the way. The look is great. I do not mind it looking and sitting like it does. It is easy to see out of with a larger back window, back door windows are large and easy to see out of. It does take some getting used to with the CVT. Wow, that took a lot of getting used to. It does have some engine noise that could be dampened. But alas, for a used car it is great. PROS: I absolutely love this car. It is my commuter car. My real time gas mileage average (my math and driving style...not sporty) is 37.5 combined, with 42.9 freeway. I do not track my around town. Having said that...the Fuel tank could be a tad bigger. I drive 81.3 miles round trip between work and home a day. But I am averaging 350 miles a tank (I fill up before it tells me to, other wise I could get 375). The ride of the car is not bad. I love getting in and setting the cruise control at 75 and away I go. Every now and then I will hear the motor (over my talk radio), but not often. Little sucker does me good. I live in Utah and drive mountain passes and lots of hills. We drove from the SLC area to St. George (two mountain passes and plenty of hills to climb), we averaged 37.3 miles per gallon (that includes the around town driving and canyon driving we did). So far I have not had it in the snow (I wish there was more reviews about it in snowy weather, I understand a lot of that is tires). In the rain the car handles very well. Passing while driving on the interstate is not bad. You are not driving a sports car, but I feel it has plenty of get up and it gets me around the slower traffic with relative ease. Back seat room...WOW! Nissan did it right! I go to lunch with a few people that are rather tall (I am a stout 5'6", two of the lunch bunch are well over 6' tall one in fact is 6'6). Their knees do not even come close to the seat back when I am driving. I pushed the all the way back, and both still had plenty of room, no knees in my back. Also foot and head room. FANTASTIC! We can fit three grown adults in the back seat, but it gets a tad slender. Stick to two. Trunk space...Sheesh, it is bigger than most if not every car in its class. Very spacious, we can put all of our bags (3 people) and still have room for a cooler. Very large. Radio and dash controls...They get the job done. Nothing fancy. CONS: I do not like the one arm rest just for the driver (this car will only have just me in it for the most part, but we have done and will be taking it on road trips, it can get a tad uncomfy for my tiny little wife). Cup holders...this may be a good thing...can not fit a 44 ounce drink in them without dumping half of it out (this is a plus, as I have stopped drinking soda pop for the most part, so this is an upside). In cabin storage, there could be a bit the back doors maybe? Acceleration, off the line this car moves. It has to build up torque and RPM. I feel it could use a little bit more tuning here (but not terrible). No Telescoping steering wheel. I have short, thick arms and legs (My Military and work buddies call me Gimli or Stout...says something there). I have adapted to the "reach" to the steering wheel while I like to lean farther back. That would be a HUGE improvement. Bigger fuel tank (only a couple gallons). That is pretty much it. OVERALL: Fantastic car. I love Nissan's. Never had an issue with them, do not plan on having any either. The Fuel economy and over all comfort of this vehicle is a five star rating. I gave it four stars for the issues I stated above. But again, I would buy this again, and recommend it to a friend or family members. You cant go wrong with this little Versa. NOTE: I would stay in the SV or better Trim package, the basic package I feel may be a bit "Prehistoric". Enjoy.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

Week lil car

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

I own a 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan SV. It is an alright car with good gas mileage and the seats are very comfortable. The car feels fine when you're driving in the city. When you stop accelerating the car is pretty quiet. However there are some drawbacks. The interior is very basic and its all black plastic even though the exterior looks a lot better than the interior. The breaks feel very awkward. While the gas pedal is very light and sensitive the breaks feel hard and you really have to push on the breaks for the car to stop. It is also extremely light which actually isn't that good. Since the car is so light you can feel every bump on the road it feels like there's an earthquake when I hit a pot hole or go over a speed bump while going 5 miles per hour. This car really needs more power it's such a pain getting this car to move after stopping. The engine drones when I accelerate and the car really has a hard time going up the slightest hill. I hate driving the car on the freeway when its windy it gets really twitchy and feels unstable. If I had the chance to buy my first car again it wouldn't be a Versa.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

2015 nissan versa sl

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

SPECS – Bright Silver, 4D Sedan, 4 Cylinder 1.6-Liter Engine, Automatic CVT Transmission with Xtronic, Technology Package, Traction Control, Vehicle Dynamic Control, 4W ABS Brakes, Keyless Entry, Keyless Start, A/C, Power Windows, Power Locks, Cruise Control, Power Steering, Tilt Steering Wheel, AM/FM Stereo, MP3 (Single CD), SiriusXM Satellite Radio, Bluetooth Wireless, NissanConnect, Backup Camera, Dual and Side Airbags, Front and Rear Head Curtain Airbags, Integrated Body-colored Rear Spoiler, Alloy Wheels WHAT'S GOOD – When I purchased this car, I loved the fact that it came fully loaded with all the features (as listed above), and lots of space for backseat passengers. The alloy wheels add a higher degree of comfort in the ride compared to the base steel rims. In comparison to other cars in its class, the Nissan Versa SL seemed to offer a lot more amenities and features for a good price than many of its other competitors. The Xtronic CVT transmission is VERY good at maintaining both normal and highway speeds with a corresponding level of comfortable handling as well as a lower RPM rating; something that the manual transmission simply cannot provide as well as the Xtronic CVT transmission. I am of the opinion that that the Xtronic CVT transmission is perhaps this car's primary redeeming grace. It's also worth mentioning that the Versa's exterior design really doesn't look too bad either, especially in the front end; the rear end can be argued to be quite typical of cars in its class. AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT – The downside to this car is that it doesn't really seem to be more fuel efficient than most other redesigned vehicles in its class these days. My wife's 2015 Nissan Altima SV actually gets better gas mileage than my car, is a lot more nimble and fun to drive, as well as having an inherently higher degree of overall appeal, practicality, and safety. Speaking of safety, it's acceptable: The Versa earned a crash-test rating of 4 out of 5 stars (see here for more details The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that there have been 1 recall, 1 investigation, and 31 complaints regarding the 2015 Nissan Versa. Apart from safety, the engine (rated at 109 hp and 106 lbs. of torque) could definitely use about 31 to 50 more horses. CONCLUSIONS – I strongly opine that this is a very good (but NOT necessarily a great) car for everyday practical purposes due to its obvious drawbacks. Many of these drawbacks (based on my subjective judgment) depend on what your car needs are, and how much you're personally willing to tolerate in terms of affordability, vehicle classification, desired powertrain, and additional creature comforts. Overall, the 2015 Nissan Versa SL is convenient and reasonably comfortable for everyday use. I give it 4 out of 5 stars (more like 3.5 if I could be precise).

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

Great economy

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

I love my 2015 Nissan Versa SV. It is great on gas. Red and Stylish. It has also been very reliable. Price: 15,000

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

Designed for regret

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

'15 Versa is a poorly designed and manufactured vehicle. It especially suffers from woefully cheap materials, plastics and metal, and poor manufacturing. The suspension is terrible - you will feel every crack, crevice, and pebble in the road. In cold weather, there is noise from the dashboard, windshield, and/or plastics on the outside of the windshield - the noise will drive you nuts (search online). It will become unstable over 65mph unless you have enough weight in the car. Yes, it has a ton of space in the cabin and trunk, but that's air, and the metal is so thin, there's nothing keeping the car on the road. I put 120lbs in the trunk for more stability. Obviously, there is no quality control during manufacturing. It has defects in the paint, headliner cloth, and placement of the windshield. I found 8 screws and fasteners that were not properly tightened. Back to the paper-thin body metal, you can hear pebbles, sand particles, and salt granules hitting the bottom sides of the car - I've never heard this in any other car. It feels so delicate, I'm afraid the slightest nudge or light touch will damage it. It may have a Japanese brand name, but it lacks all Japanese brand qualities. Please, look at other vehicles in this class; you will pay a little more, but you can get a far superior car. The Versa is designed for buyer's regret. Nissan burned their reputation with this car.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

2015 nissan versa bad transmission

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Vehicle: 2015 Nissan Versa

Shoppers beware. I walked into a local Nissan dealership to shop around because I have been getting pre approval letters for an automobile loan, the salesman at Nissan talked me into a 2015 Nissan Versa SV it has 22 miles on it, did not even have the car 24 hours and the transmission had to be completely replaced, yes it was covered under warranty but I have finance that car for almost $18,000 they were unwilling to work with me give me my old car back or give me another car with the transmission did not have to be replaced I'm very unsatisfied and I'm very nervous about this car breaking down again

Edmunds Insurance Estimator

The Edmunds TCO® estimated monthly insurance payment for a 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan in VA is:

$55.58 per month*

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