2018 Nissan Versa

2018 Nissan Versa Review

The Versa is big, its ride is comfy, and it doesn't cost a lot of money.
author
by James Riswick
Edmunds Editor

Edmunds expert review

The 2018 Nissan Versa offers a huge back seat and trunk, a comfy ride and good fuel economy. It's also one of the least expensive cars around, at least in base form. If you're a driver for Lyft or Uber, a Versa could very well be an ideal car. But if you're car shopping isn't based on such obvious commercial reasons, the Versa stops making as much sense.

The Versa's base trim level provides so little equipment we think most car shoppers are going to want the SV trim level and its Special Edition package. That raises the price to a point more typical of the subcompact class. And when the Versa is compared to similarly priced rivals, its appeal dims considerably.

That's because Versa is innocuously styled, boring to drive, and has a low-rent cabin that will never let you forget how little you paid. Competitors are more stylish, better-equipped and enjoyable to drive. So while there is certainly something to be said for getting a big-car interior for not much money, we think shopping around a bit is a good idea before settling on this über Uber car.



What's new for 2018

The Versa SL trim has been discontinued. As a result, keyless ignition and entry, navigation and 16-inch alloy wheels are no longer available. Also getting the ax is the base trim level's four-speed automatic transmission option. It won't be missed. Partway through the model year, a rearview camera, a 7-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth phone and audio compatibility, and a USB port were added to the standard features list on designated 2018.5 models.

We recommend

We think it would be hard to live without the extras provided by the SV trim level as well as the SV's Special Edition package content (especially the USB port, rearview camera and height-adjustable driver seat). Basically, buy as much Versa as you can afford.



Trim levels & features

The 2018 Nissan Versa is a subcompact sedan available in S, S Plus and SV trim levels. There is also a Versa Note hatchback, but there are a number of significant differences and we review it separately. Every Versa sedan comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine (109 horsepower, 107 pound-feet of torque). The base S trim comes only with a five-speed manual transmission, and the S Plus and SV come only with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT).

Standard equipment on the base S includes 15-inch steel wheels, power mirrors, manual locks and crank windows, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.

The S Plus adds an automatic transmission, cruise control and a rear spoiler.

The SV trim adds upgraded cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver seat, a driver-seat armrest, a 60/40-split folding back seat, power locks and windows, keyless entry, a USB port, and a media player interface for the sound system. The SV's Special Edition package adds 15-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, a rearview camera, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth audio streaming, satellite radio and a 5-inch touchscreen interface.

Partway through the model year (designated 2018.5 by Nissan), all Versas received a rearview camera and an updated infotainment system as standard equipment. The new 7-inch touchscreen features Bluetooth phone and audio support, a USB port, and voice commands via Apple's Siri Eyes Free program for iPhone users.



Driving

The Versa is a bland car to drive. It's slow to accelerate and feels soft and disconnected when you're driving around turns. It also gets noisy because of the droning engine caused by the continuously variable transmission. There isn't much good to say.

Comfort

The Versa has a soft, springy ride that soaks up bumps quite well. Seat comfort is hampered by a lack of adjustability. And interior noise is excessive when accelerating aggressively due to the underpowered engine and the CVT.

Interior

The Versa has a big back seat and it's easy to see out of, but that's about all that's good. The driving position suffers from lack of standard height adjustability and steering-wheel telescoping. Visibility is expansive. The quality of interior materials is subpar.

Utility

Its 14.9-cubic-foot trunk challenges those of midsize sedans for space. It's enormous for a subcompact sedan. A folding rear seatback is found only in the SV. Small-item storage is poor apart from a big glovebox.

Technology

Tech is pretty much restricted to a rearview camera, a USB port, Bluetooth streaming audio and a touchscreen. No accident avoidance tech is available.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.