Nissan Versa

Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa demonstrates that an entry-level "economy car" does not have to be boring or barren of any extras. Available in either a 4-door sedan or a 4-door hatchack known as the Note. The Versa has a roomy interior compared to cars in its class. Its low price tag will appeal to first time buyers, parents buying a car for a child, or anyone looking for basic transportation.


The Versa Sedan offers 4 trims from the standard S to S Plus, SV, and feature-laden SL. The Versa is a compact car but Nissan boasts that with 39.8 inches between the seat and the ceiling the cabin feels open and spacious. The Versa Note, a hatchback series, comes in 3 trim levels: S, S Plus, SV. If you are looking for a used Versa, it first came on the market in 2007 and was totally redesigned for 2012. Antilock brakes were optional until 2010, but add a lot to safety, so check the specs on any car listing to be sure ABS is there. Initially the Versa came with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder. From 2009-2011 base models with the trim name 1.6 were given a smaller 1.6-liter 4-cylinder that produced 107 horsepower with either a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. The 1.6 models are barebones with features (for example, air-conditioning and a radio were options).

The entry-level S model has all of the features you would expect: air conditioning, CD audio system with auxiliary audio input, tachometer and trip computer but you also have an independent strut system that helps keep your ride smooth even on bumpy roads, multi-reflector halogen headlights for a longer, wider light distribution for increased visibility, 14.9 cubic feet of storage space in your trunk, and the choice between a 4 and 6-speed transmission. 

The S Plus comes with an Xtronic CVT for better fuel economy, quicker acceleration, and a smoother performance, a rear spoiler with an LED brake light, and steering wheel-mounted cruise controls.

The SV comes equipped with more exterior upgrades like a chrome-accented grille and outside door handles, dual power, body-colored outside mirrors, remote keyless entry with trunk release, an upgraded trip computer, and silver interior trim accents that give an upscale feel.

The SL provides you with the more modern upgrades like push button ignition, Bluetooth hands-free phone system, a 4.3-inch color displace with SiriusXM capability, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, and a USB connection port. 

The hatchback line has been praised by critics for having a decidedly more exciting look and feel to it—from design and available amenities to the drive. The Note is all new for 2014 and includes some very interesting tech upgrades like the class-exclusive Around View Monitor and hands-free texting and calling with iPhone integration, and both Pandora and Bluetooth streaming capabilities. The Note also includes 38 cubic feet of cargo space and available Divide-N-Hide adjustable floor and fold down back seats. 

The Versa is an economy line so the basic, standard features are all there in both the sedan and hatchback: air conditioning, AM/FM radio with 2 speakers and a CD player, a maximum capacity of 5, a rear window defroster, low tire pressure warning, trip computer, and a tachometer. 


The 2014 Versa sedan and hatchback both received 4 our of 5 stars in Overall rating and side crash, and 3 out of 5 stars in frontal crash and rollover by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Standard safety features include dual front, overhead, dual front side, and occupant sensing airbags, as well as electronic stability and traction control. 


One thing you may notice on the Versa is the PURE DRIVE badge. According to Nissan the 2012 model was the first in North America to wear the PUREDRIVE bade—a demonstration of Nissan’s commitment to creating an eco-friendly vehicle with improved MPG and lower CO2 emissions.