Initially introduced into the market in 2012, the aging Nissan Versa is an extremely affordable subcompact sedan with a starting price of $12,460. However, the low cost is also very evident in the quality of the vehicle. It's 1.6-liter four-cylinder squeezes out a measly 106 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque, making it one of the most underpowered small sedans on the market. The Versa does offer a spacious interior and above-average trunk capacity, but it is lacking in just about every other area. Even in the top SV trim, the Versa fares extremely poorly with sparse in-house features compared to rivals like the Honda Fit and even the aging Ford Fiesta. With the Versa expecting a redesign for 2020, now might be a good time to get this sedan for an even better deal, but only if the price is your sole concern.
The Nissan Versa, yet again, receives only token changes for the new year. The Special Edition Package for the SV trim offers a few new features, but the basic trims remain unchanged. This lack of any extensive changes could be because the Versa is receiving a comprehensive redesign for 2020.
The Versa has a reputation for being the most affordable new car in the market. Even for a subcompact sedan, it has an extremely low price tag. The base S starts at $12,460, with the S Plus costing $14,600. The top-tier SV is still relatively cheap at $16,090, even though it doesn't offer many improvements. These prices are MSRP and exclude tax, licensing, registrations, and Nissan's $895 destination charge.
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The Versa offers a ride that is as unremarkable as everything else about this sedan. Well, that's not entirely true – the suspension is very forgiving of road imperfections, so at least the ride won't be actively unpleasant. However, don't expect any level of engagement. Despite its tight turning radius and adequate handling, the steering is uncommunicative and the brakes are weak, with a 60-0 mph stopping distance in excess of 140 ft.
While the suspension soaks up most road-caused discomfort, the poorly designed cabin fails to dampen noise, especially from the underpowered engine. Additionally, the Versa lacks any sense of agility or athleticism – but it is determined. Its high-reliability rating isn't unwarranted, and it will get you where you need to go; just don't expect the ride to thrill you.
If all you need from a vehicle is a cheap way to get from point A to point B and no real desire to spend long hours in the vehicle, then yes, the Nissan Versa is a good car. If you want anything more than that, then skip this one over and scope out the rivals on offer instead.
This sedan's engine is one of the weakest in the market and it struggles to move the car, squealing in defiance if you push it even slightly. On the plus side, the Versa handles relatively well but driving it offers no real pleasure. The chassis and suspension absorb bumps really well, but this is countered by an interior that lacks any real comfort or convenience. The infotainment is as basic as it could be and safety features are limited to ABS brakes, traction control, and a rearview camera. There are no real driver assistance features to speak of.
The Versa does offer a pretty spacious interior and excellent cargo capacity, but some rivals like the Honda Fit offer even more, as well as outperforming in almost every other regard. Overall, the Versa gives you precisely what you pay for at its dirt-cheap price. But, for just a tiny bit more, you can actually get a decent vehicle.
The Nissan Versa is an extremely affordable car, even at its top trim level. Since the lower trims are almost bare of features, it makes sense to opt for the SV trim. As this particular version of the Versa is reaching the end of its life, with the model due for a redesign in 2020, it might be possible to get an even better deal from dealerships wanting to move stock, so aiming for the top trim might be cheaper than you think.
When it comes to choosing between the Versa and Sentra, it really comes down to which vehicle makes it to the average benchmark in most departments. Interior space is mostly the same, but sadly so is quality, with neither car matching up to segment standards. The Sentra does look a bit better on the outside, at least. The larger Sentra also offers a stronger 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine producing 124 hp and 125 lb-ft, but don't expect it to wow you much more than the Versa's. In terms of features, the Sentra has the upper hand here, offering better safety and infotainment without needing to choose the top trim levels. With a price difference of only around $5,000, the Sentra is still considered a pretty affordable buy. While it may not be the best buy on the market, the Sentra is better than the Versa in just about every regard.
Comparing the Honda Fit to the Nissan Versa is like comparing a BMW X3 to a Ford EcoSport… it's a no-brainer. The Honda Fit leads the subcompact segment while the Nissan Versa is just happy to be in the mix. The Fit handles very well, and it's 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is much more efficient, even though it offers only slightly better output at 130 hp and 114 lb-ft. With a much higher-quality interior that handles noise and road imperfections expertly, the Honda Fit is a pleasure to drive around town. You will struggle to find a subcompact that offers more pep than this. It's only real shortcoming is its slightly disappointing infotainment offering. Still, with a starting price tag of $16,190, the Honda Fit is the go-to car for an affordable and enjoyable subcompact – although it is a hatchback, not a sedan.
The most popular competitors of 2019 Nissan Versa Sedan: