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#38

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $11,990 - $16,890
Invoice: $11,703 - $16,465
MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy
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Nissan Versa Review

The 2014 Nissan Versa ranks 38 out of 40 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Versa, as well as reliability and safety data.

The 2014 Nissan Versa is ranked:

A spacious cabin and bargain-basement price make the Nissan Versa a tempting choice, reviewers say, yet rival cars outshine the Versa with more standard features, better performance and higher safety scores.

Test drivers say the 2014 Nissan Versa’s four-cylinder engine offers power that’s adequate around town. However, they say that the Versa struggles when passing on the highway. Base models are equipped with a five-speed manual transmission while higher trims have a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which some reviewers say is slow to respond when more power is needed. The Versa gets its best fuel economy with the CVT, delivering an EPA-estimated 31/40 mpg city/highway, which is good for the class. It may not be much fun to drive, reviewers say, but the Versa offers predictable handling and a quiet, comfortable ride. The 2014 Versa has one of the lowest safety scores in the class.

The Versa’s cabin is extremely basic and made with cheap-looking plastic materials, reviewers say. Most agree that the Versa has one of the roomiest cabins in the class with enough leg- and headroom in the back seat to comfortably accommodate tall passengers. The Versa comes standard with a two-speaker CD audio system and an auxiliary input. Buyers have to upgrade to get Bluetooth or a USB port, which are features that come standard in many rivals. Additional options include a multi-view camera, navigation, keyless entry, push-button start, power windows and door locks, cruise control, an upgraded stereo with satellite radio and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Reviewers write that the Versa offers legible gauges and clearly marked controls that are logically-placed, and some appreciate that the Versa is available with features like keyless access, push-button start and a rearview camera.

  • "The 2014 Nissan Versa Note hardly revolutionizes the segment, but it is a solid, satisfying evolution of this B-segment competitor. Are there more entertaining or versatile subcompact hatchbacks on the market? Certainly, but the 2014 Versa Note's combination of poise, price, and packaging will undoubtedly resonate with buyers." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "Power can feel meager at higher speeds and interior materials don't impress, but if interior room, cargo space, and high fuel economy are tops on your list, the Versa Note is a must-see." -- Consumer Guide
  • “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
  • "Consider the Nissan Versa the Toyota Camry of subcompacts: uninspiring, but a best seller. For the majority of buyers, that lack of spirit won't matter enough to negate the Versa's many positive aspects. Not only is the 2014 Versa Sedan the roomiest car in its class, it remains the least-expensive new car you can buy, with its $12,780 starting price unchanged from last year. Add in fuel economy of up to 40 mpg, and the Versa looks even more sensible." -- Kelley Blue Book

Other Cars to Consider

The Toyota Yaris gets good gas mileage for the class, and reviewers say that the Yaris is easy to maneuver around town. Plus, the Yaris comes with more standard features, including Bluetooth phone and music streaming and a USB port.

The Ford Fiesta also comes in sedan and hatchback styles and test drivers say it has one of the nicest interiors in the class, with upscale materials and a lot of available features. They also say that exceptional handling makes the Fiesta a particularly fun-to-drive subcompact car.

Compare the Versa, Yaris and Fiesta »

Details: 2014 Nissan Versa

The 2014 Nissan Versa seats five and comes with front-wheel drive. It’s available as a sedan, or the Versa Note hatchback, which is new for 2014. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission are standard, while a four-speed automatic transmission is optional on the base sedan. All higher trims come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Versa sedan is available in four trims: S, S Plus, SV and SL. The Versa Note hatchback is available in the S, S Plus and SV trims. The Versa was redesigned for the 2012 model year, and aside from the addition of the Versa Note, the Versa sees few changes for the 2014 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012, 2013 and 2014.

See the full 2014 Nissan Versa specs »

Review Last Updated: 12/12/13

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