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#38

in Affordable Small Cars

MSRP: $11,990 - $17,960
Invoice: $11,703 - $17,505
MPG: 27 City / 36 Hwy
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Nissan Versa Review

The 2015 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 2015 Nissan Versa is ranked:

Reviewers say the 2015 Nissan Versa offers a roomy cabin and good gas mileage at a rock-bottom price, but they dislike its no-frills interior and lackluster performance.

Powered by a four-cylinder engine, some auto critics say the 2015 Nissan Versa has acceptable power for the daily commute, though others report that it’s slow to accelerate and feels labored on hills or getting up to highway speeds. A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the base sedan and Versa Note, and a four-speed automatic is optional only on the base sedan. Test drivers note the available continuously variable transmission sounds buzzy during hard acceleration. The 2015 Versa gets its best fuel economy estimates with the CVT, delivering 31/40 mpg city/highway, which is excellent for the class. According to reviewers, the Versa has a comfortable ride. They say that its steering is predictable and the Versa is easy to drive, but most critics agree that its handling is drab, adding that it isn’t nearly as fun to drive as more athletic rivals like the Ford Fiesta or Kia Rio.

The 2015 Nissan Versa has a no-frills cabin that’s fitted with subpar materials, test drivers report. There’s plenty of shoulder- and legroom in the front, though seat comfort diminishes on extended trips, they note. Auto writers agree the Versa’s back seat is roomy for a subcompact car, with ample legroom for two tall passengers. The Versa sedan’s trunk has a great amount of cargo space for the class, while the Versa Note hatchback has a competitive amount of space compared to rivals’ cargo bays. Some reviewers point out that the Versa doesn’t come with as many standard features as rival cars. The 2015 Versa comes standard with Bluetooth, an auxiliary input and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. Available features include power door locks, a USB port, a touch-screen navigation system, smartphone app integration, push-button start, cruise control, satellite radio, a rearview camera, and Nissan's Around View Monitor, which uses multiple cameras to provide a 360-degree view around the vehicle to aid in parking.   

  • "Although visually unremarkable, what makes the Versa so attractive is that it doesn't cost much, holds its value fairly well, delivers excellent fuel economy and has an abundance of space for both passengers and cargo. In fact, the Versa features 90 cu ft. of interior volume. Impressively, there is more rear legroom than in a BMW 5 Series or a Mercedes-Benz E-Class." -- AutoTrader
  • "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." -- Edmunds
  • "Rivals like the Chevrolet Sonic, Ford Fiesta, Kia Rio and Honda Fit are more fun to drive, but none can touch the Versa's starting price." -- Kelley Blue Book
  • "The Versa sedan has been the top-selling subcompact in recent years due to its combination of strong fuel efficiency, excellent interior space and low pricing - in fact, it's the cheapest car on sale in the U.S. Unfortunately, the latter is reflected in the Versa's poor interior quality and mediocre driving dynamics." -- Left Lane News

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Other Cars to Consider

The Chevrolet Spark is a four-seat hatchback that reviewers say has responsive steering and is easy to maneuver and park in tight spaces. Test drivers like the Spark’s cheerful cabin design and think the back seat has enough passenger space for two adults.

Like the Versa, the Kia Rio is available as either a sedan or a hatchback. With the rear seats folded, the Rio hatchback offers substantially more cargo space than the Versa Note. Test drivers say it’s zippy off the line and has precise steering, especially in the sport-tuned SX trim.

Compare the Versa, Spark and Rio »

Details: 2015 Nissan Versa

The 2015 Nissan Versa seats five and comes with front-wheel drive. It’s available in sedan and hatchback (Versa Note) body styles. All models come with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and a five-speed manual transmission. The Versa sedan is available in S, S Plus, SV and SL trims, while the Versa Note comes in S, S Plus and SV trims, as well as SR and SL trims, which are new for 2015. A four-speed automatic is optional on the base sedan, while S Plus and higher trims come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). The Versa sedan was redesigned for 2012, and the Versa Note was introduced for the 2014 model year. Other than some interior and exterior updates, the Versa sees few changes for the 2015 model year. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from the 2012 to 2015 model years.

See 2015 Nissan Versa specs »

Review Last Updated: 7/18/14

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