Nissan Versa Review
The 2013 Nissan Versa ranks 40 out of 43 Affordable Small Cars. This ranking is based on our analysis of 33 published reviews and test drives of the Nissan Versa, and our analysis of reliability and safety data.
The 2013 Nissan Versa pleases test drivers with its spacious interior, large trunk and low base price. However, they also say that the Versa falters with a low-buck interior and bland performance.
If you're checking out the 2013 Nissan Versa, there are three important takeaways: It has a low base price, high fuel economy ratings and a below-average safety score. The 2013 Nissan Versa has a four-cylinder engine that most reviewers say provides adequate power. The base Versa comes with a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic, while all other models come with a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Reviewers agree that the CVT is well-matched to the engine, delivering smooth, if not overwhelming, power to the front wheels. The Versa also gets its best fuel economy estimates with the CVT, delivering an EPA-estimated 31/40 mpg city/highway. Test drivers don’t consider the Versa fun to drive, but many reviewers say that its performance is acceptable given the Versa’s low base price. Some test drivers say that the Versa leans in fast corners more than they’d like, but they also note that its strong brakes and tight turning radius make it an easy car to drive.
Reviewers agree that the 2013 Versa has a basic interior, and while some critics consider it price-appropriate, others say that they’re let down by its cheap plastic surfaces. On the upside, most reviewers are pleased with the Versa’s spacious cabin, which features a roomy back seat and a large trunk. The front seats also offer plenty of head- and legroom. One reviewer notes that a 6’6” passenger was comfortable in the Versa’s passenger seat. The base Versa is sparsely equipped, and comes with fewer features than most cars in the class. A two-speaker stereo with an auxiliary input jack and air conditioning are standard, while options and features available on higher trims include a backup camera, navigation, Bluetooth, keyless entry, push-button start, power windows and door locks, cruise control and an upgraded stereo with satellite radio and a USB port.
- "Regardless of economy, buyers can be secure in the knowledge that they won't have a very good car-the Versa finished a quite-distant sixth out of sixth in our most recent small-car comparo." -- Car and Driver
- "Modest acceleration and some obvious cost cutting are disappointing, but those negatives are balanced by the car's fine road manners." -- Consumer Guide
- "Not only is the 2013 Versa the roomiest car in its class, it remains the least-expensive new car you can buy, even with this year's price increase. Add in fuel economy of up to 40 mpg, and the Versa looks even more sensible." -- Kelley Blue Book
- "While the car's styling isn't particularly memorable, buyers will appreciate the roomy interior, low starting price and fuel efficiency." -- Cars.com
Other Cars to Consider
The Ford Fiesta doesn’t have as much back-seat space as the Versa, but reviewers love its high-quality interior and comfortable front seats. Test drivers also appreciate the Fiesta’s agile handling and smooth-shifting manual transmission, which may make it a more fun-to-drive option.
Auto writers say that the Hyundai Accent has comfortable seats, front and rear, just like the Versa. The Accent also offers good cargo space and more standard features, which include a USB port and satellite radio.
Details: 2013 Nissan Versa
The 2013 Nissan Versa seats five and comes with front-wheel drive. 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 model. All higher trims come with a CVT. The 2013 Versa is available in four trims: S (base), S Plus, SV and SL. Each trim adds to the Versa’s list of interior features and upgrades some interior materials. For 2013, the Versa sees some minor trim shuffling and new feature content. The base model loses its CVT option and replaces it with a four-speed automatic, the SL trim adds push-button start and the SL Tech package now includes a backup camera. Fuel economy also improves slightly in models equipped with the CVT, which now feature a rear spoiler. These updates aside, the Versa is basically unchanged since its 2012 redesign. As a result, this overview uses applicable research and reviews from 2012 and 2013.
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