2021 Nissan Versa review: So much for so little

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Basic transportation won’t have to be barebones.   

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The typical new-automobile transaction price tag in the US past year topped $40,000. Which is an astronomical volume of dollars to shell out on an asset that ordinarily depreciates like property values at a superfund web page. But owing a shiny new journey with a factory warranty and a great deal of tech won’t have to go away you a penniless pauper. The 2021 Nissan Versa ($252 at Amazon), for instance, gives so a great deal content material for so minor funds.


  • Unexpectedly comfortable inside
  • A lot of typical characteristics
  • Roomy trunk

Will not Like

  • Tepid performance
  • No centre armrest
  • Sloppy steering

No, there is nothing joyful or exuberant about this scrappy minor four-door. It truly is undoubtedly a perform-dictates-type form of automobile, but the typical devices and total convenience made available are extremely hard to ignore. From the base Versa S to the pinnacle SR, each just one will come typical with computerized emergency braking including pedestrian detection, computerized higher beams, lane-departure warning and even rear computerized braking. Just a handful of decades back, characteristics like these were really hard to come across on luxurious vehicles and they are now typical fare on the most-cost-effective Nissan in The usa. The two greater trims can also be fitted with lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic notify, blind-place monitoring and even adaptive cruise handle. That past amenity is provided in the $400 Advantage Package, which also receives you one-zone computerized temperature handle and heated front seats.

The Versa’s higher-close tech performs amazingly perfectly. The blind-place monitoring process in the SR design I am testing is attentive to bordering traffic and the adaptive cruise handle — even though not as extravagant as Nissan ProPilot Assist, which involves lane centering — is eerily observant, equipped to place other motor vehicles all-around turns and gently slow down so there are no sphincter-puckering incidents on the highway. Its performance is laudable at any price tag, allow by itself in a automobile which is this cost-effective.  

Other amenities consist of a typical seven-inch coloration touchscreen (which, unfortunately, is really washed out, even on overcast days), Bluetooth and three USB ports. Distant keyless entry and pushbutton begin are typical devices, much too. Fancy SR designs are also fitted with LED headlights, an simple-to-use seven-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster display screen and a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel. The Versa’s leading two trims can also be fitted with a Nissan Hook up infotainment process, which involves satellite radio furthermore Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SR variant’s typical 6-speaker seem process is also unexpectedly crisp and apparent.

The Versa’s inside is a pleasurable spot to shell out time. Produced mostly of really hard plastic, the dashboard and door panels however search great and there are gentle surfaces sprinkled during. Both distinction-coloration stitching and seat fabric livens up what could otherwise be a really bleak cabin. The front bucket chairs are supple nonetheless supportive and the backbench is upright and spacious, if a minor restricted on headroom. This automobile nails the principles, but not everything. An armrest concerning the front seats is not typical, leaving the driver and front passenger’s elbows dangling, which could get really tiring on extensive drives. Nissan does, however, offer you a centre armrest with an integrated storage cubby, but it truly is an absurd $320 choice, just one this case in point is not fitted with. Why these kinds of a straightforward function just isn’t typical throughout the board is a true head scratcher.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Will not anticipate fireplace-respiration performance. Sorry, this just isn’t a sporting activities automobile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

When it truly is time to haul baggage, this Nissan’s trunk gives about fifteen cubic toes of area and is equally wide and extensive. For included flexibility, the sixty/40 break up rear backrest folds down for additional capaciousness.

The Versa’s only engine is a 1.6-liter inline-four. With out the aid of any forced induction, its output is modest, just 122 horsepower and 114 pound-toes of torque. As you could think about, it sounds a little bit taxed when laboring, but otherwise feels really sleek for what it is. The acceleration this engine offers is enough, but in selected situations, like when passing dawdling tractor-trailers or merging on to the highway, you will pine for more gusto. In spite of these lackluster quantities, the Versa feels feisty off the line, its throttle suggestion-in is tuned to be borderline jumpy, but whether you are just one-third of the way into the accelerator or flat out, the Versa won’t accelerate any quicker, furthermore its vigor lags at speeds further than about fifty mph. Plan your overtaking maneuvers appropriately.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Purposeful, pleasurable, spacious and comfortable are all adjectives that explain the Versa’s inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A quick-witted consistently variable transmission is typical on the midrange SV and leading-shelf SR designs. It responds effortlessly and immediately to driver inputs, creating the most of the Versa’s accessible horses. Nissan’s D-Stage Logic triggers the CVT to “shift” like a traditional computerized when driven in anger, which lessens droning sounds and that troublesome rubber-band experience endemic to these transmissions. Supplying a welcome little bit of option, the base S quality is accessible with a five-velocity handbook gearbox. It may well be more cost-effective up front, but this three-pedal arrangement sure eats into the Versa’s gas financial state, costing you a whopping five miles per gallon throughout the board. Products fitted with the CVT are rated at 32 mpg metropolis, 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg mixed. In combined use, I am averaging about 38 mpg, which is really stellar contemplating how liberal I am with the fuel.

Other elements of the Versa’s dynamics are mostly likable. The journey good quality is taut nonetheless forgiving, which can make the automobile sense a segment or two larger than it essentially is. No tinniness or fragility is detectable even though driving in excess of ravaged pavement or tough grime roadways, however it does sense a little bit leading-major in corners, with a wisp of physique roll when pushed. Also, wind sounds is pronounced at freeway speeds, however I wouldn’t look at it loud within. Pronounced, yes. Raucous, no.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

The 2021 Nissan Versa is an affordably priced all-star.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Nissan’s largest dynamic weak spot is unquestionably the steering. Mild and laughably limp, it truly is about the most lifeless you will come across in any new automobile accessible today. You will find so minor suggestions, it virtually looks like you are driving a automobile in some movie game relatively than on true roadways, which is unfortunate.

A frills-cost-free Versa with a five-velocity handbook can be had for a skosh less than $16,000 including place fees, which are $950. That full can make this Nissan sedan just one of the most-cost-effective new vehicles you can purchase today, nonetheless in spite of the cut price buff’s price tag tag it even now will come with a surprising volume of driver aids and other creature comforts. Of system, the pinnacle SR design I am reviewing right here is a little bit steeper than that, however not as a great deal as you could anticipate. Together with $395 for Monarch Orange Metallic paint, a Nissan signature hue, and a sprinkle of other choices, it checks out for $21,one hundred fifty five, about fifty percent of what the typical new automobile goes for these days. And even however this Versa is a handful of grand richer, it truly is more comfortable than possibly an entry-stage Chevy Spark and roundly outstanding to the Mitsubishi Mirage. A Honda Healthy, Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio could give this Nissan a operate for its dollars, but that won’t detract from the Versa’s extensive record of virtues. It truly is a great minor automobile for a wonderful price tag.

Rosa G. Rose

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