2021 Nissan Versa review: So much for so little

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Primary transportation won’t have to be barebones.   

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The common new-vehicle transaction price tag in the US very last yr topped $40,000. That’s an astronomical total of revenue to expend on an asset that generally depreciates like property values at a superfund web page. But owing a shiny new experience with a manufacturing facility warranty and a good deal of tech won’t have to go away you a penniless pauper. The 2021 Nissan Versa ($270 at Amazon), for occasion, features so much articles for so very little dollars.

Table of Contents


  • Unexpectedly comfortable interior
  • Loads of common capabilities
  • Roomy trunk

You should not Like

  • Tepid performance
  • No centre armrest
  • Sloppy steering

No, there’s absolutely nothing joyful or exuberant about this scrappy very little four-door. It truly is surely a perform-dictates-kind form of vehicle, but the common tools and over-all convenience available are unachievable to ignore. From the base Versa S to the pinnacle SR, every one will come common with automated emergency braking which includes pedestrian detection, automated large beams, lane-departure warning and even rear automated braking. Just a couple of decades ago, capabilities like these have been really hard to uncover on luxurious autos and they are now common fare on the most-economical Nissan in The us. The two increased trims can also be fitted with lane-departure warning, rear cross-targeted visitors warn, blind-location checking and even adaptive cruise management. That very last amenity is included in the $four hundred Usefulness Offer, which also receives you solitary-zone automated temperature management and heated entrance seats.

The Versa’s large-finish tech performs astonishingly very well. The blind-location checking technique in the SR model I am tests is attentive to bordering targeted visitors and the adaptive cruise management — whilst not as fancy as Nissan ProPilot Aid, which consists of lane centering — is eerily observant, in a position to location other vehicles all-around turns and gently gradual down so there are no sphincter-puckering incidents on the freeway. Its performance is laudable at any price tag, allow alone in a vehicle that’s this economical.  

Other amenities include things like a common seven-inch coloration touchscreen (which, however, is very washed out, even on overcast days), Bluetooth and 3 USB ports. Remote keyless entry and pushbutton commence are common tools, too. Extravagant SR versions are also fitted with LED headlights, an straightforward-to-use seven-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster exhibit and a leather-based-wrapped steering wheel. The Versa’s leading two trims can also be fitted with a Nissan Join infotainment technique, which consists of satellite radio additionally Apple CarPlay and Android Automobile. The SR variant’s common six-speaker sound technique is also unexpectedly crisp and distinct.

The Versa’s interior is a enjoyable position to expend time. Created mainly of really hard plastic, the dashboard and door panels however look superior and there are gentle surfaces sprinkled throughout. The two distinction-coloration stitching and seat fabric livens up what could if not be a very bleak cabin. The entrance bucket chairs are supple nonetheless supportive and the backbench is upright and roomy, if a very little tight on headroom. This vehicle nails the basics, but not almost everything. An armrest among the entrance seats is not common, leaving the driver and entrance passenger’s elbows dangling, which could get very tiring on long drives. Nissan does, nonetheless, offer a centre armrest with an integrated storage cubby, but it can be an absurd $320 choice, one this example is not fitted with. Why these kinds of a very simple feature just isn’t common throughout the board is a serious head scratcher.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

You should not anticipate hearth-respiratory performance. Sorry, this just isn’t a sports vehicle.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

When it can be time to haul luggage, this Nissan’s trunk features about 15 cubic feet of place and is the two wide and long. For included versatility, the sixty/40 break up rear backrest folds down for additional capaciousness.

The Versa’s only engine is a 1.six-liter inline-4. With out the aid of any compelled induction, its output is modest, just 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. As you could possibly think about, it seems a little bit taxed when laboring, but if not feels very clean for what it is. The acceleration this engine offers is enough, but in particular circumstances, like when passing dawdling tractor-trailers or merging on to the freeway, you can expect to pine for much more gusto. Even with these lackluster numbers, the Versa feels feisty off the line, its throttle tip-in is tuned to be borderline jumpy, but irrespective of whether you happen to be one-third of the way into the accelerator or flat out, the Versa won’t speed up any more rapidly, additionally its vigor lags at speeds beyond about 50 mph. Plan your overtaking maneuvers appropriately.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Functional, enjoyable, roomy and comfortable are all adjectives that describe the Versa’s interior.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A fast-witted constantly variable transmission is common on the midrange SV and leading-shelf SR versions. It responds smoothly and instantly to driver inputs, earning the most of the Versa’s offered horses. Nissan’s D-Stage Logic brings about the CVT to “shift” like a standard automated when pushed in anger, which decreases droning seems and that annoying rubber-band experience endemic to these transmissions. Offering a welcome little bit of option, the base S quality is offered with a five-pace manual gearbox. It may well be much more economical up entrance, but this 3-pedal arrangement positive eats into the Versa’s fuel financial system, costing you a whopping five miles per gallon throughout the board. Models fitted with the CVT are rated at 32 mpg city, 40 mpg freeway and 35 mpg mixed. In mixed use, I am averaging about 38 mpg, which is very stellar contemplating how liberal I am with the fuel.

Other features of the Versa’s dynamics are mainly likable. The experience high-quality is taut nonetheless forgiving, which tends to make the vehicle really feel a section or two larger than it in fact is. No tinniness or fragility is detectable whilst driving about ravaged pavement or rough dust streets, however it does really feel a little bit leading-heavy in corners, with a wisp of overall body roll when pushed. Also, wind sound is pronounced at freeway speeds, however I wouldn’t take into account it loud inside. Pronounced, certainly. Raucous, no.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

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

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Nissan’s major dynamic weak spot is unquestionably the steering. Gentle and laughably limp, it can be about the most lifeless you can expect to uncover in any new vehicle offered nowadays. You can find so very little comments, it pretty much appears to be like you happen to be driving a vehicle in some video sport alternatively than on serious streets, which is unlucky.

A frills-free of charge Versa with a five-pace manual can be had for a skosh much less than $16,000 which includes location charges, which are $950. That total tends to make this Nissan sedan one of the most-economical new autos you can buy nowadays, nonetheless irrespective of the deal buff’s price tag tag it however will come with a stunning total of driver aids and other creature comforts. Of study course, the pinnacle SR model I am reviewing in this article is a little bit steeper than that, however not as much as you could possibly anticipate. Such as $395 for Monarch Orange Metallic paint, a Nissan signature hue, and a sprinkle of other alternatives, it checks out for $21,155, about fifty percent of what the common new vehicle goes for these days. And even however this Versa is a couple of grand richer, it can be much more comfortable than both an entry-amount Chevy Spark and roundly outstanding to the Mitsubishi Mirage. A Honda Healthy, Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio could possibly give this Nissan a run for its revenue, but that won’t detract from the Versa’s long listing of virtues. It truly is a superior very little vehicle for a terrific price tag.