2021 Nissan Versa review: So much for so little

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Primary transportation would not have to be barebones.   

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The average new-motor vehicle transaction price in the US last year topped $forty,000. That is an astronomical amount of money of cash to devote on an asset that usually depreciates like home values at a superfund site. But owing a shiny new journey with a manufacturing unit guarantee and a great deal of tech would not have to go away you a penniless pauper. The 2021 Nissan Versa ($270 at Amazon), for occasion, presents so much content material for so tiny money.


  • Unexpectedly comfortable interior
  • A good deal of regular attributes
  • Roomy trunk

Do not Like

  • Tepid performance
  • No middle armrest
  • Sloppy steering

No, there is very little joyful or exuberant about this scrappy tiny 4-doorway. It really is absolutely a perform-dictates-type sort of automobile, but the regular tools and total convenience supplied are unachievable to overlook. From the foundation Versa S to the pinnacle SR, each one arrives regular with computerized emergency braking including pedestrian detection, computerized significant beams, lane-departure warning and even rear computerized braking. Just a handful of a long time ago, attributes like these had been challenging to locate on luxurious automobiles and they’re now regular fare on the most-affordable Nissan in The us. The two bigger trims can also be equipped with lane-departure warning, rear cross-targeted visitors warn, blind-spot checking and even adaptive cruise manage. That last amenity is bundled in the $four hundred Ease Package deal, which also gets you single-zone computerized temperature manage and heated front seats.

The Versa’s significant-finish tech performs incredibly nicely. The blind-spot checking method in the SR design I’m tests is attentive to bordering targeted visitors and the adaptive cruise manage — even though not as fancy as Nissan ProPilot Help, which includes lane centering — is eerily observant, in a position to spot other motor vehicles about turns and carefully slow down so there are no sphincter-puckering incidents on the highway. Its performance is laudable at any price, allow by itself in a automobile which is this affordable.  

Other features contain a regular seven-inch coloration touchscreen (which, regretably, is very washed out, even on overcast times), Bluetooth and three USB ports. Distant keyless entry and pushbutton commence are regular tools, also. Fancy SR styles are also equipped with LED headlights, an easy-to-use seven-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster display screen and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Versa’s major two trims can also be equipped with a Nissan Link infotainment method, which includes satellite radio moreover Apple CarPlay and Android Car. The SR variant’s regular 6-speaker sound method is also unexpectedly crisp and clear.

The Versa’s interior is a enjoyable place to devote time. Produced mostly of challenging plastic, the dashboard and doorway panels however search fantastic and there are gentle surfaces sprinkled through. Both equally distinction-coloration stitching and seat fabric livens up what could normally be a very bleak cabin. The front bucket chairs are supple nevertheless supportive and the backbench is upright and spacious, if a tiny tight on headroom. This automobile nails the fundamental principles, but not almost everything. An armrest between the front seats is not regular, leaving the driver and front passenger’s elbows dangling, which could get very tiring on prolonged drives. Nissan does, nevertheless, present a middle armrest with an built-in storage cubby, but it really is an absurd $320 option, one this case in point is not equipped with. Why such a uncomplicated aspect is just not regular throughout the board is a authentic head scratcher.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Do not expect fire-respiration performance. Sorry, this is just not a sports activities automobile.

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When it really is time to haul luggage, this Nissan’s trunk presents about fifteen cubic toes of room and is both equally wide and prolonged. For added flexibility, the sixty/forty split rear backrest folds down for further capaciousness.

The Versa’s only engine is a 1.six-liter inline-4. With out the aid of any forced induction, its output is modest, just 122 horsepower and 114 pound-toes of torque. As you could consider, it sounds a little bit taxed when laboring, but normally feels very clean for what it is. The acceleration this engine delivers is ample, but in selected predicaments, like when passing dawdling tractor-trailers or merging on to the highway, you may pine for much more gusto. In spite of all those lackluster numbers, the Versa feels feisty off the line, its throttle tip-in is tuned to be borderline jumpy, but no matter if you’re one-3rd of the way into the accelerator or flat out, the Versa would not accelerate any more rapidly, moreover its vigor lags at speeds outside of about fifty mph. Program your overtaking maneuvers accordingly.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

Purposeful, enjoyable, spacious and comfortable are all adjectives that explain the Versa’s interior.

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A fast-witted continuously variable transmission is regular on the midrange SV and major-shelf SR styles. It responds smoothly and instantly to driver inputs, building the most of the Versa’s obtainable horses. Nissan’s D-Step Logic triggers the CVT to “change” like a standard computerized when pushed in anger, which minimizes droning sounds and that aggravating rubber-band feeling endemic to these transmissions. Offering a welcome little bit of preference, the foundation S quality is obtainable with a 5-speed guide gearbox. It might be much more affordable up front, but this three-pedal arrangement confident eats into the Versa’s fuel financial system, costing you a whopping 5 miles for every gallon throughout the board. Types equipped with the CVT are rated at 32 mpg town, forty mpg highway and 35 mpg put together. In combined use, I’m averaging about 38 mpg, which is very stellar considering how liberal I am with the gasoline.

Other factors of the Versa’s dynamics are mostly likable. The journey top quality is taut nevertheless forgiving, which would make the automobile come to feel a segment or two bigger than it basically is. No tinniness or fragility is detectable even though driving in excess of ravaged pavement or rough dust streets, however it does come to feel a little bit major-major in corners, with a wisp of overall body roll when pushed. Also, wind sound is pronounced at freeway speeds, however I would not consider it loud within. Pronounced, sure. Raucous, no.

2021 Nissan Versa SR

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

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This Nissan’s most significant dynamic weak point is unquestionably the steering. Gentle and laughably limp, it really is about the most lifeless you may locate in any new automobile obtainable nowadays. You will find so tiny comments, it virtually would seem like you’re driving a automobile in some online video video game fairly than on authentic streets, which is unfortunate.

A frills-no cost Versa with a 5-speed guide can be had for a skosh a lot less than $sixteen,000 including location costs, which are $950. That overall would make this Nissan sedan one of the most-affordable new automobiles you can get nowadays, nevertheless despite the discount buff’s price tag it nonetheless arrives with a stunning amount of money of driver aids and other creature comforts. Of program, the pinnacle SR design I’m reviewing in this article is a little bit steeper than that, however not as much as you could expect. Together with $395 for Monarch Orange Metallic paint, a Nissan signature hue, and a sprinkle of other choices, it checks out for $21,a hundred and fifty five, about 50 % of what the average new motor vehicle goes for these times. And even however this Versa is a handful of grand richer, it really is much more comfortable than both an entry-stage Chevy Spark and roundly top-quality to the Mitsubishi Mirage. A Honda In shape, Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio could give this Nissan a run for its cash, but that would not detract from the Versa’s prolonged checklist of virtues. It really is a fantastic tiny automobile for a excellent price.