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2008 Nissan Versa

Overview
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2008 Nissan Versa Review

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Several automakers, including Nissan, foresee a comeback in entry-level compact cars, triggered largely by rising fuel prices. "For the first time in many years," said a Nissan senior marketing manager, many shoppers are "giving serious consideration" to smaller automobiles. These marketing folks detect a "void" in the sub-$14,000 price range, noting that a new generation of young people, known as "echo boomers," will reach driving age soon. Billed as a "no-compromise" value-priced offering that reaches beyond basic amenities, the company promises class-leading horsepower and torque, along with generous interior space, for its newest entrant, the 2008 Nissan Versa.

You'll Like This Car If...

The Versa leads the small-car pack in spaciousness, which is worth considering if you carry passengers in the back seat. Standing tall in both dimensions and refinement, it may also tempt those who appreciate the smoothness of a CVT, which promises 33 miles per gallon on the highway (according to EPA fuel-economy estimates).

You May Not Like This Car If...

Nissan's hatchback might not satisfy you if you need to fit three full-size occupants into the rear, but that's common for entry-level compacts. If you like anti-lock braking but don't want to pay extra for it, it's an option on the Versa, not standard equipment.

What's Significant About This Car?

The Sport Package is now available on the Versa Sedan SL, while cruise control is made available on S trims.

Driving the Versa

Driving Impressions Nissan's Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) is as smooth as they come. Almost no engine noise is noticeable in ordinary driving and you hear only a tolerable light snarl during...

hard acceleration. The Versa's acceleration rivals that of competitors with conventional automatics, although, like most small cars, it's not particularly quick going up hills. Reacting capably on curvy roads, it feels quite confident in the corners and exhibits good stability on expressways. Although the well-controlled ride is pleasant on good surfaces, on rougher roads the occupants may feel a lot of surface imperfections, but few will be particularly troubling. The instrument panel has deep-set gauges that are easy to read.

Rear-Seat Space:
Not too many larger cars are as easy to get into and out of, and as spacious for knees and feet, as the Versa. Rear-seat riders can expect real comfort, without asking to push the front seats too far forward.

Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT):
Nissan has been a leader in CVT installations, which substitute a belt and twin variable-diameter pulleys for the usual gears. The result is exceptionally smooth, linear and rewarding operation—once the driver gets accustomed to the fact that no gear changes will be taking place.

2008 Nissan Versa Details
2008 Nissan Versa photo Interior

The Versa provides considerably more knee and foot space than many larger automobiles, and front and rear headroom are also abundant. Seats that are close to "chair-height" give impressive comfort, and double French-seam stitching on the upholstery is but one indicator of careful attention to detail. The compact rear suspension results in a low, flat cargo floor, and the front seats are nearly as large as a Maxima's. As in so many smaller cars, the center rear seating position is not the most comfortable.

Exterior

The tidy Versa succeeds at not being boxy or bland. Taller and more upright in stance than most small cars, the Versa is exceptionally easy to enter. You can see at a glance that the passenger compartment takes up much of the car's length, the back doors are particularly long and the windshield is about as far forward as possible. Five-door hatchbacks excel in versatility, but may not be popular with everyone. Some shoppers might prefer the Versa sedan.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Every 2008 Nissan Versa is equipped with seat- and roof-mounted curtain side-impact airbags, a tire-pressure monitor system, electric power steering and an engine immobilizer. The basic S model includes 15-inch steel wheels with full covers, power body-colored mirrors, a cargo cover (hatchback only), 60/40 split-folding rear seat, 120-watt CD stereo, air conditioning and tilt steering wheel. The SL version adds a 180-watt stereo with six-CD changer, 15-inch alloy wheels, six-way manual driver's seat, rear center armrest, remote keyless entry and power windows and locks.

Optional Equipment

Anti-lock braking (ABS) is optional for all models. A total of six option groups are divided between the two trims. A Power Package and cruise control are available on the S models, while an Audio Package for SL hatchbacks includes a Rockford Fosgate-powered subwoofer. SL models can also be equipped with a Convenience Package that adds Intelligent Key entry, Bluetooth hand-free phone operation and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio switches. The Sport Package includes a rear roof spoiler, side-sill extensions, front and rear chin spoilers and fog lights. A choice of XM or SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and a moonroof, are linked together as available options on the SL trim level.

Under the Hood

For the U.S. market, Nissan's 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine has been specially tuned for stronger low-end torque. Three transmissions are available: A six-speed manual, four-speed automatic and the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). As production increases, the CVT is expected to oust the four-speed automatic as an alternative to a manual gearbox. In the SL trim level, a four-speed automatic will not be offered at all. The CVT incorporates a virtual low range, for long, steep hills and heavier pulling.

1.8-liter in-line 4
122 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
127 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/31 (manual), 24/32 (automatic), 27/33 (CVT automatic)

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2008 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 498 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.9/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

fun

By on Tuesday, May 19, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "fun, reliable, comfortable"

Cons: "economy is so, so"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This has been an excellent, peppy, and very fun car to drive with a lot of versatility. Economy has been disappointing at 28-33MPG. I am only selling because I have retired and my wife and I have no need for 3 vehicles."

Excellent price value product

By on Thursday, May 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 42,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent all around"

Cons: "None. Great buy for the price."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Exceeds expectations for a small car. Convenient storage and item retrieval; comfortable passenger and driver compartment. Dashboard convenient. Pick-up surprisingly very good for a small engine. Smooth transmission shifting. Highway ride comfortable up to 90 MPH. Gas: HWY at 65 mph = 36mpg. In town driving 24.5 mph."

everything good with one complaint

By on Monday, April 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "does what it is supposed to do"

Cons: "sun roof drainage problems"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"The car does basically what it was supposed to. Somewhat economical and reliable. We originally bought it for my wife to use to get around town. We enjoyed it so much that we have taken it on long trips that we usually use my Camry for. One major complaint I have is the sunroof drainage. Somehow they designed the car with a drain hole for the water around the sunroof instead of making the roof airtight. This drainage system clogs periodically and I have to go to my mechanic to shoot a blast of compressed air into the hole to clear the clog. Amazing"

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Good car with reservations.

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 39,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "Has good pickup and handles well. Good size."

Cons: ""Bumpy" - you 'over-feel' every bump in the road."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

Nissan Versa hatchback, 2011

"Bought used, low mileage. Looks great, drives great but has a "hard ride" - i.e., every road bump is felt. Cabin storage needs more space."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Nissan Versa hatchback, 2011

very comfortable & easy to drive

By on Saturday, April 11, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 35,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "very peppy; easy to drive"

Cons: "don't like where cup holders are"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have been very satisfied with my Versa Hatchback;The only reason I am considering making a change is I want a few more of the safety features offered on the new models & a few more bells & whistles. I will also want all wheel drive & just a little higher off the ground."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

You get what you pay for

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 79,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "great price, cute car"

Cons: "cheaply made"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Have owned this car for four years(bought it new in 2011). Was purchased mainly as a commuter car for my husband. The first year was fine. When the second summer rolled around the air conditioning went out. Had it fixed and it went out again the third summer. The fourth summer is here and guess what the air conditioner has gone out again...and you can't live in the deep south without an air conditioner.The repairs each time have been expensive...if we had put that money into the original purchase we could have gotten a better car of better quality. This is the 5th car we have bought since we have been married and the only one that has had to repeatedly go back to the shop. Googled the air conditioning issue and found out it was not only a problem for other Versa owners but also a problem for the Nissan line (at least according to the consumers) Now looking to trade it."

7 people out of 9 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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