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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)

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

Buying this car?

2008 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 464 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.5/10
  • Comfort
    8.7/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Great Car Overall: Body of the car is flimsy

By on Friday, July 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Cost, Reliability, Ride, Handling"

Cons: "Body, small cup holders, width"

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

"2010 Nissan Versa: bought this car to replace Grand Marquis that broke down with only 30K miles. I have 60K miles on this Nissan and have had '0' mechanical issues. I had a 1991 Nissan Versa and put 100K miles on it in 3-years w/out any issues. Nissan's have been reliable and great value for your money. Even for a small sedan this vehicle is a pleasure to drive and my kids (x4) love to ride in it. Nissan's even come with a spare tire which in this time of companies skimping back is a plus especially when you get a flat (which we did). There is allot of power with this car to the point that sometime there is more power in comparison to acceleration (then the transmission can handle). The body of the car is flimsy and susceptible to easily being damaged. The front and sides crumples easily in light impacts."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Fits me perfectly!

By on Sunday, June 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 29,650

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: "Handles well and is economical to drive."

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

"I wasn't too sure I would like the Versa after having the Sentra for so many years, but I believe I like it better. The only thing I really don't like is that the middle arm rest in the front doesn't come forward enough for short people like me. Otherwise, I am extremely happy with it!"

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

the versa is rock steady on the road.

By on Friday, June 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 14,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "as above"

Cons: "as above"

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

"versa is a delight to drive. holds the road like velcro. incredible leg room in front, and back. my only issue is the rear shocks or the suspension. wish it was more comfortable when going over bumps/humps. love the car has a blast driving it on the freeway. does great on mileage. am almost sixty, but behind the wheel i become a early twenties young man.love this car. i had a 1993 altima which held the road just like this one. love this car."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

most reliable car I've ever owned...

By on Monday, April 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

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
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "love the front wheel drive and cvt is great!"

Cons: "does have some road noise"

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

"Had new plugs put in at 90,000 miles; mechanic said the engine still looked like new and needs no additonal work. This has been the most reliable car I've ever owned! Drove it to work 50 miles round-trip every day ..... no problems! Even drove like a champ on ice...."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

good for the money

By on Monday, April 07, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "roomy interior, fuel efficient, reliable"

Cons: "noisy interior, flimpsy exterior dents easy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"Very reliable small car. No mechanical problems with just regular maintenance. It has a noisy interior and if you're caught by a strong wind, hang on! If you might get in a major accident, chose something sturdier. Fuel efficiency is great and easy to squeeze/park in the crowded city. The interior is very spacious and 4 people can ride long distance comfortably."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

First foriegn car

By on Sunday, April 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,100

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "handles great, fun to drive in the country"

Cons: "windows weren't child proof"

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

"I usually buy American made but my son took me for a drive in his car and it was a smooth ride. I can put my scooter in the back and it's easy to get it in and out because of the size of the compartment behind the back seats, the hatchback makes it so easy. I get great miliage sometimes as much as 340 miles a tank, depending on where I'm driving and if it's on the thruway, country roads, or city driving. The only thing I didn't like was the windows were child proof and my dog rolled the window down and jumped out at a red light, lol, thank heaven the car wasn't moving. It's a good car and because it is I'm not sure what I want to buy next."

2 people out of 2 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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