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2011 Nissan Versa

Overview
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2011 Nissan Versa Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.7

After a bruising bout with the economic realities of a bad recession, many Americans are moving to minimize their cost of living. That means giving up the big SUV for something more practical and fuel efficient. But, thanks to cars like the 2011 Nissan Versa, consumers don't have to give up comfort, room and technology. "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 Versa offers class-leading horsepower and torque, along with a host of unique features and generous interior space.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2011 Nissan 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 34 miles per gallon on the highway (according to EPA fuel-economy estimates).

You May Not Like This Car If...

Nissan's Versa might not satisfy you if you need to fit three full-size occupants into the rear, but that's common for entry-level compacts. Some may find the Versa's top-hat-like design not as hip or cool as the Honda Fit or Ford Fiesta.

What's New for 2011

Changes for the 2011 Nissan Versa are limited to the addition of a six-disc CD changer on the 1.8 S Sedan and anti-lock brakes on the 1.6 Sedan (except base.)

Driving the Versa

Driving Impressions When equipped, 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.

Affordable Navigation System
Costing just a bit more than a really good portable navigation device, Nissan's newest navigation radio offers the added benefit of XM Satellite Radio and real-time traffic updates. The controls are easy to understand and operate and the 5-inch color screen provides large, legible directions; it's also an unlikely target for smash-and-grab thieves.

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.

2011 Nissan Versa Details
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
2011 Nissan Versa photo

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 2011 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 S model includes a six-speed manual transmission, 15-inch steel wheels with full covers, anti-lock brakes (ABS), power body-colored mirrors, a cargo cover and rear wiper/washer (hatchback only), 60/40 split-folding rear seat, CD stereo, air conditioning and tilt steering wheel. The SL version adds an automatic transmission (CVT on hatchback models), 180-watt stereo with six speakers, 15-inch alloy wheels, traction and stability control, rear spoiler, sport front fascia and side sills, six-way manual driver's seat, rear center armrest, cruise control, remote keyless entry and power windows and locks.

Optional Equipment

Anti-lock braking (ABS) is optional for base 1.6 models. A total of six option groups are divided between the two trims. A Power Plus Package adds cruise control, keyless entry, power locks and power windows to the S models, while the VDC package adds traction and stability control. The SL can be equipped with the Navigation Package, which adds a navigation radio with 5-inch color display, USB connectivity and XM Satellite Radio. 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. XM Satellite Radio and an iPod interface hook up are available on both trims, while the SL alone can be equipped with a power moonroof.

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 in S and SL models, and higher fuel economy in base cars. Four transmissions are available: A five-speed manual (base), six-speed manual, four-speed automatic (Sedan) and the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Available only on the SL hatchback trim, the CVT incorporates a virtual low range, for long, steep hills and heavier pulling.

1.6-liter in-line 4
107 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
111 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4600 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/34 (manual), 25/33 (automatic)

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), 28/34 (CVT automatic)

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2011 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.4
Out of 10

Based on 500 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

Love my Versa

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Roomy, dependable, affordable, cute"

Cons: "can catch the wind, interior very basic"

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

"my Versa currently has 200k miles on it. I've never had any issues. The only thing I've done is replace the battery and tires. I purchased it used with 46k miles on it, and I've never been happier. The only thing that keeps it from being perfect is the combo of its light weight and height makes it catch the wind on windy days."

Would buy again!

By on Sunday, May 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

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
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, dependable, roomy, comfortable"

Cons: "Easy to accidentally press panic button on key"

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

"I've had my 2009 Nissan Versa for 4 years now. Bought it used and have been very happy with it. The only drawback was it was a little high mileage when I bought it because it was a Fleet vehicle. But it has been very, very dependable. The Versa appears small from the outside but that is deceptive. The inside is very roomy, even for very tall people. There have been a couple of problems but not in the engine. The hubcaps all flew off within about a year and I did see that that was a problem with this model. Replaced them with cheap ones I got online and no problem, and they look just as good as the factory ones. CD player has problem with CDs sticking in it, and I wouldn't buy black again because the finish shows every little scratch. Also, the A/C blower doesn't seem to work well on low settings but fine on high. I drive it hard and long distances and have had no real mechanical problems even though there are over 90k miles on it. Good gas mileage (small tank, maybe 12 gallon, but you can get far on it). Great on wet roads, too. Very comfortable interior and good turning radius. Plan to buy another to replace it when I do!"

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

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"

9 people out of 11 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."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Nissan Versa hatchback, 2011

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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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