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2011 Nissan Versa

Overview
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2011 Nissan Versa Review

By

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.
Favorite Features

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 462 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
    8.6/10

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...."

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."

1 person out of 1 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."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Reliable

By on Wednesday, April 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,000

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
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Reliable"

Cons: "Tan seats (but I have seat covers)"

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

"I got this car in 2010 brand new and I get all my oil changes on time and I have never had any problems. I love this car because it has never given me a hard time. It is ready whenever I am ready to go! I drive it everyday downtown and back home. I love it! It is also surprisingly spacious. Freshman year of college I was able to make one trip with all of my stuff for my dorm. I have also comfortably gone on trips. It is all around a great car and I am lucky to have the reliability."

one word best describes this car-"adequate "

By on Sunday, March 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 72,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "economy..reliabilty..low cost"

Cons: "no arm rest, minor cosmetic problems"

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

"Good solid car. Get 30 MPG on regular basis.clunking or knocking in front steering since new, dealer could not fix. Gets blown around on highway on windy days.Never broke down, only needed battery (40k) and tire pressure sensors at 65K. Good value if basic transportation is your goal."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Cheap putt-putt

By on Tuesday, March 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000

10 3.0
overall rating 3 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
3/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "So small it fits in any tight parking space."

Cons: "Feels like you're driving a tin can -"

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

"What can I say? The dealership saw a sucker come in and now I am what you call "upside down" with the loan on this vehicle. I want to trade it in, lease something else, anything but this putt-putt. That's what I get for not being up on the value of vehicles. The Versa drives like a little match box. I cannot go over 60 mph on the high way or the front end gets kinda wobbly. The tire pressure light continuosly comes on and off - even though the dealership states that is normal in cold weather. Well, this started to happen in late spring - was not too cold then. The rear window defogger bit the dust. Only two lines heat up. The rest I guess are taking a rest. Can't wait to get the loan down a bit more to get what I really wanted in the beginning - a Ford Fusion!!"

4 people out of 4 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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