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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 478 Ratings for the 2007 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.8/10
    Quality
    8.5/10
  • Reliability
    9.0/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.6/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

good Car for collage kid

By on Thursday, October 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 83,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "fair gas mileage lots of room front and back seats"

Cons: "paint chips to easy"

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

"this entry level car from Nissan is a great car for the money. I have had very low maint. cost on this car with 83000 miles it still has OE brakes and battery this is a great work car or first car for kids all the way thru collage. for me it was a good bang for the buck. I think 200k will be no issue. I am a keep the car in shape person change oil every 5k air and cabin filters every 15k the car is checked every 5k the tires are balanced and rotated at oil changes the car gets checked top to bottom then."

Very comfortable and reliable! Nice colors too.

By on Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 15,000

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: "Excellent handling, visibility and space inside"

Cons: "3-4 sec gearbox time delay from forward to reverse"

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

"Tremendously spacious for a small hatchback, including plenty of room for tall adults' legs in the back!. Also does not give you claustrophobia, as the "driver cockpit" cars like Prius and Fit. It is actually practical to slide over from the driver's seat to the passenger seat! Much better visibility all round than most competing cars. Great acceleration and CVT transmission is very smooth, but only moderate gas mileage at about 30 mpg mixed. Nice tight turning circle, too."

3 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Sad to consider letting her go

By on Sunday, September 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 112,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Virtually no mechanical problems"

Cons: "Too little ground clearance"

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

"I've had this '09 Versa hatchback for 4.5 years now, she's at 112k miles and the only trouble I've had was two years ago when the transmission went out. Well, turned out there was a recall for this model/year on transmissions so I got it completely replaced, completely free. Other than that, no problem with any other system, major or minor! The car is good on gas, handles nicely and the seats are so comfortable that long trips are very pleasant. This was my first hatchback and now I don't think I could ever go back to having a regular trunk again. Especially with the fold-down rear seats, this tiny car has hauled some surprisingly large items. I also love the smart key, namely the fact that it will not let you lock the keys inside the car, something I "try" to do on an embarrassingly frequent basis. Nice to have a car smarter than I am. My minor complaints are that there are no cupholders in the back seat area, and the rubber door trim started coming off very early on. My one major complaint is the poor ground clearance. This makes bumps and dips a real problem and I've had trouble keeping the bumper on almost this whole time."

4 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Heat and air quit working

By on Friday, September 26, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 119,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Interior space"

Cons: "no heat or air"

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

"Very disappointed in this car. I have a 2008 Nissan Versa. The muffler came loose and randomly fell off 2 years ago. The heat and air are unreliable. The heat and AC have been going out for the past 1 1/2 years. No air will blow, regardless of the setting. Mechanic unable to do problem since it works fine on week, then won't work at all the next. It tends to quit working during the coldest winter weather and hottest summer. Also, it has a very noisy ride, especially with the windows rolled down. It does not handle well when driving, especially in the wind. The gas mileage is not as good as I would expect from a compact car. I average about 28mpg hwy driving. The only good thing about this car is the interior room. There is much more leg space than can be expected for a car this size."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Great sedan.

By on Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "great price"

Cons: "Fabric Seats attract animal, human hair."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6

"After owning a late 1990's Camaro, the change to the Versa was quite a difference. On the positive note, I wanted a change to a Sedan that was inexpensive and the Versa fit that need. I purchased my used Versa on 06/23/2012. It is very reliable, more nimble than I expected, and the acceleration is good."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Excellent

By on Monday, September 15, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
Not Rated
Quality
Not Rated
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Excellent car if you want a money saver."

Cons: "Not to good for big guys."

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

"So far I have not any mechanical problem with this car, only the regular maintenance, oil change,new tires, etc. It was a good invesment."

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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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