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2013 Nissan Versa

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2013 Nissan Versa Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.1

Consider the Nissan Versa the Toyota Camry of subcompacts: uninspiring, but a best seller. For the majority of buyers, the former won't matter much, or at least not enough to negate the Versa's positive aspects. Not only is the 2013 Versa the roomiest car in its class, it remains the least-expensive new car you can buy, even with this year's price increase. Add in fuel economy of up to 40 mpg, and the Versa looks even more sensible. Sedan versions of the Versa received an update last year that carries into this one, but the same can't be said of the Versa 2-door hatchback, which continues sales as a 2012 model. A new version of the hatchback is expected to share design cues of the Nissan Note from foreign markets, but details are still vague on its U.S. arrival.

You'll Like This Car If...

If your focus is on dollars and cents, the 2013 Versa sedan is among the least expensive new cars to buy and own. The Versa also offers high fuel economy, a surprising amount of passenger room, and a comfortable ride for a car that starts under $13,000.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you desire even a modicum of excitement in your economy car's looks or driving dynamics, consider a Honda Fit, Kia Rio, Ford Fiesta, or Chevrolet Sonic.

What's New for 2013

The base Versa S now offers a trunk light and can be had with a 4-speed automatic transmission. Top-trim SL models receive a trunk-release button on the key fob, sun-visor extensions and a driver's seat armrest. A rearview monitor is added to the tech package available in SL models.

Driving the Versa

Driving Impressions Economy cars are usually not known for being smooth or quiet. But some are smoother and quieter than others, and the 2013 Nissan Versa is built to be just that....

Though its road-going behavior could be described as bland at best, the Versa is an easy car to drive and maneuver. The Versa's steering is light, its turning radius is tight, and visibility is very good from the driver's seat. Like other cars with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT), Versas equipped with one take getting used to. Since there are no shift points, you might find yourself waiting for an upshift or downshift that will never arrive. With only 109 horsepower, the 2013 Versa sedan's acceleration ability is just barely adequate for getting up to speed on freeways.

REAR LEGROOM
The Versa is neither fast nor flashy, but it's commendably roomy. This is a small car that can actually comfortably seat two adults in back.

FUEL ECONOMY
Sedan models with the CVT automatic transmission are now rated at 40 mpg for the highway, making this affordable car equally easy on the wallet when it comes to filling it up.

2013 Nissan Versa Details
Interior

Nissan boasts that the Versa has best-in-class rear legroom – more than some mid-size luxury sedans, in fact. The trunk, too, has a surprising amount of room. With 14.9 cubic feet of capacity, the Versa's hull is larger than that of Nissan's flagship sedan, the Maxima. Up front, the Versa's front seats are acceptable. Its dash is plain and drab, even on models outfitted with a 5-inch navigation screen. On the upside, its chunky buttons and knobs are easy to reach and decipher. We prefer the look of the Sandstone interior, which feels richer than the Charcoal option.

Exterior

Picture an economy car in your mind, and you're likely to visualize something akin to the 2013 Versa. This budget sedan has conservative looks, with few elements that stand out. Among those that do are its wide and shapely grille and the rear spoiler that helps spruce up the rear of models equipped with the CVT automatic transmission. Higher-trim SV and SL models are distinguished by a chrome-accented grille and chrome door handles. Fifteen-inch wheels are standard on all models, with top models wearing aluminum-alloy versions instead of the steel ones found on lower models.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Nissan Versa is one of the few new cars that in base forms still has roll-your-own windows and manual-adjust mirrors. If you want power windows, mirrors, and door locks – or just a passenger vanity mirror – you'll have to step up to the costlier SV or SL trims. No version of the 2013 Versa sedan has a telescoping steering wheel, which can make it harder for drivers to obtain an optimum position. In base trims, even a tachometer is absent, never mind features such as Bluetooth wireless connectivity. Cloth seating is your only option in a Versa sedan. Base vehicles do have air conditioning and a 2-speaker AM/FM/CD audio with auxiliary input. To get cruise control or just folding rear seats requires a higher trim.

Optional Equipment

Major options for the Versa are bundled into two packages, available in higher-trim SV and SL models. The Convenience Package in SV models adds Bluetooth, 60/40-split folding rear seats, steering-wheel-mounted audio and phone controls, and a passenger vanity mirror. The Technology Package on top-line SL models adds a 5-inch navigation system with traffic information, satellite radio, rearview monitor, and a USB input for audio playback. An auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink remote transceiver is available on any 2013 Versa sedan.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Nissan Versa sedan uses a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. With only 109 horsepower, it's not very powerful, but does achieve up to 40 mpg when connected to a CVT transmission. Other transmission choices are a 5-speed manual on base S models, or an optional 4-speed automatic available on that trim. All other Versa sedans use the fuel-saving CVT. All Versas are front-wheel drive. You may notice the Versa wears a "PURE DRIVE" badge. This does not denote some exotic powertrain, but rather marks Nissan's initiative to improve fuel economy and cut CO2 emissions.

1.6-liter inline-4
109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/36 mpg (manual), 26/35 (4-speed automatic), 31/40 mpg (CVT automatic)

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2013 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 140 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.6/10

Good Value but sluggish

By on Wednesday, August 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 13,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"The 2014 Nissan Versa Note Hatchback is one of the lesser expensive cars. PROS: Car is small and gets fairly good mileage. Seats are comfortable, and car seats 4 comfortably. Rear seat area has plenty of leg room. CONS: CVT transmission and engine are slow on acceleration. The tire air pressure sensor is a pain in the rear; going off when tire pressure changes due to temperature changes. I have never gotten the advertised 31 city MPG/40 hwy MPG, its always 4-6 MPG less no matter how I drive, and the Odometer MPG calculator is always 2-3MPG more than actual gallons of gas divided by mileage."

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Pretty good car

By on Saturday, August 08, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good value and well built non-American car"

Cons: "3 yr. warranty, non-Android bluetooth"

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

"I have had my SL Versa for nearly four years now but I'm probably trading it in soon now that the warranty has been expired for about a year. It hasn't had any problems mechanically or electrically. My average gas mileage is currently 38 miles per gallon. Not bad. SL version has fog lights, cruise control, navigation screen/radio/CD player screen. It has bluetooth capability but only for I-phones, not Android devices so I don't actually get to use it. It does have a USB port and an audio jack so you can still plug your music device into the car's stereo. It has a button on the shifting handle that turns the overdrive on and off. There is a key to turn off the special traction system too if you're spinning wheels in the snow. The engine is a little loud when climbing hills but it seems to climb them OK."

This car is absolutely perfect

By on Thursday, August 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,500

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: "best car ever! :)"

Cons: "no center console"

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

"I love this car! It's SO cute!! I see some negative reviews about the way it drives, and I think it drives perfect. I'm a 32 year old female and I'm not a racecar driver. lol. The plastic interior is something I wouldn't have even noticed if someone had not pointed it out. I will admit it could use a center console for the passenger, but it's not a big deal. This car is so great! It has tons of room and I have the SL and the navigation is great! I love the 360 view cameras! It makes parking a breeze"

I made the best decision on a limited income

By on Saturday, August 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "worth its value"

Cons: "If you looking to race out of the gates,NOT!"

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

"This car rides very well, considering the low cost to purchase it. I travel 44 miles back and forth five days a week. During the same week I run my errands around town (about 10 miles). I still come away with gas left over! It's not a get up and go car when you step on the gas, but if you are lookiing to save gas, and look somewhat professional going to work, or look good when going out in the evening this car is pretty good. I have no regrets. This is my second Nissan car purchase."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Not a value at all.

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "none."

Cons: "noise, devaluation, design, lack of power"

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

"Car appears to be a great vehicle when there is the sales pitch and test drive. this vehicle does not have the torque to make it up some hills without revving the motor to the max at 35 mph. there is no room for a car seat, stroller, and other baby related items. also the big sales pitch is on the side of great gas mileage. what they do not tell you is that the car only has a 10 gallon tank so that even though you may get 30 mpg highway that you are only going 300miles and that it will balance out with the nissan altima that you are trading for the versa note. this car is great for a grandma who just goes to the grocery store and home or possibly your childs first ever car. Do not even get me started on the various knocks and other sounds the car makes when driving. also do not plan on talking on the phone in this car because there is way too much road noise to understand who you are talking to. thats just the overall. dont even get started on the interior design... way to many flaws to count. i wish nissan would come get this car back...."

19 people out of 31 found this review helpful

Car fits like a glove. Easy to drive.

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

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

Cons: "Might be a little tight for a large family."

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

""I bought this car for commuting and reliability a year ago. I got both. With 45,00o miles on the engine I have had no mechanical problems. I get 39 mpg! I opted My family of 3 fits comfortably, with two car seats in the back, and there is ample trunk space. This is also a very good looking sleek vehicle which fits very well in formal settings." - Jerry."

13 people out of 27 found this review helpful

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