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2013 Nissan Versa

Overview
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2013 Nissan Versa Review

By

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 135 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    6.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.5/10

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...."

4 people out of 8 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."

11 people out of 25 found this review helpful

Perfect for big and talls

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

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: "Roomy for the full size family, economical"

Cons: "None. I wuld buy another in a heartbeat."

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

"This car is perfect for the family with multiple 6 foot plus members who are not string beans. Easy to drive. Great on gas. Comfortable for all whether in town or on long trips. More interior room than most other cars, including "full-size". My grandson says it has more legroom in front than his dad's full-sized pickup truck."

20 people out of 30 found this review helpful

BEST CAR I HAVE EVER HAD...OR DRIVEN

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

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: "REALLY FUN TO DRIVE"

Cons: "Has a BIG USB PORT, but not a regular USB port"

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

"I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS CAR. I BOUGHT THE CAR BRAND NEW, PAID CASH; THE BLUETOOTH IS HANDY...CONTROLS ON THE STIRRING WHEEL, JUST SAY, "CALL Nancy"...NO HANDS NEEDED. THE GAS MILEAGE IS EXCELLENT. HAS GOOD POWER ON THE ROAD...BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR, CD PLAYER AND RADIO HAS GREAT SOUND. CUP HOLDERS FRONT AND BACK. REAR SEAT FOLDS DOWN, HUGE TRUNK, SILVER EXTERIOR SHOWS VERY LITTLE DUST, ETC. WHAT CAN I SAY!! I LOVE IT. BY THE WAY, I AM A PICKY WOMAN!"

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

How can you even compare

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 166,000

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: "Price, Room, Power, Cost to Own, MPG, MPG, MPG"

Cons: "Spark Plugs under the manifold, CVT expensive"

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

"I bought this new, not one dollar, not one cent have I spent on this vehicle except the price of the trans fluid. On the 07 the first ever made the trans was supposed to be the problem, no problem, and there is a drain plug at the bottom so break the safety tab on the dip stick and you can do this yourself. I have changed it every 30,000 just to make sure, this vehicle will go another 100 k easy. They power is still great and remember I live in the hot dusty desert. The fan is starting to make a little noise and the CD player did stop working but for the price, I am going to get another one in the next few months. I am not sure about this 1.6 but I am sold on the 1.8 at 30-35 mpg. Had to replace the back quarter panel as I backed into someone, $800, compared to $2,400 bmw, $2,400 Honda Civic, $1,800 Honda Fit, and $3,800 Prius you don't want to know about the rest. This was at a shop with matched paint. Let's face it we are Americans and will change out vehicle every 5-10 if you even have it that long, I can't understand why this is not the highest rated car in KBB as you settle for $35,000 with payments of $380 a month or a little less thrills, maybe a little more hp, but for gas millage with a five peace drum set that fits in here great, this vehicle has got me to the price of the vehicle just in gigs. It was a little tight with two adults and a child seat but how many times will this happen. If you have seven kids get a van, but don't expect the millage, reliability, over all operating costs, or 166,000 problem free. Thanks hope this helps you can't beet the over all cost per millage if you take care of this vehicle, all maintenance. Oh did I mention 70,000 Michelin tires at WM out the door for under $300. Order on line and have them install."

20 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Average and boring

By on Monday, June 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "gas mileage."

Cons: "Simply boring, radio sound is horrible."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Made a mistake in purchasing this car. I just find it boring. However, it's a good reliable average car. Why I purchased it, I just don't know."

5 people out of 11 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

Buying this car?