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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
7.7
Out of 10

Based on 95 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.3/10
    Quality
    7.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.6/10
    Performance
    6.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.4/10

Nice low budget car

By on Thursday, July 31, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price,looks,trunk space,mpg"

Cons: "Seat material on base model,cup holders one size"

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

"I bought this car new for 10500 I thought it was a steel. It is what it is. Roomy for a compact car. Interior could use some up gradeing, but that will rais the price. I own the 5 speed standard modle. The mags are very wrong. It says the 5 speed has lower mpg, but if you know how to drive to save gas, I get 36 mpg in the city. Best car for the price and resale value is great."

9 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Comfort & Design at its best

By on Thursday, July 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,000

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
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "great price, room, gas mileage"

Cons: "noise windows, fog up windows wintertime"

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

"Love love love this car. It is great on gas mileage and is smooth driving. I have owned it for almost two years and the only complaint I have is that the windows fog up during extremely cold days with the heat on. The pressure noise from the back windows when only one window is open. That is it. Not too bad for a car. I travel everywhere and love driving! Great car."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent gas mileage for getting around.

By on Monday, July 14, 2014

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

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage, good price."

Cons: "Not steady in wind, apholstry material is terrible"

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

"The handling on windy days are dangerous. You get blown all over, the suspension is wrong for that car, it wobbles in the wind and causes you to almost go off the road. You really have to drive slower than speed limit on windy days. Other than that it is a good basic car, clutch sometimes acts up and won't go in gear correctly, but not too often, mostly in reverse, I have to release clutch and then re-adjust it in reverse. Awesome gas mileage, that I will never complain about. The material of the seats are the worst ever. If there is any lint or hair stuck to your clothes it stays on the seats like a dog has been in there. And you can't vacuum it out, I had to get a roll of tape to pull each thing out. Even the detail people tell me they can't get it out. Has a good take off and speed ratio."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

40+mpg! Faster than my Prius, at 1/2 the cost.

By on Thursday, July 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

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
10/10

Pros: "Excellent power once Engaged. Roomy, Fun! 40+mpg"

Cons: "Gas pedal does not React Instantly."

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

"Break in Period took forever! But Engine is now Power-full.. and FAST! at 40,000 miles. I LOVE the CVT Transmission on my S-Plus, its accelerates Quicker than other comparable cars because it doesn't have to shift, and barely needs to Idle to maintain Freeway speeds. I Use a Super Light weight Mobil 1 Full Synthetic 0w-20 motor oil. On Florida Freeways I Achieve 44mpg consistently doing 70 & I never get less than 37 in stop and go traffic, with the Air ON. & I never Drive to save Gas.. I bought this car because I needed "a car" Immediately, and did not have the money to fix my Prius. But now, After owning my Versa Sedan for over a year, and moving (twice) across the country, 24 hours at a time, covering the Desert, the frozen Tundra, & now the Everglades.. I have to say the car is ROCK SOLID & has been the only Stable thing in my Life! & I can't believe I ever drove anything else. & yes, I would highly Recommend this car!"

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Versa Special Edition

By on Friday, July 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,000

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: "Its just a comforable car especially the seats...."

Cons: "Like everything"

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

"My Versa is comfortable, has great gas mileage I only use non ethanol and notice it never hesitates, It's roomy and I use McGuires NXT Generation wax and I wax it every three months It looks brand new and heads turn, No pings dings scratches...Fully automatic and I was told that only 2012 made the Special Edition so guess I was lucky as I have always driven Toyotas but there was no dealership in Hammond so I bought the Nissan and really love it.Our other car is a MKZ Lincoln Hybrid...Husband likes his car better but I like my Versa better for traveling...not that he will take it to travel in...."

4 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best for the Dollars

By on Saturday, June 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Price, Fuel mileage, room for the size"

Cons: "Driver seat, engine noise, road noise,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"For the least amount of money this is the way to go. Fuel mileage is 37.1 around town with some highway. Driver seat not comfortable in the lower back."

11 people out of 20 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?