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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 152 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
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.6/10

It's what I need.

By on Sunday, February 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage & interior space will surprise."

Cons: "Interior is plain."

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

"No frills, for sure. But that's who I am. Love the gas mileage I'm getting. It also has plenty of pep for me. First car, or a reliable and inexpensive commute to work, Versa is an excellent choice. It's not a drive across country vehicle, although it could. It'll do fine on trips of just a few hours."

Great for College Students

By on Friday, January 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage"

Cons: "Not great speakers, not very spacious,"

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

"I bought this car at the beginning of last year. It was almost midnight by the time I got to see the car and test drive it. It seemed like a decent car. Well, it gets great gas mileage, but my backseat seat belt locks up every time I use it,therefore, I have to unbuckle and re-buckle a number of times. It fits my one car seat and 1 person comfortably. The speakers on it aren't the greatest (my brothers complain,"Why are you speakers junky, ain't this a brand new car?")"

Excellent and fun vehicle. I am sad to part.

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Exterior dealer coated w/excelon for paint and scratch protection, and interior dealer coated for stain protection. Hitch added for 1-1/4 receiver."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Economic, fun, external aesthetic to my liking

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Economic,fun,aesthetically satisfactory,goodhwymph"

Cons: "gastankposition,jerkylowspds,foglghtsneeded,lowcar"

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

"I've owned my Versa since 2012, brand new from the dealer. After reviewing the reviews, I can tell you I didn't have to buy an SL class to get the fold down seats, I have the most standard class. I was influenced by the need for an economic car that was yet not going to be pre-owned, was going to be aesthetically pleasing to me and get me from point A to B. I own in the Expresso brown color, in the sun a sparkly brown sheen is easily captured, I see many black Versas but mine stands out and yet at night looks just as dark. I used to drive a truck, so this saved me a ton of gas and my passengers have the roomiest backseat. Three things I can point out, I would change the position of the gas tank to the driver side, perhaps a higher point of entry for getting in and out of your car, having fog lights as a standard feature, and a less jerkier ride when driving at low speeds within the city. I don't know if it is just slightly idling, but as with other reviewers, I got the hang of it. The Versa seems to really shine on gas mileage when driven on the highway with a route with little to no stops. I'm glad I made a smart choice that didn't break the bank, since now I'm no longer in that financial rut, I can soon say this car can allows me to spend my money on me but not sacrifice maintenance."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Decent car

By on Monday, October 26, 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
7/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
4/10

Pros: "Gas mileage, runs well, no problems so far."

Cons: "Small.....But I knew that going it."

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

"Small interior but has a lot of good spots to put stuff. Kinda cramped but we knew that when we bought it. I love the gas mileage. The trunk space is really nice. I like that the backseats lay down. Cup holder in the back is nice. My 2 kids fit comfortable in the back in carseats. Almost impossible to get a third seat in there though. You can...its just not the safest."

25 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Will not buy another one.

By on Sunday, October 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,200

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "classy looking"

Cons: "needs a better suspension and shocks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Excellent gas mileage and excellent steering. Driving at highway speeds of 65 and over has an engineering problem with suspension stability. Automobile tends to drift right and left at these speeds. Manufacturer states this is a normal condition and offers no fix or recall. If the issue can be resolved this is definitely a good economically auto to consider, but as it is now I will not purchase another. The resale value is also inferior."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

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