Used Car Review

2013 Nissan Versa: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions May 2015

The 2013 Nissan Versa once again comes in two versions: a 4-door sedan and a 5-door hatchback. They're completely different cars sharing the same name. The sedan offers value with good fuel economy, comfortable seats, a roomy interior, a big trunk and up-to-date infotainment. However, it's noisy, features a lot of cheap-looking plastic and is only available with a barely adequate 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine. The hatchback offers Euro-inspired charm, much nicer interior fitments, great cargo versatility with the rear seats folded and a peppier 122-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, although fuel economy isn't as thrifty as the sedan's.

The Nissan Versa is a best-selling subcompact car. Safety gear includes stability and traction control, dual front airbags, front-seat side airbags, overhead airbags and anti-lock front drum/rear disc brakes. The Versa's mix of practicality, roominess and fuel efficiency makes it a solid choice for first-time buyers.

What We Like

Low cost; spacious back seat and trunk in the sedan; compliant ride quality; comfortable front seats; cargo versatility in the hatchback; Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimate of 40 miles per gallon for the continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) sedan

What We Don't

Cheap-looking interior plastic in the sedan; wind and road noise; mushy steering; engine drones under acceleration with CVT; no telescopic steering wheel; no padded armrests in sedan

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2013 Versa sedan is equipped with a 1.6-liter double-overhead-camshaft (DOHC) 16-valve 4-cylinder engine. Output is a scant 109 hp, and it develops 107 lb-ft of torque. It burns regular unleaded gas and has an EPA rating of 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway with the 5-speed manual transmission, 26 mpg city/35 mpg hwy with the 4-speed automatic transmission and an impressive 31 mpg city/40 mpg hwy with the Nissan XTRONIC automatic CVT.

The 2012 Versa hatchback comes with a 1.8-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder rated at 122 hp and 127 lb-ft of torque. It also runs on regular unleaded and is EPA-rated at 26 mpg city/31 mpg hwy with the 6-speed manual transmission, 24 mpg city/32 mpg hwy with the 4-speed automatic and 28 mpg city/34 mpg hwy when hooked to the CVT automatic.

Standard Features & Options

The 2013 Versa 4-door sedan is available in 1.6 S, 1.6 SV and 1.6 SL trims.

The Versa S is basic, equipped with the 109-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine, suede cloth seats, air conditioning, a 2-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input port, a trip computer, front bucket seats and a fixed-bench rear seat, a tilt steering wheel, a trunk light and 15-inch steel wheels. Options include cruise control, a 4-speaker stereo, a rear spoiler and the CVT automatic.

1.6 SV upgrades include power windows, mirrors and door locks, chrome grille accents, body-color side mirrors, woven-cloth seats, cruise control, remote keyless entry with a panic alarm, a 4-speaker audio system, a remote trunk release, a trunk light and electronic gauges. New for 2013 are a driver's-seat armrest, chromed handles and cloth door trim. SV options include Bluetooth phone integration, MP3/iPod USB connectivity, a map light and a passenger vanity mirror.

The best-trimmed sedan is the 1.6 SL, which features standard 15-in alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, a security system, a split-folding rear seat, chromed inside door handles, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, USB/iPod ports, map lights and steering-wheel audio controls. New for 2013 are a remote trunk opener, extended sun visors and Intelligent Key. Optional is a Tech package with navigation, SiriusXM radio and NavTraffic, and a 5-in color touchscreen infotainment display.

The 2013 Versa hatchback is available in 1.8S and 1.8SL trims. The Versa 1.8S is equipped with the 122-hp 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine, air conditioning, power door locks, mirrors and windows, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an MP3 decoder, suede cloth seats, a tilt steering wheel, variable intermittent wipers, padded door armrests, a rear wiper and a split-folding rear seat. Options for the 1.8S include cruise control, keyless entry, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, an iPod port, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, an overhead console, a tonneau cover, 15-in alloy wheels and a 5-in touchscreen with navigation and SiriusXM.

Upgrading to 1.8 SL adds woven cloth seats, a rear spoiler, fog lamps, lower-body side sills, sport fascias, remote keyless entry, cruise control, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, 16-in alloy wheels, a 180-watt upgraded 6-speaker stereo with an iPod interface, Bluetooth phone connectivity, illuminated vanity mirrors, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, padded front- and rear-seat center armrests, a cargo security cover, map lights and an overhead console. A navigation system with a 5-in touchscreen and SiriusXM is optional.

Pricing

The Versa has been the top seller among subcompact cars, so there should be a good supply of clean, low-mileage examples to choose from.

For a better idea of the 2013 Versa's price range, check out KBB.com, then search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.

Recalls

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has no current safety recalls for the 2013 Versa as of this writing.

Recall repairs are required by law even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, will fix the car for free.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

The 2013 Nissan Versa sedan received a 4-star overall rating from NHTSA, with three stars for frontal impacts, four for side impacts and four for rollovers. The 2013 Versa hatchback was not tested.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2013 Versa sedan a Good rating for side impacts, roof strength, head restraints, seat crash performance and moderate-overlap front impacts. However, the Versa sedan earned a Poor rating for small-overlap front impacts. The 2013 Versa hatchback was not rated.

The 2013 Versa came with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty and a 5-year/unlimited-mile corrosion-perforation warranty.

Nissan certified pre-owned (CPO) cars can't have more than 80,000 miles on the odometer and must be under 6 years old. Every CPO Versa undergoes a 150-point inspection and gets a Carfax report. The Nissan CPO warranty extends the original powertrain warranty to 7 years/100,000 miles and includes 24-hour roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2013 Ford Fiesta -- Also available as a 4-door sedan or a 5-door hatchback, the fun-to-drive Fiesta delivers sporty handling, premium interior materials, 120 hp with the 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine and good fuel economy (up to 40 mpg hwy in the Super Fuel Economy model). However, rear-seat room is cramped, the dash is busy and the 6-speed automatic transmission is jerky.

2013 Honda Fit -- This subcompact 5-door hatch is also fun to drive with its 117-hp 1.5-liter 4-cylinder engine, and it offers more interior space than other small cars. No sedan version is offered.

Autotrader's Advice

The Versa sedan is roomy and costs less, but the Versa hatchback is better equipped and a cheerier place to spend time in. Plus, the hatchback offers better cargo versatility. The fuel-saving automatic CVT takes some getting used to because of the disconnected feel between the engine and road speed. Make sure the Versa you're looking at has seen obvious care and maintenance and has had all safety recalls performed. Also, when available, look for a Nissan CPO car.

Find a Nissan Versa for sale

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
2013 Nissan Versa: Used Car Review - Autotrader