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2014 Nissan Versa: Used Car Review

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ADDITIONAL MODEL INFORMATION

author photo by Ron Sessions November 2015

The 2014 Nissan Versa comes in two versions: a 4-door sedan and the new Versa Note 5-door hatchback. 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 lacks steering, braking and handling precision. The new Note hatchback offers more expressive styling, great cargo versatility with the rear seats folded and a much more maneuverable, easier-to-park size compared to the sedan. Both are powered by a barely adequate 109-horsepower 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine.

The Nissan Versa is the top-selling car in the subcompact segment. 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; excessive wind and road noise; mushy steering; engine drones under acceleration with CVT; no telescopic steering wheel; no padded armrests

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

Both the 2014 Versa sedan and Versa Note hatchback are equipped with a 1.6-liter double-overhead-camshaft 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 city/36 mpg hwy 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.

Standard Features & Options

The 2014 Versa 4-door sedan is available in S, S Plus, SV and SL trims.

The Versa S is basic, equipped with a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission, suede cloth seats, air conditioning, a 2-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input port, a tachometer, 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 and a rear spoiler.

The Versa S Plus adds the continuously variable automatic transmission, cruise control, a rear spoiler and a 4-speaker stereo.

The Versa SV upgrades include power windows, mirrors and door locks, chrome grille accents, body-color side mirrors, woven-cloth seats, remote keyless entry with a panic alarm, a remote trunk release, a trunk light, electronic gauges, a driver's-seat armrest, chromed handles, cloth door trim and a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat. SV options include Bluetooth phone integration, MP3/iPod USB connectivity, a map light and a passenger vanity mirror.

The best-trimmed sedan is the Versa SL, which now includes standard 16-in alloy wheels, a 4.3-in audio display and SiriusXM radio. Other standard features include 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. Optional is a Tech package with a rearview monitor, navigation, upgraded audio with text-messaging assistant, voice recognition, SiriusXM radio and NavTraffic, and a 5.8-in color touchscreen infotainment display.

The all-new 2014 Versa Note hatchback is available in S, S Plus and SV trims.

The Versa Note S comes with air conditioning, cloth seats, a urethane steering wheel, 4-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, tilt steering wheel, trip computer, a 60/40-split fold-down rear seat, power mirrors, 5-speed manual transmission and 15-in steel wheels. An optional Sport package adds 15-in alloy wheels and a rear spoiler.

The Versa Note S Plus adds cruise control and a continuously variable automatic transmission.

The Versa Note SV brings power door locks and windows, upgraded cloth upholstery, a height-adjustable driver's seat with armrest, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, Bluetooth and keyless entry. SV options include 16-in alloys, fog lamps, a backup camera, an adjustable-height cargo floor, a 4.3-in display audio with SiriusXM, Nissan's E-Z Fill Tire Alert system and a 360-degree Around View Monitor.

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 2014 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) issued the following safety recalls for the 2014 Versa and Versa Note:

The driver's shoe may catch the edge of the center console when transitioning from the gas pedal to the brakes. This may delay brake application, increasing the risk of a crash.

On Versa sedans, the engine start/stop button may stick in the depressed position after starting the engine. The button may subsequently release while driving, shutting off the engine unexpectedly and increasing the risk of a crash.

On Versa Notes, weak rear-seat latch bolts may break during a crash, increasing injury risks to rear-seat passengers.

On Versa Notes, loose or missing lower-body sill bolts may decrease body integrity in a crash, increasing injury risks.

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 2014 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 2014 Versa Note hatchback also received a 4-star overall rating, with three stars for frontal impacts and four for rollovers, but netted a 5-star rating for side-impact performance.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2014 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 2014 Versa Note hatchback received a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, but was not rated for other criteria.

The 2013 Versa and Versa Note 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 a 7-year/100,000-mile warranty and includes 24-hour roadside assistance.

Other Cars to Consider

2014 Ford Fiesta -- Also available as a 4-door sedan or 5-door hatchback, the Fiesta delivers sporty handling, good fuel economy and the latest in infotainment and safety systems. For 2014, a 120-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder is joined by a 123-hp 1.0-liter 3-cylinder turbo economy model and a 197-hp 1.6-liter 4-cylinder turbo ST-performance variant. Rear-seat room remains cramped and the 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission is jerky.

2014 Toyota Yaris -- This subcompact is available as a 3-door or 5-door hatchback. Toyota's entry-level car delivers the basics and is powered by a modest 106-hp 1.5-liter 4-cylinder, teamed with a 4-speed automatic or 5-speed manual transmission. The latter combination is EPA-rated at 30 mpg city/37 mpg hwy.

Autotrader's Advice

The Versa sedan is roomy and costs less, but the Versa Note hatchback has more expressive styling, offers better maneuverability because it is nearly a foot shorter than the sedan and has 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

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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.
2014 Nissan Versa: Used Car Review - Autotrader