The 2023 Nissan Versa is an exceedingly capable, inexpensive subcompact sedan boasting excellent value for money. Although it isn’t the quickest, the Versa’s flat-bottomed steering wheel will impress drivers with the effort to enliven it. Moreover, it’s one of the last new cars available with a manual transmission. With a starting MSRP far below the $20,000 mark, it’s a priority pick for the budget-conscious.
While the 2023 Nissan Versa presents potential owners with generosity in nearly every category, Edmunds points out two things it doesn’t like. Although they aren’t shocking to behold, they may cause owners annoyance.
Reason #1: Lack of interior storage
The Nissan Versa is a well-built car that Edmunds says “scores high for its interior design.” Reviewers assert the four-door has plenty of room to seat adults, with plenty of headroom and legroom, even in the back.
One thing the Versa may not be able to transport as well as people is their personal items. Unfortunately, storing small items is not the Versa’s “strong suit.” Reviewers complain that the “center armrest is optional and can barely fit a smartphone.” Luckily, the Nissan’s 15 cubic feet of cargo space is more than most competitors offer.
Reason #2: Sluggish acceleration
Each of the Nissan Versa’s three trim levels—S, SV, and SR—is powered by a sole engine option. Its 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine will pump out 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque; all sent through the front wheels. Whether the five-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission is chosen, either provides sluggish acceleration.
There doesn’t seem to be an issue with the Versa pulling away from stop lights or stop signs. City driving is where the Versa shines. However, when the Nissan Versa is on the highway, it falls to the back of the pack. Drivers will struggle to exploit a gap and pass other motorists. With power and performance lacking, Edmunds says the “Versa leaves you wanting badly.”
Is the 2023 Nissan Versa a bad car?
The new Nissan Versa is not a bad car at all. In fact, it’s one of the best in the subcompact segment.
The base Versa S begins at a bank account-friendly $16,825. With an intuitive seven-inch infotainment touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, potential owners have access to welcome tech features. Additionally, it has voice recognition with a hands-free text message assistant.
To shore up the weak engine, Nissan includes a nifty feature for pulling out of a parking spot on a hill. The hill start assist helps the Versa from rolling backward. On a steep grade, the car holds pressure in the brakes giving drivers a few seconds to find the acceleration pedal. Such is excellent news for those living in cities relegated to parallel parking.
On the safety side, the Nissan Versa boasts one of the most well-stocked driver safety suites for the segment. The base model has forward collision warning, lane departure warning, and others. But the midlevel and range-topping SV and SR—$20,115 and $20,815, respectively—have much more.