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Acquiring a new or used vehicle that is both economical and well-equipped is a desire many harbor, but believe is out of reach. However, the 2016 Nissan Versa shatters this notion by offering a substantial equipment list, often at a price point lower than what many pay for a pre-owned vehicle.

Despite its modest size, the Versa boasts a spacious interior and delivers a comfortable and smooth ride. While it manages to fulfill basic transportation needs efficiently, it does demand a trade-off, particularly in the realms of performance, driving engagement, and high-end materials. Nonetheless, these sacrifices haven’t deterred a significant number of buyers who find the offering fair. Not to mention, U.S. News gave the compact a score of 9.0 out of 10 with a price of $9,906. For used car shoppers on a budget, that’s an attractive sell.

A brief overview of the 2016 Nissan Versa

The Versa sedan notably echoes the aesthetics of its larger kin within the Nissan family – the Sentra, Altima, and Maxima. The previous year’s front-end redesign further emphasized this familial resemblance, rendering it unmistakably a Nissan creation at first glance. The Versa exhibits a semblance of refinement, displayed through its arched roofline and sheet metal touches reminiscent of the luxury Infiniti brand.

However, this refinement seems to falter when examining the front or rear proportions. On closer inspection, especially within the interior, the vehicle unabashedly showcases its fundamental nature. The simplicity extends to the trim, switches, and other controls, mirroring a straightforward, parts-bin aesthetic. This straightforward nature underlines the Versa’s primary objective: to provide reliable and economical transportation without the frills.

In a market where horsepower often defines a vehicle’s worth, its 109-horsepower, 1.6-liter inline-four engine places it in a precarious position. The vehicle’s aspiration for a laudable 35-mpg combined fuel efficiency coerces one toward the continuously variable transmission (CVT), a choice that comes with the price of insipid performance.

The protracted 11.5-second acceleration from 0 to 60 mph, underscored by the engine’s audible grievances under demanding conditions, candidly exposes the car’s performance constraints. On the other end of the spectrum, the base Leaf S model, with its traditional transmission options, presents a frugal alternative, though with a dip in fuel economy to an underwhelming 30 mpg combined.

The 2016 Nissan Versa’s safety features

The 2016 Nissan Versa comes with several safety features aimed at protecting occupants and enhancing vehicle stability. These features include anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control, front-impact airbags, side-impact airbags, overhead airbags, and pretensioners.

In terms of safety ratings, the 2016 Nissan Versa has received mixed reviews. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the vehicle scored a “Poor” rating for the small overlap front: driver-side crashworthiness test, while earning “Good” ratings for moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seat categories. However, front crash prevention was not available, and the LATCH ease of use for seat belts and child restraints received an “Acceptable” rating.

Additionally, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2016 Nissan Versa an overall four-star rating out of a possible 5 stars. A breakdown of NHTSA ratings includes a four-star rating for the driver, a three-star rating for the passenger, and a four-star rating for the overall front crash safety.

Is the 2016 Nissan Versa a good car?

The 2016 Nissan Versa seems to cater to individuals looking for an economical and well-equipped vehicle, offering a substantial list of features at a competitive price point, even when compared to pre-owned vehicles. It showcases a spacious interior and provides a comfortable, smooth ride, fulfilling basic transportation needs efficiently.

However, it does have its trade-offs, especially in performance, driving engagement, and high-end materials. Despite these downsides, a significant number of buyers find the offering fair, reflecting a level of satisfaction with what the car provides for its price.