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Nissan may not be the most popular automaker in America, but it still has a handful of good options in several segments. One of the Japanese auto giant’s more affordable options is the Versa, and it can act as a halfway point between affordability and luxury. Here’s a look at the 2023 Nissan Versa and why it’s a good option for car shoppers who are on a tight budget.

A red 2023 Nissan Versa subcompact sedan model parked in front of a concrete wall
2023 Nissan Versa | Nissan Motor Corporation

The big dilemma that most new car shoppers have

As J.D. Power explained, most new car shoppers have to weigh between what they want in a car versus what they can actually afford in a car. This is an important part of the car shopping process as cars are expensive tools that will lose value quickly. As such, it’s important to choose a car that drivers are comfortable with for the next few years. 

That comfort almost always comes at a cost, however. The added cost of that comfort may push a car above what a car shopper can realistically afford. If drivers choose to pay more than they can afford, then they will run into financial problems down the road.

As such, most drivers have to make a compromise between the car they want and the car they can afford. This is also why the Versa is such a good option for most drivers.

Here’s why the 2023 Nissan Versa is a good budget car

For the 2023 model year, Nissan gave the Versa a facelift, and despite that facelift, it’s still one of the cheapest new cars on the market. It starts at about $17,000, and that’s including the $1,000 destination fee. The Japanese automaker offers two trim options for the budget car, and the most expensive trim, the SR trim, only starts at about $21,000.

Despite the affordable price tag, the Versa gets a lot of things right. There’s only one engine option, and it’s a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that gets 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t a powerful engine, and it won’t allow the Nissan sedan to go fast as it takes 10.5 seconds to accelerate from 0 to 60 mph. However, it’s fuel efficient, as it allows the car to get 35 mpg combined when it’s equipped with a CVT.

On top of that, Nissan gave the Versa a decent amount of standard features. It comes with a 7-inch touchscreen display, and it also has a few standard smart safety features, including forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking.

While it competes in the subcompact sedan segment, it has more space than its rivals do. Not only is its seats more spacious, but it has 15 cu. ft. of space in its trunk, which is more than what its rivals get.

Car shoppers should also consider buying used

Overall, that long list of standard features makes the Versa a compelling option for its price point. That doesn’t mean that it’s a perfect car though, and it has some obvious issues, namely with its interior and its powertrain.

Many of those issues could be solved by adding luxury options to the car, but that will increase its price tag. That may also push the car’s price outside of what folks are comfortable paying for, so this may not be a great option.

As such, car shoppers who must have certain luxury features may want to explore used cars instead. Used cars are almost always cheaper than their brand-new versions, and used cars from the last few model years tend to be well-equipped as well.


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