Sedans & Coupes

Is Anyone Even Buying the Nissan Versa Anymore?

It’s not uncommon for certain model vehicles to fluctuate in sales numbers. Some vehicles sell better in specific parts of the country, while others see top-charting sales seasonally throughout the year. But in the case of the Nissan Versa, the sales numbers seem to be dropping at a more rapid rate. So, is it a typical sales roller coaster of data, or is anyone even buying the Nissan Versa anymore?

A little Nissan Versa backstory

The Nissan Versa officially launched in 2004, according to The News Wheel. But it didn’t come to the U.S. until 2006-2007. When Americans first met the Versa, it was in hatchback form and was one of the first subcompact car designs to hit the market.

The sedan came next, and fans embraced the Versa as a fuel-efficient favorite. It was a welcomed utility car, perfect for commuters who need a peppy and reliable daily driver. And it continues to be noted as one of the most affordable options on the market.

A steady decline in sales and popularity

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Good Car, Bad Car calculated the sales numbers for the Nissan Versa from 2006 through last year’s totals. And the decline is evident. There were steady increases in sales from 2007 (79,443 units) through 2021 (124,517 units), demonstrating an increase in popularity among consumers. In 2015, the Nissan Versa topped out at 144,528 cars sold.

But then the sales began to fall off steadily. In 2017, only 106,772 cars sold, and an even more depressing drop to 75,809 in 2018. Last year, the Versa took yet another hit, bottoming out at only 66,596 sold in the U.S. And while the 2020 numbers can’t be officially tallied yet, only 19,842 Nissan Versa models have sold this year.

Canadian sales have been equally dismal. According to the data, 2014 was the Versa’s best year with over 14,000 cars sold. In 2018, Canadians began buying elsewhere, and only 6,430 Nissan Versas were sold. Last year, much like here in the states, proved to be rough, with only 2,369 models sold.

COVID-19 conditions affected everyone’s numbers

When you think about a car only selling 20,000 units over the course of a year, it sounds pretty bad. But let’s not forget that COVID-19 hit the auto industry pretty hard. Second-quarter sales plummeted for every model as the country went into shutdown.

So while the Versa sales numbers seem extremely low for 2020, it really only reflects two-quarters worth of quality sales time. However, the third quarter seemed to pick up for the rest of the market. And in many cases, sales numbers skyrocketed later this summer far greater than even the experts predicted. 

Steep competition or a flailing product?

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So are the Nissan Versa model’s sales numbers falling because it’s a bad car? Or is it just falling behind in an increasingly competitive subcompact car class? This class of small cars has exploded in popularity, and each year, new models emerge with even better tech and more features.

The Honda Fit put Honda in the race for versatility and fun. The Hyundai Accent delivers high-end features in this economy class. And the popular Kia Rio kicked it up a notch with safety features and class-leading warranty coverage. Don’t forget about the sporty Chevy Sonic and the ever-reliable Toyota Yaris.

The Nissan Versa may be one of the oldest models in the subcompact class, but its sales numbers seem to indicate a lackluster performance. While COVID-19 has impacted this year’s buying trends and despite an increasingly competitive market, the data says people may just not be buying Nissan Versa models much anymore.