The 2014 Nissan Versa is one of the top vehicles likely to need a transmission replacement, according to data compiled by Consumer Reports. While most cars may function well for the first few thousand miles, there are some, like the Versa, that will suddenly begin experiencing expensive, inconvenient transmission issues after a significant amount of driving.
Fortunately, Consumer Reports has listed some of those vehicles, including the Nissan Versa, that most commonly experience these problems so that you know what to avoid.
An ongoing transmission problem
According to Consumer Reports, quite a few Nissan models displayed transmission issues, with the most problematic being the 2014 Nissan Versa. Data shows that after extended driving, these vehicles begin needing frequent transmission replacements, with one driver even reporting repair costs of $4,000.
The main issues appear to be in the 2012-2015 model years. In fact, Nissan transmission problems are so common that the automaker occasionally offers an extended warranty program to help drivers pay for the replacement parts.
The number of miles the Nissans can drive before experiencing problems varies. For the Versa, it typically manages 55,500 to 64,500 miles before the transmission suddenly begins to give out.
Other issues plaguing the Nissan Versa
This would be bad enough on its own, but the Nissan Versa experiences a whole host of other problems that severely impact its functionality. It has both a predicted reliability score and an owner satisfaction score of one out of five on Consumer Reports, which should immediately raise red flags for anyone looking to buy.
In fact, the Versa has this abysmal one-out-of-five rating in several trouble spots: exhaust, body integrity, transmission major and minor, brakes, fuel system, drive system, and suspension.
Nissan drivers have told Consumer Reports that the Versa gets exhaust leaks that make the vehicle “sound like a tractor,” and that the transmission frequently shudders when accelerating. Additionally, the Versa occasionally experiences “squeaks, rattles, wind noises,” and other issues that make for an unpleasant driving experience.
The Versa also received subpar marks in several of its safety tests, with two out of five stars in the frontal-crash passenger category and three out of five stars in the frontal-crash driver category. When it comes to safety features, this vehicle doesn’t have much to offer — anti-lock brakes, traction control, and stability control all come standard, but beyond that, the offerings are sparse.
What should you purchase instead?
If the Nissan Versa appeals to you but you want a vehicle with a little more reliability, Consumer Reports recommends that you go with the 2015 Kia Soul instead. This vehicle has a four-out-of-five predicted reliability rating and a three-out-of-five predicted owner satisfaction rating.
Additionally, this vehicle has either a four-out-of-five or a five-out-of-five rating on almost every trouble spot, including the major and minor transmission. The area where it struggles the most is its electric system, which has a three-out-of-five rating. One driver notes that the exterior lights failed within one month.
In general, while the 2015 Kia Soul does have its weak spots, it consistently scores better than the Versa. It has better crash test results, with four out of five stars in the frontal-crash passenger category and five out of five stars in the frontal-crash driver category. Consumer Reports also notes that the Soul features many more upscale features than would generally be typical in this class of vehicle, helping it rise above the pack.
Whether you already own a 2014 Nissan Versa or you’re looking to buy a used compact car, it’s important to be aware of the potential issues this vehicle faces. If you can, consider opting for the 2015 Kia Soul instead — you’ll get a very similar car without the headache.