Like other Japanese brands, Nissan cars have historically been known for their reliability and sportiness (on some models), however, the quality of their products has been questionable as of late. The Versa is one such example, Consumer Reports noted low scores on the “owner satisfaction” index in the last two generations and while this new generation looks better, it doesn’t seem up to par with its competition. Let’s take a closer look at why you shouldn’t buy a Nissan Versa.
What’s so bad about it?
It’s not that the Versa is a bad car that’s going to fall apart, it’s just not up to par with its competition, or by 2020 model year standards. Which is ironic, because the Nissan Versa was actually redesigned for the 2020 model year. Don’t get us wrong, the Versa definitely looks the part; it now serves up handsome exterior styling and it’s interior details look much more buttoned-up compared to the Versas of yesteryear. However, it just slightly misses the mark in becoming the car that it could be.
In their review of the 2020 Nissan Versa, Motortrend pointed out that the 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine is noisy and underpowered as it has “trouble gaining speed.” Consumer Reports noted the driving dynamics as a pain point as well, saying that the Versa has a “stiff ride, dull handling, and droning engine.” We’re fully aware that consumers can’t expect much from a car that costs $15,000 – $20,000 new, however, that’s a tough sell considering other cars in the class drive much better for the same amount of money, and let’s not forget about the multitude of pre-owned cars that can be had at the price.
Is there anything good about it?
We understand that no one buys a Nissan Versa with the expectation that it’s going to be an asphalt-burning hot rod. After all, that’s what the GT-R is for, but we digress. After all, the engine only puts out 122 horsepower.
On a high note, though, the Nissan Versa’s fuel economy is still on par with competitors like the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris at 32 in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. And while we can’t expect the interior materials to be sent from a class above, the overall interior does still look very stylish, thanks to the redesign. The control and knobs are easy to use and the infotainment system is intuitive.
However, that’s where some of the praise ends. Looks aside, Consumer Reports did point out that the driver’s seats do not have enough back support rear-seat room is cramped and has tight legroom. But again, on the plus side, it does come with standard safety features like forward collision braking and automatic emergency braking, which are features that aren’t standard on other cars in its class.
Should you avoid it at all costs?
Shopping for cars at the subcompact level is definitely “hit or miss.” At the sub-$20,000 range that the Versa is in, it’s hard to find a car that’s going to be just perfect. As such, we recommend at least checking out the Versa and if you have the means, then go for the highest SR trim level, at least you’ll have the best version of it. However, do keep in mind that there are plenty of other cars in that category like the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, and even the Nissan Kicks that might suit you better.