The 2019 Nissan Versa is the cheapest way to get new-car smell and a full warranty, but rivals deliver plenty for not much more.
The 2019 Nissan Versa sedan and hatchback deliver a new car smell and three-year warranty at rock-bottom prices. The old maxim, “You get what you pay for” applies otherwise.
Overall, the 2019 Versa is good for 3.8 out of 10 on our scale. (Read more about how we rate cars.)
Every Versa uses a 1.6-liter inline-4 rated at 109 horsepower. A 5-speed manual is standard on sedans, but a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is a far more common option. The Versa has a soft, reasonably well-controlled ride. Acceleration is leisurely at best around town and highway passing takes a wide-open road.
The Versa’s tall body means it’s tossed around more in windy situations than most other new cars. Nicely weighted steering and an unladen curb weight of about 2,450 pounds mean it can be go-kart entertaining on a twisty road, but considerable body lean and narrow, fuel economy-oriented tires sap most of the fun.
The Versa sips fuel around town, but its engine works hard enough to make it less thrifty than most size-up compacts on the highway. Sedans are rated at a miserly 34 mpg combined.
Inside, the Versa is narrow and sparsely appointed. Its front seats are adequate and outward vision is good. Rear-seat passengers don’t have much leg room in sedans, but Versa Note hatchbacks have enough room for taller riders to be comfortable.