It might be hard to believe, but not everyone in the world is looking to buy a CUV/SUV. There are still a large number of consumers that are looking for sedans, and some are even looking at buying compact sedans/hatchbacks. Although this not the sales leader segment, there are still a decent number of choices available. One such choice is the 2021 Nissan Versa.
The current generation Nissan Versa launched last year as a 2021 model.
2021 Nissan Versa Canadian Prices
Like the Rogue and Sentra, I reviewed recently, the Versa is offered in three trims: Versa S, Versa SV, and Versa SR. The Versa S comes standard with a manual transmission and has a starting price of $16,498, adding the CVT bumps the price up to $17,998. The Versa SV starts at $19,498 and the Versa SR starts at $20,998.
Our review car for the week was a 2021 Nissan Versa SR, with a sticker price of $22,803. This price included $135 for metallic/pearl paint and $1,670 for Freight & PDE.
2021 Nissan Versa Engine/Driving
All three trims of the Versa are equipped with 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engines, producing 122 horsepower at 6,300 rpm and 114 pound-feet of torque at 4,000 rpm. Power is sent to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission.
On paper, the 122 HP produced by the 1.6-liter engine may not seem like that much power, but this is a small car and is actually kind of fun to drive. It’s no sports car, but it has a little oomph to it. It’s a great little car for city driving, it feels light and nimble and is fun to weave in and out of traffic. It is by no means a fast car; it just has a fun personality.
The CVT works fine, but the engine does get very noisy under heavy acceleration. Normal highway driving is also fine, but if you plan on passing slower cars, you’ll need to think ahead and pick the right moment and be prepared to be bombarded with a lot of engine noise.
According to Nissan, the Versa should consume 8.6/6.7/7.7 liters/100 km in city/highway/combined driving. We averaged exactly 8.6 L/100 km in purely city driving.
Nissan Versa Styling
The 2021 Nissan Versa is only offered as a sedan in Canada and the USA. Previously these cars were offered as hatchbacks, personally I would’ve liked the Versa to be a hatchback. A city car like this needs to be a hatchback in my opinion.
The 2021 Versa takes its design cues from its bigger siblings, the Maxima, Altima, and Sentra. It features Nissan’s signature V-Motion front grill. The car is longer, wider, and lower than the previous generation.
Nissan Versa Interior
The interior on the Versa is quite a clean and simple design. It features a lot of hard plastics throughout the cabin, which is to be expected in this segment. However, there are some soft surfaces and a decent amount of real orange stitching and some added colors in parts of the seats, giving the interior a bit more upscale look than the price would suggest.
All trims of the Versa come with 7” touchscreens, which is fairly responsive. Below the infotainment screen is a separate section for the climate control, below is a small storage area with some charging ports. The instrument cluster consists of an analogue speedometer on the right side and a TFT screen on the left side that can be minimally customized to show different information.
The interior is decently quiet, it’s on par with other cars in this segment. However, like I mentioned above, it does tend to get noisy under heavy acceleration thanks to the CVT. The front seats are on the harder side but offer plenty of room for the front occupants. The rear seats have a surprising amount of leg room; however, taller passengers will find head room at a premium.
On the tech/safety/convenience feature front, the Versa offers some of the basic features offered by competitors in this segment, it isn’t a luxury car so don’t expect it to self-park. Some of the standard features include Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist. Below is a list of features available on the top-of-the-line Versa SR.
- Cruise control
- Intelligent Forward Collision Warning
- Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection
- Lane Departure Warning
- High Beam Assist
- Blind Spot Warning
- Rear Cross Traffic Alert
- RearView Monitor
- Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking
- Hill start assist
- Intelligent Driver Alertness
- Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
- Automatic on/off headlights
- LED headlights with LED signature
- Carbon-fibre look rear diffuser
- Automatic Climate Control
- Follow Me Home headlights
- Nissan Intelligent Key with Push Button Ignition
- Remote Engine Start System
- Advanced Driver Assist Display
- NissanConnect 7″ touchscreen display
- Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- Siri Eyes Free
- Google Assistant Voice Recognition
- Hands-free Text Messaging Assistant
- Bluetooth hands-free phone system
The Nissan Versa is a good little car for those looking to get from point A to B in relative comfort. It has decent driving dynamics, for what it is, and it pretty comfortable and roomy on the inside.