Low-cost doesn’t suggest what it used to. However with the typical new automotive now costing properly over $45,000, the 2023 Nissan Versa positively nonetheless qualifies. It begins at $16,825 for the bottom S trim with a five-speed guide transmission, making it the most affordable new automotive you should purchase within the U.S. for 2023.
The Versa you see right here isn’t that Versa. That is the loaded SR mannequin, which seems to be significantly flashier and prices fairly a bit extra. But it nonetheless begins at lower than $21,000 and carries a stunning quantity of kit for the worth. (Keep in mind, even a base Honda Civic is over $26,000 as of late.) A refresh for 2023 improves the Versa’s seems to be considerably due to a cool new grille, reshaped headlights and taillights, and trim-specific 17-inch wheels. Our check automotive’s new $395 Grey Sky Pearl exterior colour would not damage issues both.
Inside, the Versa isn’t as low-rent as you would possibly count on. The dashboard options some soft-touch surfaces with orange contrasting stitching, the seat material has pink accents, and the gauge-cluster and infotainment screens are giant and have modern-enough graphics. We have been pleasantly stunned to seek out computerized local weather management, heated entrance seats, and a push-button begin. A full cadre of driver-assistance options contains adaptive cruise management, blind-spot monitoring, and rear parking sensors. Many of those options will not be out there within the Versa’s solely true subcompact competitor, the Kia Rio, which is equally sized and occupies an analogous value vary.
Regardless of the spruced-up inside and exterior, the front-wheel-drive Versa sedan’s underpinnings have not modified a lot since this technology was launched for 2020. However the chassis stays completely satisfying for a small automotive like this, with good physique management and a fairly refined trip on bumpy roads. The steering is overly mild and would not supply a lot suggestions, however the 2690-pound Versa feels agile, managing a formidable 0.89 g on our skidpad. It additionally stops from 70 mph in 173 ft, which beats the 2021 Rio hatchback we examined by 17 ft.
The one actual compromise is within the engine room, the place a 122-hp 1.6-liter inline-four buzzes loudly to get the Versa on top of things. Whereas a lot of at this time’s repeatedly variable computerized transmissions scale back that rubber-band sensation of delayed acceleration, the Versa’s transmission nonetheless suffers from this impact. A 9.5-second dash to 60 mph makes it one of many slowest vehicles we have examined in latest reminiscence. The Rio beats it to that mark by almost a second, and the Kia’s CVT feels extra responsive. We’re curious if the bottom Versa’s guide transmission would enhance issues, however sadly the stick shift cannot be mixed with the nicer SV and SR trim ranges.
The engine works so exhausting that we weren’t capable of match the Versa’s 40-mpg EPA highway-fuel-economy estimate. We managed solely 36 mpg on our real-world 75-mph loop. That is 3 mpg beneath the Rio, and even many mid-size sedans beat the Versa, reminiscent of Nissan’s personal Altima, which managed a 41-mpg end in our check regardless of its additional dimension, bigger engine, and all-wheel drive.
There are various new vehicles which are extra compelling than the Nissan Versa—they only price an entire lot extra. There’s all the time the argument that you simply get extra bang on your buck from a used automotive than a brand new one, however in at this time’s unstable automotive market that is much less of a assure than it was. Positive, the Nissan is reasonable, small, and gradual, nevertheless it offers buyers with the fashionable options and up to date styling that make new vehicles interesting within the first place. The Versa merely begs the query: What does low-cost imply to you?
2023 Nissan Versa SR
Car Sort: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 4-door sedan
Base/As Examined: $20,815 /$21,470
Choices: Grey Sky Pearl paint, $395; carpeted ground mats and trunk mat, $260
DOHC 16-valve inline-4, aluminum block and head, port gasoline injection
Displacement: 98 in3, 1598 cm3
Energy: 122 hp @ 6300 rpm
Torque: 114 lb-ft @ 4000 rpm
repeatedly variable computerized
Suspension, F/R: struts/torsion beam
Brakes, F/R: 10.0-in vented disc/8.0-in drum
Tires: Continental ContiProContact
205/50R-17 89V M+S
Wheelbase: 103.1 in
Size: 177.0 in
Width: 68.5 in
Top: 57.7 in
Passenger Quantity, F/R: 54/35 ft3
Trunk Quantity: 15 ft3
Curb Weight: 2690 lb
C/D TEST RESULTS
60 mph: 9.5 sec
1/4-Mile: 17.3 sec @ 81 mph
100 mph: 32.8 sec
Outcomes above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.
Rolling Begin, 5–60 mph: 10.4 sec
High Gear, 30–50 mph: 5.1 sec
High Gear, 50–70 mph: 7.1 sec
High Velocity (C/D est): 115 mph
Braking, 70–0 mph: 173 ft
Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.89 g
C/D FUEL ECONOMY
Noticed: 28 mpg
75-mph Freeway Driving: 36 mpg
75-mph Freeway Vary: 380 mi
EPA FUEL ECONOMY
Mixed/Metropolis/Freeway: 35/32/40 mpg