Shopping for a new Nissan Versa?
SEE LOCAL CLASSIFIEDS
The experienced evaluators at TheCarConnection.com have searched the Web for the most useful information on the 2008 Nissan Versa. And to make this review especially useful, TheCarConnection.com’s editors included their own driving experiences with the Versa.
- Very spacious, quiet interior
- Supple ride for a small car
- Simple but attractive instrument panel
- Good crash-test results
- Available Bluetooth interface
- Lacks the agile feel of other small cars its size
- Fuel economy is only passable
- Engine gets very noisy when accelerating
Made in Mexico, the Versa is Nissan's lowest-priced vehicle and one of the most affordable new vehicles for sale in the United States. The Versa hatchback and sedan were completely new for 2007; for 2008, they return with an available Sport Package for the sedan.
The 2008 Nissan Versa, new last year, keeps its standard 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower. A six-speed manual transmission is standard, while Nissan's continuously variable Xtronic transmission is available on the top SL, and a four-speed automatic is offered on the S versions.
With either transmission, the 2008 Nissan Versa has good performance, even with a full load. The six-speed manual feels light and precise, the midrange automatic shifts smoothly albeit with wide ratios, and acceleration is good with the Xtronic, though sluggish from a standing start. The engine can get noisy when revved, so in the Xtronic vehicles, which hold the engine at high revs while accelerating briskly, it feels quite loud; a sport mode on the Xtronic allows it to hold higher revs for improved performance or more engine braking. At cruising speeds, engine noise is well under control, and the Versa has a relatively quiet interior with little road noise, though the hatchback has a bit of wind noise. The Versa rides very comfortably compared to other small cars, but it doesn't handle as nimbly as expected because of its nearly 2,800-pound weight.