The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) bestows its highest rating of "good" in both frontal offset and side-impact tests on the 2009 Nissan Versa. Meanwhile, the government's testing agency, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), subjects the 2009 Nissan Versa to its full battery of tests and, in the end, awards four out of a possible five stars to the Versa in every category. Those categories include front impact protection and side impact protection, for both the passenger and driver sides. The ratings from these agencies apply to both the sedan and hatchback versions of Nissan's 2009 Versa.
Edmunds reports that "the 2009 Nissan Versa comes standard with front-seat side airbags, full-length side curtain airbags and a tire-pressure monitor," but it's the conspicuously absent standard features that draw criticism. Cars.com states that "antilock brakes are optional, but an electronic stability system is not" offered at all on the Nissan's 2009 Versa. Both of these are disappointing, with MotherProof chiming in that, as far as ABS is concerned, "for the $250 it costs to add it, couldn't Nissan have just made it standard?" In terms of the absent stability system, Cars.com says that since "the government will require it be standard in all models by 2009," they would "like to see automakers add it to even their most affordable models now."
Visibility in the 2009 Nissan Versa is a trait most reviewers take note of in a positive way. ConsumerGuide contends that visibility is "good in all directions." MotherProof adds that perhaps their "favorite feature on the Versa was the small triangular windows up front where the front doors and windshield intersect," as they "help visibility a lot."