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STYLING | 6 out of 10
I don't know many people who would call the Versa sedan a looker
Hardly a recipe to whet the collective American appetite
Car and Driver
Controls are logically placed and, for the most part, clearly marked
Although bland both inside and out, the 2009 Nissan Versa is designed to offer maximum space and practicality, and it delivers.
Reviews read by TheCarConnection.com show mixed reactions, but they tend to agree with Motor Trend's opinion that the hatchback is "the more distinct-looking sibling." Kelley Blue Book reviewers don't mind the exterior styling, contending that "the tidy Versa succeeds at not being boxy or bland," and they note the car's proportions make it "exceptionally easy to enter." Car and Driver says the style is "hardly a recipe to whet the collective American appetite." Edmunds states that "both body styles come in base 1.8 S and more upscale 1.8 SL trim levels," though the only external differences are "alloy wheels" on the 1.8 SL. The exterior of the Nissan Versa certainly isn't exciting, but it is practical and a bit of an optical illusion. Cars.com reviewers comment that "at first glance, you might think the Nissan Versa sedan is a subcompact," but in reality, it's "less than an inch shorter than a Honda Civic and just two inches shorter than a Mazda3." The reason for the subcompact appearance is the "funky front end, tall roofline and squished rear," which Cars.com considers a "look that's common to Japanese subcompacts," although on the 2009 Nissan Versa, those elements "don't flow together well."
ConsumerGuide gives the interior high marks for the "logically placed and, for the most part, clearly marked" controls. MotherProof reports that the interior is "far bigger" than it appears from the outside, while Cars.com describes it as "cavernous." Those same Cars.com reviewers also approve of the dash inside the Nissan Versa, finding that it "appears more like its big brother, the Sentra," a slightly more expensive vehicle in Nissan's 2009 lineup. The 2009 Nissan Versa is designed to maximize the space afforded by its small dimensions, and the Nissan designers have done an incredible job in that regard.
Whether as hatchback or sedan, the jury is still out on the 2009 Nissan Versa’s styling. TheCarConnection.com thinks the hatchback is considerably better-looking.