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STYLING | 6 out of 10
looks awkward thanks to its tall roofline and narrow width, but those dimensions are the reason the cabin feels so spacious
looks sleek in some spots and dated in others
Although boring, the car has a reasonably attractive exterior design.
hangs tight to its cheapest-alternative-to-a-used-car status while vaunting a more attractive wrapper (at least in person)
Car and Driver
The Nissan Versa Sedan models were redesigned last year, with a curvier, lower roofline, and a quite different look overall compared to the more upright models they replaced. Meanwhile the previous-generation Versa Hatchbacks remain for sale, as 2012 models, through the 2012 calendar year.
Simply put, the Versa has some of the proportions and design elements of larger Nissan and Infiniti sedans—including the new 2013 Nissan Altima and the latest Infiniti M sedans. More European surfacing of the side sheetmetal, an all-new grille design, and tail lamps that flow more neatly from the sides are part of this design.
Does Nissan manage to pull off this 'little big sedan' approach? From the side, the curvier, lower roofline looks quite attractive, with the flowing side creases adding interest. At the same time, the Versa can look awkward and ungainly from some other angles, and the swept-back, shorter-hood, longer-trunk look (Nissan reapportioned some space with last year's redesign) can seem out of place in a small sedan.
The redesign of the Versa inside is less controversial, and while it's cohesive and impressive overall for being one of the most affordable sedans in the U.S. market, it can feel more as a collection of cues and switchgear from other Nissan vehicles. We like the round, aimable vents, but oddly there's no wrap-around continuity between the dash and doors, and there's just as much hard plastic.
Like a bargain-basement suit, the 2013 Nissan Versa impresses as contemporary and upscale from across the lot, but the impression doesn't entirely hold up close.