Sunday, June 10, 2018

Devon test drives a Nissan Versa Sedan

The Nissan Versa Sedan prides itself in having the roomiest rear seat. Lowest starting price and low running costs thanks to a fuel efficient engine, but is all these things really worth bragging rights?
The sole engine offered with the Versa sedan is a 1.6-liter four-cylinder producing 109hp. City driving will be where you’ll want to spend most of your time with the Versa. It feels smooth and offers decent flexibility. Outside of the city you’ll have to really work the engine hard to get decent pace from it. Plus the CVT transmission really can make the engine drone when the revs are high.
On the road the Versa doesn’t feel composed when you feel like driving a little spiritedly. There’s way too much body roll in corners and bends, plus the front wheels feel like they are going to lose grip. Steering feedback becomes numb at highway speeds with poor directional stability. This car would be a great long distance cruiser but it’s far too unrelaxed outside of the city limits for us to recommend. However the Versa does offer the biggest backseat and boot space for a small sedan in this price category.
S trim comes with air-con, Bluetooth and optional five-speed manual gearbox or 4-speed automatic. S Plus offers cruise control, rear spoiler and CVT transmission. SV adds USB connection port, front map light with key linked illuminated entry and 60/40 split folding rear seats. Top of the range SL trim adds 16-aluminum alloy wheels, five-inch color display audio system and integrated turn signals on exterior mirrors.
The Versa Sedan has an attractive starting price and the roomiest rear seat in its class. Reliability should be good too and running costs will be low. However this car is far from great. This car feels more at home around the city. Outside of those elements the Versa sedan becomes a chore to drive and you’ll have to really rev the engine hard on faster paced roads. A big backseat shouldn’t be the only reason to persuade you into the Versa. It does offer good value but it’s just not the best.

Likes: Low running costs coupled with low starting price and the largest backseat in the segment.

Dislikes: Both automatic transmissions are dreadful. It becomes a chore to drive outside of city limits. Not sure if it provides a convincing enough case to buy one other than the low price.

Devon’s Choice: The S-Plus trim adds cruise control, rear spoiler and a smoother CVT transmission. It’s not much but its way better than the four-speed automatic in the standard S trim. For those who choose the S trim should stick with the manual gearbox which is much smoother.

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