17 Best & Worst Nissan Versa Years (Pictures & Stats)

The Nissan Versa is a stylish subcompact sedan that was introduced in 2007. 

It is an affordable vehicle that offers impressive fuel efficiency and a comfortable ride. 

In this article, we’ll be examining all of the best and worst model years of the Versa.

2023 Versa

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Nissan Versa Are:

The best Nissan Versa model years are 2023, 2022, 2021, 2020, 2019, 2018, 2017, and 2016. The worst model years of the Versa are 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Nissan Versa?

2023 Nissan Versa

The 2023 Versa is a well-built, small sedan. It boasts the latest tech and safety features and is the third installment of the third generation.

It comes in 3 trims: S, SV, and SR. When purchased brand new, pricing can range from approximately $17,000 to $21,000.

In terms of popularity, the S trim is the most popular. However, if you can bump up your budget just a little bit, the midrange SV trim gives you bigger alloy wheels (16 inches), heated mirrors, upgraded seat upholstery, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability.

Every unit is equipped with a modest 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine (122 horsepower) that sends power to the front wheels. 

On the transmission front, owners of the S trim get a 5-speed manual transmission while a continuously variable transmission (CVT) comes standard with the SV and SR variants. 

Fuel capacity went beyond expectations. According to EPA estimates, this subcompact can achieve 30 MPG for combined driving, 27 MPG for city driving, and 35 MPG for highway driving. 

It was also able to secure a perfect 5-star rating from the NHTSA, which bases its score on a barrage of crash tests. 

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2023 Versa, Edmunds review:

“I researched this car to death before I bought it. I got the SR fully loaded. Love the technology of Android Audio, blind spot, and sensors. Gives a very nimble ride. Get 41 mpg when drive 70-75 mph. Get 50 mpg when driving 60 mph. Seats very comfortable. Very nice sound system. This car is the best deal out there.”

2022, 2021, and 2020 Nissan Versa

There are virtually no differences between the 2020, 2021, and 2022 model years – all of which make a great choice when shopping for a Versa.

These models are affordably priced, cheap to run and maintain and have lots of modern tech features.

Fuel economy is fantastic as well. EPA claims that these cars can get up to 35 MPG for highway driving. 

The 2020, 2021 and 2022 model years are the first installments of the third generation, they set themselves apart from their predecessors with a revamped exterior, an improved interior, and even more safety features.

A slightly more powerful engine also comes with these third-gen models. Regardless of trim or variant, the car comes equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine which provides 122 horsepower.

According to owners, this vehicle’s highlights are as follows: value, appearance, fuel economy, sound system, and driving experience. 

2022 Versa:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 79 / 100

2021 Versa:

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 81 / 100

2020 Versa:

  • Edmunds: 4.4 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.0 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 80 / 100
2020 Versa

2021 Versa, Edmunds review:

“I like the 2021 Versa because the name says it all. This is a versatile vehicle. The handling is awesome, the fuel economy is outstanding. But the thing I love the most has to be the technology built into this compact. This car has the technology of higher-end cars which for its class makes it, I believe, one of the safest and more reliable vehicles in the market. Nissan has a good product in the versa at a fair price. I would recommend this vehicle, if you’re looking for a safe, affordable, fuel efficient car (especially with the price of gas these days) you will not go wrong with the Nissan Versa.”

2019 Nissan Versa

The 2019 Versa is the final installment of the second generation that was introduced for 2012.

New to this particular model year are added features to the SV Special Edition variant, which was introduced in 2017. 

Critics have praised the 2019 Versa for its roomy rear seating (for a small car), comfortable ride, and a surprisingly spacious trunk.

Owners, on the other hand, noted its reliability, manufacturing quality, interior, value, and comfort.

Noteworthy safety features include a Rear View Camera, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), and Nissan’s patented Advanced Air Bag System (AABS). 

Driving experience will be bland, but this no-nonsense sedan will offer a reliable and economical mode of transport.

We recommend going with the previously mentioned SV trim with the Special Edition package for a more premium-looking appearance, thanks to aluminum wheels, a push-button start for the engine, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2019 Versa, Edmunds review:

“This is a great basic car, no frills but all you need. I don’t need a lot of the electronics they put into most cars, I just want dependable basic transportation and the Nissan Versa fits that bill. It performs well for what it is, I’m a little tired of critics that want to turn everything into a sports car. If you’re looking for reliable transportation that should last you for years to come, check out the Versa. Six months later the car continues to perform up to my expectations. Gas mileage is far and above what was listed on the sticker. I am presently getting 35 mpg in town and 46 mpg on the highway. I have the standard transmission and take it easy, rarely going above 4,000 rpm. Still highly recommend the car for the money. It’s a great deal.”

2019 Versa

2018 Nissan Versa

The 2018 Versa is much like its immediate predecessors – practical, affordable, reliable and simple.

The key differences for the 2018 Versa is the removal of the SL trim from the lineup and the fact that the base trim can only come with a manual transmission.

Owners highlighted the following aspects of this subcompact car: value, driving experience, reliability, manufacturing quality, sound system, and maintenance requirements.

Another important highlight is the car’s fuel economy. Based on EPA testing, this car can reach 30 MPG for combined driving, 27 MPG for city driving, and a whopping 36 MPG for highway driving.

Every trim comes with a 1.6-liter gasoline engine (109 horsepower), mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

The vehicle is exclusively front-wheel-drive.

The S trim comes in 4 exterior colors, the S Plus trim has 5 exterior colors, and the top-of-the-line SV trim has 6 available exterior colors. 

  • Edmunds: 4.1 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2018 Versa, Edmunds review:

“Not every person requires a ‘fun’ car with a ‘personality’. I laugh reading car and driver reviews of the Nissan Versa. It’s as if they were describing a person. I know it’s so hard to believe that most of us commute to/from work, pick up kids etc. Where exactly are you supposed to put your high performance car to the test?…35 mph city streets with traffic lights every 1/8th of a mile:). At any rate, I digress. This car offers everything you need to get from point A to point B safely, reliably and very economically (low cost of ownership combined with 40 mpg) even in some of the worst winter weather Wisconsin has to offer. It has some of the most cabin and trunk space in its class. I’ve had my versa for 4 years now, and bought it used with 10k miles. It has 85k mi now. I have not had any issues with it at all…”

2017 and 2016 Nissan Versa

The 2017 and 2016 Versa models are essentially the same, and you can’t go far wrong with either.

Both models sport a roomy interior with an adult-friendly backseat, a low starting price, a comfortable ride, and a large trunk.

New features for these models include body-color power mirrors, a standard four-speaker sound system, and standard leather-wrapped steering wheels.

Another important highlight of either model is fuel economy. EPA claims that drivers can reach around 30 MPG for combined driving, 27 MPG for city driving, and 36 MPG for highway driving.

NHTSA awarded both models a 4-star safety rating (out of 5) based on rigorous crash tests.

Owners praised these models for their value, reliability, manufacturing quality, spaciousness, fuel economy, and overall comfort. 

Interior options include illuminated kick plates, floor and trunk mats, and an auto-dimming rear-view mirror with compass and Homelink integration.

Exterior options include a chrome trunk accent, a rear trunk spoiler, and splash guards. 

2017 Versa:

  • Edmunds: 3.7 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2016 Versa:

  • Edmunds: 3.6 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 3.9 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 77 / 100

2017 Versa, Edmunds review:

“I went to Nissan looking to see what kind of car I could afford. I was not expecting to walk out and get into a new car! However, the car was suggested to me since it would be my first car. I have learned a lot about the Versa since I have had it for about 2 1/2 months. The car is comfortable and the storage space is roomy especially for the back seats. The engine is noisy but the car runs smoothly and has no problems maneuvering in and out of traffic, parking spots etc. I understand it is a subcompact vehicle, so it will feel a little tight if you are taller…”

2016 Versa

Consumer Scores For Best Nissan Versa Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2023 Nissan Versa4.2 / 5.04.0 / 5.079 / 100
2022 Nissan Versa4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.079 / 100
2021 Nissan Versa4.3 / 5.04.0 / 5.081 / 100
2020 Nissan Versa4.4 / 5.04.0 / 5.080 / 100
2019 Nissan Versa4.0 / 5.03.9 / 5.075 / 100
2018 Nissan Versa4.1 / 5.03.9 / 5.076 / 100
2017 Nissan Versa3.7 / 5.03.9 / 5.077 / 100
2016 Nissan Versa3.6 / 5.03.9 / 5.077 / 100

Related: Nissan Versa In Snow & Winter Driving? (Solved & Explained)

What Are The Worst Years For The Nissan Versa?

2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 Nissan Versa

According to CarComplaints.com, the 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 model years of the Versa must be “avoided like the plague” due to continuously variable transmission (CVT) failure. 

Common symptoms widely reported from owners include, jerking, rough shifting, RPMs revving, hesitation and stalling.

Here is what CarComplaints.com had to say:

“The 2012-2017 Nissan Versa has an expensive CVT transmission failure defect that shows up plainly in our complaint data.

In late 2019, the CVT defect was subject to a class action settlement. However the settlement only covers transmission repairs up to 7 years after purchase or 84,000 miles (whichever occurs first).

Because many owners commonly drive 20,000 miles/year or more, Versa owners experiencing CVT transmission problems may find they are not covered by this settlement due to the mileage limitation.”

The worst of the bunch was the 2012 model with the highest number of complaints, however we’d advise steering clear of all these model years.

These models were also affected by the infamous Takata airbag recall.

The airbags were known to explode, firing metal shrapnel into the cabin with potentially lethal consequences.

Many owners filed complaints as they were forced to wait unreasonable amounts of time for repair.

  • The 2012 Versa had a total of 632 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 156 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2013 Versa had a total of 268 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 50 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2014 Versa had a total of 291 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 84 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2015 Versa had a total of 243 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 35 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Transmission failure
  • Jerky brakes
  • Sudden unintended steering
  • Shifting difficulty
  • Lack of acceleration
  • Brakes not working properly
  • Wanders all over the road 
  • Difficulty steering
  • Engine stalls/dies while driving
2015 Versa

2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011 Nissan Versa

The next batch on this list (2007 to 2011 Versa models) all suffered from the previously discussed Takata airbag issues, but these model years were also plagued by another serious problem: a fragile and defective suspension system.

According to numerous reports across these model years, the vehicle’s suspension system was extremely fragile and susceptible to premature wear and tear.

In many cases owners reported that the coil springs in their suspension had cracked, failed or broken.

Here is what owners had to say:

“Front coil spring shattered tearing up front tire, this exact problem was noted for Versa in recall 15v573000 date 09/14/2015. My car was not included in the recall.”

“Driving over an ordinary bump broke spring on passenger front strut at bottom side. Clanging/rattling sound is heard over bumps now. I can move the broken piece with my hand.”

“The spring in the driver’s side broke as I was backing the car out of the driveway. I heard a loud noise and the front driver side of my 2010 Nissan Versa dropped. When I looked at the wheel well, I could see the broken spring.”

  • The 2007 Versa had a total of 434 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 122 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2008 Versa had a total of 448 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 97 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2009 Versa had a total of 593 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 154 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2010 Versa had a total of 322 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 73 complaints at CarComplaints.com.
  • The 2011 Versa had a total of 314 problems according to CarProblemZoo.com and 59 complaints at CarComplaints.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Low oil pressure
  • Sludge buildup
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Premature muffler corrosion
  • Transmission stopped working
  • Exhaust flange rusted
  • Premature lower ball joint wear
  • Broken coil spring
  • Blown engine
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Spring and strut failure
  • Evaporator stopped working
  • ABS self-check system malfunctioning
  • Air conditioning stopped working
2008 Versa

Related: 9 Subcompact Cars With the Most Trunk Space (With Pictures)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2023 Nissan Versa110
2022 Nissan Versa040
2021 Nissan Versa0162
2020 Nissan Versa9472
2019 Nissan Versa1251
2018 Nissan Versa5612
2017 Nissan Versa4813
2016 Nissan Versa15910
2015 Nissan Versa352431
2014 Nissan Versa842912
2013 Nissan Versa502681
2012 Nissan Versa15663211
2011 Nissan Versa593147
2010 Nissan Versa733228
2009 Nissan Versa1545938
2008 Nissan Versa974488
2007 Nissan Versa1224349

What Problems Do Nissan Versa Have?

  • Transmission failure
  • Difficulty steering
  • Engine stalls/dies while driving
  • Broken coil spring
  • Blown engine
  • Fuel pump failure
  • Low oil pressure
  • Sludge buildup
  • Excessive oil consumption
  • Premature muffler corrosion
  • Shifting difficulty
  • Lack of acceleration
  • Spring and strut failure
  • Evaporator stopped working
  • ABS self-check system malfunctioning
  • Exhaust flange rusted out
  • Premature lower ball joint wear

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Nissan Versa?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Mini Cooper7.9$25,800 – $35,400City: 22 – 29 /Highway: 31 – 38
Kia Rio7.8$16,550 – $17,490City: 32 /Highway: 41
Nissan Versa7.7$15,730 – $19,720City: 27 – 32 /Highway: 35 – 40
Mini Cooper Clubman7.6$34,050 – $42,400City: 23 – 25 /Highway: 31 – 35
Mitsubishi Mirage5.0$16,245 – $18,945City: 35 – 36 /Highway: 41 – 43

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 20 Best & Worst Nissan Sentra Years (With Pictures)











  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...

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