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2013 Nissan Versa Review

The 2013 Nissan Versa offers good reliability and better-than-average cargo space for the class, but not much else. Its weak powertrain and cut-rate cabin materials relegate it to the lower half of our rankings.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious rear seats
  • Generous trunk space
  • Limited highway engine power
  • Sluggish acceleration with base transmission
  • Low-end interior materials

New for 2013

  • Four-speed automatic became available on base trim
  • Improved fuel economy with CVT
  • Hatchback body style discontinued

7.8

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 7.2
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.2
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.5
Safety: 7.6
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2013 Nissan Versa Overview

Is the 2013 Nissan Versa a Good Used Car?

There are elements of the Versa that are good: a low cost of ownership, good passenger and cargo space for a subcompact car, and a better-than-average reliability score. However, its underpowered engine, low-rent cabin materials, and poor safety performance make it tough to recommend.

Used 2013 Nissan Versa Performance and Interior

The front-wheel-drive Nissan Versa comes with a 109-horsepower four-cylinder engine. Depending on the trim level, the Versa comes with either a five-speed manual, a four-speed automatic, or a continuously variable automatic transmission. Models with the CVT deliver the best acceleration, but no Versa model is particularly quick on the highway. What it lacks in power, however, it makes up for in fuel economy. With the CVT, the Versa returns 31 mpg in the city and 40 on the highway. The Versa’s tight turning radius makes it easy to maneuver in small spaces, and its ride is fairly pleasant. Still, rivals like the sporty Ford Fiesta have livelier handling.

Read more about Versa performance »

The 2013 Nissan Versa is a five-seat sedan. The cabin has dull styling and low-end materials, but its back seats are spacious for a subcompact car. The Versa also boasts a surprisingly large trunk that measures 14.9 cubic feet, which is just a foot shy of what many midsize sedans provide. The rear outboard seats have full sets of LATCH connectors for child seats, and the rear middle seat has a tether-only connection.

The Versa is scantly equipped with a two-speaker stereo and an auxiliary input jack. Some used models may come with navigation, Bluetooth phone connectivity, cruise control, an upgraded stereo, satellite radio, a USB port, or steering wheel-mounted audio controls.

Read more about Versa interior »

Used 2013 Nissan Versa Prices

The average price of a used 2013 Nissan Versa ranges from nearly $7,000 for a base Versa 1.6 S model with a manual transmission, up to about $9,700 for the Versa 1.6 SL with a continuously variable automatic transmission. Pricing varies depending on the car’s mileage, condition, location, and features.

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We Did the Research for You: 57 Reviews Analyzed

We base our used car rankings and reviews on an analysis of hard data – including crash test scores, reliability ratings, and total cost of ownership estimates – as well as the opinions of the automotive press. We researched and analyzed 57 Nissan Versa reviews for this 2013 Versa overview.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking vehicles for a decade, and our Best Cars team has more than 75 years of car industry experience combined. You can trust that our reviews are impartial because we never accept pricey gifts or trips from automakers, and another company takes care of our website's advertising.

How Reliable Is the 2013 Nissan Versa?

The 2013 Nissan Versa has a reliability rating of four out of five from J.D. Power. That’s above average for the industry, and it’s a better score than most cars in this class earn.

See Versa reliability scores »

How Safe Is the Versa?

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety named the 2013 Versa a Top Safety Pick. The IIHS gave the Versa the highest rating of Good in four crash tests (moderate overlap front, side impact, rear crash protection, and roof strength). It received the lowest rating of Poor in the small overlap front evaluation. In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration safety evaluations, the Versa received four stars out of five overall. It also earned four stars in the side and rollover crash tests and three stars in the frontal crash test.

The 2013 Versa is available with a rearview camera.

See Versa safety scores »

Is the 2013 Versa the Best Model Year to Buy?

The 2013 Nissan Versa is part of a generation that began with the 2012 model. You can likely save money by purchasing the 2012 model, but you’ll miss out on several additions for 2013. These upgrades include an available four-speed automatic transmission (base model only) and better fuel economy with CVT-equipped models. The hatchback version of the Versa went on a hiatus for the 2013 model year. If you want a hatchback, shop for a 2012 or 2014 model.

Compare the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Versa »

Which Used Nissan Versa Is Right for Me?

The 2013 Versa sedan is available in four trims: S, S Plus, SV, and SL. The base model Versa S has few standard features. It comes with a two-speaker stereo, an auxiliary input jack, and air conditioning. The Versa S Plus comes with a CVT and cruise control, while the Versa SV adds power windows and remote keyless entry. The Versa SL comes with the most useful tech features, including Bluetooth, satellite radio, a USB port, and a 4.3-inch display screen.

You may want to consider a certified pre-owned model. For its CPO vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like towing and roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully. The model's original sale date determines whether or not it is eligible for the CPO program.

Read more about certified pre-owned vehicles »
Read more about the Nissan certified pre-owned program »

2013 Nissan Versa and Other Cars to Consider

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Versa or 2013 Toyota Yaris?

The Toyota Yaris shares some of the Versa’s shortcomings, such as low-rent cabin materials and sluggish highway acceleration. It also shares some of the same advantages, like a roomy back seat. However, the Yaris has a slightly larger trunk, a higher reliability rating, and standard Bluetooth and USB port. Go with the Yaris.

Which Is Better: 2013 Nissan Versa or 2013 Honda Fit?

Like the Versa, the Honda Fit has a roomy interior. The Fit is a hatchback, however, and it has significantly more cargo space whether its rear seats are folded or not. It also comes with a rear Magic Seat that you can move in several directions to fit cargo of all shapes. Additionally, the Fit has lively handling and a bit more engine power than the Versa. The Honda Fit was our 2013 Best Subcompact Car for the Money as well as our 2013 Best Hatchback for the Money.

Compare the Versa, Yaris, and Fit »
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