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2016 Nissan Versa Review

The 2016 Nissan Versa has plenty of passenger and cargo space. Still, it earns a spot near the bottom of our subcompact car rankings for its disappointing performance and cut-rate interior materials.

Pros & Cons

  • Spacious interior for a subcompact
  • Ample trunk space in sedan models
  • Outstanding fuel economy with the CVT

 

  • Dull steering and brakes
  • Rough CVT
  • Cheap interior materials
  • Limited features

 

7.6

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 7.0
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 9.0
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2016 Nissan Versa Overview

Is the 2016 Nissan Versa a Good Used Car?

The 2016 Nissan Versa, available as a sedan or hatchback, is not a good subcompact car. Despite having one of the best fuel economy ratings in the class and a relatively spacious cabin, the Versa is saddled with cheap interior materials and a lackluster powertrain. The bottom line is: there are too many superior vehicles in this class for the Versa to rank well.

Why You Can Trust Us

Our used car rankings and reviews are based on our analysis of professional automotive reviews, as well as data like crash test scores, reliability ratings, and ownership expenses. We researched 68 Nissan Versa reviews to help you decide if it’s the right used car for you.

The U.S. News Best Cars team has been ranking cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has a combined 75 years of automotive industry experience. To ensure our impartiality, our staff never takes expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside team handles the advertising on our site.

How Much Is the 2016 Nissan Versa?

Based on more than 2,880 listings for this car in our inventory, pricing for a used 2016 Nissan Versa starts at about $8,600 and rises to about $13,600. The average price is about $10,600, making the Versa one of the least expensive used subcompact cars. Your exact price will depend on the car’s condition, mileage, location, and features.

See the Best Used Car Deals »

How Much Does the 2016 Nissan Versa Cost to Own?

With the Versa, you will spend about $20,150 for gas, insurance, maintenance, and repairs over five years. You would spend a couple thousand dollars more to maintain the 2016 Chevrolet Sonic over the same time span.   

Is It Better to Buy a Used or New Versa?

There isn’t much reason to choose a new Versa over a used model. A 2018 Nissan Versa sedan starts at $12,100. That’s $1,300 more than the 2016 Versa’s average price, and it won’t get you any notable features or upgrades. Therefore, the 2016 model is the better value.

Read about the new Nissan Versa »

You won’t find a new subcompact that can compete with the 2016 Versa’s price. If price is your No. 1 priority, stick with the used Versa.

See the Best New Car Deals »

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How Reliable Is the 2016 Nissan Versa?

The 2016 Versa has a reliability rating of 3.5 out of five from J.D. Power, which is above average for the automotive market.

Read more about Versa reliability »

2016 Nissan Versa Recalls

At the time of this writing, the 2016 Nissan Versa has no safety recalls.

See more information on Nissan Versa safety recalls »

Which Model Year of the Nissan Versa Is Best?

The 2016 Versa is part of the car’s second generation, which launched in 2012. None of the cars in this generation are desirable, but the 2016 model is likely the best bet. In 2015, the Versa was refreshed inside and out and received standard Bluetooth. The model’s overall score, however, is a lowly 7.3. The 2013 and 2014 models have the older body style and also score poorly (7.2 for the 2014 model, 7.9 for the 2013). The 2017 model has the same features as the 2016, but it manages an overall score of just 6.9 – well under the 2016’s 7.7 score.  

Compare the 2014, 2015, and 2016 Versa »

Which Used Nissan Versa Model Is Right for Me?

The 2016 Nissan Versa is available in two body styles: Versa sedan and Versa Note hatchback. Both are available in four trims: S, S Plus, SV, and SL. The Versa Note SR – a sporty hatchback – is also available.

The Nissan Versa S trim comes with few standard features; Bluetooth is the only notable one. The S Plus adds cruise control and a rear spoiler.

The Nissan Versa SV comes with several desirable upgrades. Standard features include power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, a USB port, a six-way manual driver's seat, and 60/40-split-folding rear seats for additional cargo space. The Versa Note SV hatchback has a 5-inch color display, a rearview camera, and a customizable cargo hold.

The Nissan Versa SL trim includes a rearview camera, satellite radio, push-button start, and a NissanConnect infotainment system with navigation. The Versa Note SL adds a 360-degree camera system. The Versa Note SR hatchback offers sportier exterior and interior styling, sport suede seats with orange accent stitching, and outside mirrors with LED turn signals.

If you buy a Versa, go for the SV trim or higher.

See 2016 Nissan Versa trims and specs »

What Does Nissan's Certified Pre-Owned Warranty Cover?

Nissan offers a certified pre-owned program for vehicles six years old or less and with fewer than 80,000 miles. Eligibility is determined by the vehicle’s initial sale date. For its certified pre-owned vehicles, Nissan extends the original new-car warranty to seven years from the original sale date or 100,000 miles. To become certified pre-owned, each Nissan CPO vehicle must pass a 167-point inspection. Additional benefits like rental car reimbursement, a three-month SiriusXM satellite radio trial subscription, a Security+Plus Extended protection plan, towing, and 24-hour roadside assistance may be available, so read the Nissan warranty page carefully.

Nissan’s CPO program is about average for an affordable auto manufacturer, according to our research. Mazda, Honda, and Chevrolet all have more robust programs.

See the best CPO programs »

Read more about the Nissan certified pre-owned program »

How Safe Is the Versa?

The 2016 Versa has an average safety score for the class. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2016 Versa sedan the highest rating of Good in the moderate overlap front, side, roof strength, and head restraints and seats crash tests. The Versa received the lowest rating of Poor in the driver’s side small overlap front evaluation. The Versa Note hatchback was not independently tested by the IIHS.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration gave both the sedan and hatchback four out of five stars for overall safety, and four stars in the rollover evaluations. The Versa Note received five stars for the side crash test, while the Versa sedan received four stars. The sedan got four stars in the frontal crash test, while the hatchback earned three.

Nissan offers the 2016 Versa with a standard review camera and an available around-view, multiangle camera system. There are no other active safety features.

See Versa safety scores »

2016 Nissan Versa Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Versa or 2016 Kia Rio?

The 2016 Kia Rio is among the few subcompact cars with a strong base engine that produces zippy acceleration. It also has a sport-tuned suspension for lively handling around corners, as well as sharp steering and strong brakes. The Rio offers a better reliability rating and a higher-quality interior that features attractive styling and top-notch materials. It’s by far the better choice.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Versa or 2016 Honda Fit?

The 2016 Honda Fit costs about $3,800 more than the Versa on average, but it’s worth the extra money. The Fit has one of the most upscale cabins in the class, featuring contemporary styling, soft-touch materials, and a standard USB port. While the Versa offers excellent fuel economy estimates and good cargo space, the Fit uses even less gas and has a larger, adjustable cargo area. The Fit also earned two of our 2016 Best Car awards.

Which Is Better: 2016 Nissan Versa or 2016 Ford Fiesta?

Like the Nissan Versa, the 2016 Ford Fiesta is among the lower priced cars in the class. However, the Fiesta gives you more bang for your buck. Its agile handling and three engine options offer fun behind the wheel, and its high-quality interior includes a good number of user-friendly tech features. It’s the better vehicle, but it is tight on cabin and cargo space.

Compare the Versa, Rio, and Fit »

2016 Versa Performance

How Does the 2016 Nissan Versa Drive?

The front-wheel-drive 2016 Versa has a 109-horsepower four-cylinder engine mated to five-speed manual transmission. The Versa has sufficient power for local trips around town, but it struggles to accelerate and reach highway speeds. A continuously variable automatic transmission is available, but it’s noisy under hard acceleration. The Versa’s ride is fairly comfortable, but its steering and brakes feel too light.

Does the 2016 Nissan Versa Get Good Gas Mileage?

Models with the automatic transmission get up to 31 mpg in the city and 39 mpg on the highway, which are excellent figures for a subcompact car. With the manual transmission, fuel economy estimates drop to 27 mpg in the city and 36 mpg on the highway. Those are better fuel estimates than the Toyota Yaris and Hyundai Accent earn.  

Read more about Versa performance »

2016 Versa Interior

How Many People Does the 2016 Versa Seat?

The Nissan Versa – available in sedan and hatchback body types – seats five on cloth seats. Upgraded upholstery, heated front seats (hatchback only), and a driver’s seat armrest are available. For quick commutes, the Versa’s seats are comfortable, but they don’t remain that way for very long. The back seats offer an abundance of headroom and legroom rarely seen in subcompact cars. The interior has drab styling and is made with low-rent materials, which is unsurprising given the car’s price.  

How Many Car Seats Fit in the 2016 Nissan Versa?

There are complete sets of LATCH child-seat connectors in the outboard rear seats, and an upper tether anchor on the middle seat. The IIHS gave this LATCH system the second-highest rating of Acceptable for its ease of use, noting that the lower anchors are buried deep in the seats.

2016 Nissan Versa Features

The 2016 Nissan Versa has a scant standard features list that includes a four-speaker audio system and Bluetooth. Available features include power windows and door locks, satellite radio, cruise control, remote keyless entry, push-button start, and the NissanConnect infotainment system with a 5.8-inch touch screen, navigation, voice recognition, and smartphone integration.

See 2016 Nissan Versa specs »

Read more about Versa interior »

2016 Nissan Versa Dimensions

Nissan Versa Cargo Space

The 2016 Versa sedan has one of the largest trunks in the class, at 14.9 cubic feet. The Versa Note has an average amount of cargo space for a subcompact hatchback: 18.8 cubic feet behind the rear seats and 38.3 cubic feet with the seats folded.

2016 Versa Length and Weight

The 2016 Nissan Versa sedan is 14.6 feet long. Its curb weight ranges from 2,363 pounds for the base S model with a manual transmission up to 2,498 pounds for the CVT-equipped SL model. The five-door Versa Note hatchback is 13.6 feet long, and its weight ranges from 2,414 to 2,523 pounds.

Where Was the 2016 Nissan Versa Built?

The 2016 Versa was assembled at a Nissan plant in Aguascalientes, Mexico.

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