Fundamental transportation would not must be barebones.   

Craig Cole/Roadshow

The typical new-vehicle transaction worth within the US final yr topped $40,000. That is an astronomical sum of money to spend on an asset that sometimes depreciates like property values at a superfund website. However owing a shiny new trip with a manufacturing unit guarantee and loads of tech would not have to depart you a penniless pauper. The 2021 Nissan Versa ($212 at Amazon), as an example, presents a lot content material for thus little money.

Like

Unexpectedly snug interiorPlenty of normal featuresRoomy trunk

Do not Like

Tepid performanceNo middle armrestSloppy steering

No, there’s nothing joyful or exuberant about this scrappy little four-door. It is positively a function-dictates-form type of automobile, however the usual gear and general consolation supplied are inconceivable to disregard. From the bottom Versa S to the top SR, each one comes normal with computerized emergency braking together with pedestrian detection, computerized excessive beams, lane-departure warning and even rear computerized braking. Only a few years in the past, options like these have been onerous to seek out on luxurious vehicles and so they’re now normal fare on the most-affordable Nissan in America. The 2 increased trims may also be fitted with lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert, blind-spot monitoring and even adaptive cruise management. That final amenity is included within the $400 Comfort Package deal, which additionally will get you single-zone computerized temperature management and heated entrance seats.

The Versa’s high-end tech works surprisingly nicely. The blind-spot monitoring system within the SR mannequin I am testing is attentive to surrounding visitors and the adaptive cruise management — whereas not as fancy as Nissan ProPilot Help, which incorporates lane centering — is eerily observant, in a position to spot different automobiles round turns and gently decelerate so there aren’t any sphincter-puckering incidents on the freeway. Its efficiency is laudable at any worth, not to mention in a automobile that is this inexpensive.  

Different facilities embody a typical 7-inch colour touchscreen (which, sadly, is fairly washed out, even on overcast days), Bluetooth and three USB ports. Distant keyless entry and pushbutton begin are normal gear, too. Fancy SR fashions are additionally fitted with LED headlights, an easy-to-use 7-inch reconfigurable instrument cluster show and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The Versa’s high two trims may also be fitted with a Nissan Join infotainment system, which incorporates satellite tv for pc radio plus Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The SR variant’s normal six-speaker sound system can be unexpectedly crisp and clear.

The Versa’s inside is a nice place to spend time. Constructed largely of onerous plastic, the dashboard and door panels nonetheless look good and there are tender surfaces sprinkled all through. Each contrast-color stitching and seat material livens up what might in any other case be a reasonably bleak cabin. The entrance bucket chairs are supple but supportive and the backbench is upright and spacious, if a bit tight on headroom. This automobile nails the fundamentals, however not all the things. An armrest between the entrance seats is just not normal, leaving the motive force and entrance passenger’s elbows dangling, which might get fairly tiring on lengthy drives. Nissan does, nevertheless, provide a middle armrest with an built-in storage cubby, but it surely’s an absurd $320 possibility, one this instance is just not fitted with. Why such a easy characteristic is not normal throughout the board is an actual head scratcher.

Do not count on fire-breathing efficiency. Sorry, this is not a sports activities automobile.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

When it is time to haul baggage, this Nissan’s trunk presents about 15 cubic toes of house and is each broad and lengthy. For added versatility, the 60/40 break up rear backrest folds down for further capaciousness.

The Versa’s solely engine is a 1.6-liter inline-4. With out assistance from any compelled induction, its output is modest, simply 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. As you may think, it sounds a bit taxed when laboring, however in any other case feels fairly clean for what it’s. The acceleration this engine offers is sufficient, however in sure conditions, like when passing dawdling tractor-trailers or merging onto the freeway, you may pine for extra gusto. Regardless of these lackluster numbers, the Versa feels feisty off the road, its throttle tip-in is tuned to be borderline jumpy, however whether or not you are one-third of the best way into the accelerator or flat out, the Versa would not speed up any faster, plus its vigor lags at speeds past about 50 mph. Plan your overtaking maneuvers accordingly.

Useful, nice, spacious and comfy are all adjectives that describe the Versa’s inside.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

A fast-witted repeatedly variable transmission is normal on the midrange SV and top-shelf SR fashions. It responds easily and promptly to driver inputs, taking advantage of the Versa’s accessible horses. Nissan’s D-Step Logic causes the CVT to “shift” like a traditional computerized when pushed in anger, which reduces droning sounds and that annoying rubber-band feeling endemic to those transmissions. Offering a welcome little bit of selection, the bottom S grade is out there with a five-speed guide gearbox. It might be extra inexpensive up entrance, however this three-pedal association certain eats into the Versa’s gasoline financial system, costing you a whopping 5 miles per gallon throughout the board. Fashions fitted with the CVT are rated at 32 mpg metropolis, 40 mpg freeway and 35 mpg mixed. In blended use, I am averaging about 38 mpg, which is fairly stellar contemplating how liberal I’m with the fuel.

Different features of the Versa’s dynamics are largely likable. The trip high quality is taut but forgiving, which makes the automobile really feel a section or two bigger than it really is. No tinniness or fragility is detectable whereas driving over ravaged pavement or tough grime roads, although it does really feel a bit top-heavy in corners, with a wisp of physique roll when pushed. Additionally, wind noise is pronounced at freeway speeds, although I would not think about it loud inside. Pronounced, sure. Raucous, no.

The 2021 Nissan Versa is an affordably priced all-star.

Craig Cole/Roadshow

This Nissan’s largest dynamic weak point is certainly the steering. Mild and laughably limp, it is about essentially the most lifeless you may discover in any new automobile accessible at this time. There’s so little suggestions, it virtually looks like you are driving a automobile in some online game slightly than on actual roads, which is unlucky.

A frills-free Versa with a five-speed guide could be had for a skosh lower than $16,000 together with vacation spot charges, that are $950. That whole makes this Nissan sedan one of many most-affordable new vehicles you should purchase at this time, but regardless of the cut price buff’s price ticket it nonetheless comes with a stunning quantity of driver aids and different creature comforts. After all, the top SR mannequin I am reviewing here’s a bit steeper than that, although not as a lot as you would possibly count on. Together with $395 for Monarch Orange Metallic paint, a Nissan signature hue, and a sprinkle of different choices, it checks out for $21,155, about half of what the typical new automobile goes for today. And despite the fact that this Versa is a number of grand richer, it is extra snug than both an entry-level Chevy Spark and roundly superior to the Mitsubishi Mirage. A Honda Match, Hyundai Accent or Kia Rio would possibly give this Nissan a run for its cash, however that does not detract from the Versa’s lengthy record of virtues. It is a good little automobile for an amazing worth.

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