The Nissan Versa, now in its fourth year of production, could be forgiven for resting on its considerable laurels. Named a Consumers Digest “Best Buy” for the third straight year in 2009*, as well as receiving the highest Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) ratings in front-, side- and rear-impact evaluations**, Versa continues to evolve – enhancing its strong appeal in the marketplace with a highly affordable Versa Sedan 1.6 introduced last model year and an array of refinements for the 2010 model year.
“Versa remains one of the top choices for buyers seeking fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance, roominess without compromising style and high-value in conjunction with high quality,” said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. “For 2010, Versa again offers one of the highest standard horsepower and torque ratings and largest interiors in the entry-level segment – along with a wide range of models and available features such as navigation, intelligent key and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System.”
Versa features a number of refinements for 2010, including standard sport front and rear fascias, body side sills, fog lights and rear spoiler for Versa Hatchback SL models, a revised front grille design for all models, new wheel treatments, and revised interior fabrics and finishers. Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) is now standard for 1.8 S models, along with standard ABS, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) and Traction Control System (TCS) for 1.8 SL models. VDC and TCS are optionally available on 1.8 S models. Standard fog lights are added on Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL and an optional navigation system will also be offered for the first time (late
Other revisions for 2010 include auxiliary input added to base audio system; Interface System for iPod® added to upper grade radio; and the SL Sport interior is now standard on Versa Hatchback SL with charcoal interior.
New or revised option packages include a combined Navigation/XM Satellite Radio Package; the previous Power and Cruise Packages are combined into Power Plus Package; and the Moonroof Package is now available with the Versa Hatchback only.
Versa Hatchback and Versa Sedan models are offered with a long list of standard and available equipment, including available Nissan Intelligent Key™, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
Two Distinctive Body Styles, Two Engine Choices
The 2010 Nissan Versa is available in 5-door Hatchback and 4-door Sedan body configurations. Versa’s crisp, youthful body forms and long rooflines suggest both the roominess inside and Versa’s performance capabilities.
The exterior of the Versa Hatchback and Sedan, with their long 102.4-inch wheelbases and short front and rear overhangs, feature a dynamic look and attention to detail, as seen in the large halogen headlights, revised signature Nissan grille and large taillights. The Versa exteriors also feature body-color front and rear bumpers and body-color dual remote-controlled outside mirrors (except 1.6). Versa has a coefficient of drag of 0.31.
Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL models add a higher level of performance styling with a roof-mounted rear spoiler, lower body side sill extensions, unique front and rear fascia and fog lights.
The 2010 Versa is available in 10 exterior colors: Red Alert, Metallic Blue, Blue Onyx, Espresso Black, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Red Brick, Fresh Powder and Arctic Blue.
Versa Sedan models are equipped with a choice of a 107-horsepower 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan 1.6 Base, Sedan 1.6) or 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan 1.8 S, Sedan 1.8 SL). Versa Hatchback is offered with the 1.8-liter engine only (Hatchback 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 SL). Torque is rated at 107 lb-ft for the 1.6-liter and 127 lb-ft for the 1.8-liter. Both engines combine responsive power with excellent fuel economy.
Four transmissions are offered – a 5-speed manual (Sedan 1.6 Base), 6-speed manual (Sedan 1.6, Sedan 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 S), an electronically controlled automatic with overdrive (optional Sedan 1.6, Sedan, 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 S), and Xtronic CVT™ transmission (Hatchback 1.8 SL only).
Fuel economy for the Versa Sedan 1.6 is rated at 26 mpg City/34 mpg Highway (equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission). Nissan Versas equipped with the 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine are rated at 28 mpg City/34 mpg Highway with the Continuously Variable Transmission; 24 mpg City/32 mpg highway with the 4-speed automatic transmission; and 26 mpg City/31 mpg Highway with the 6-speed manual transmission.
All 2010 Versas are equipped with an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars. Other standard equipment includes Electric Power Steering and power-assist front disc/rear drum brakes. An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) is standard on all Versa 1.8 S and 1.8 SL models (optional on Versa 1.6).
Versa 1.6 models are come with 14-inch wheels and Bridgestone all-season tires, while Versa 1.8 S models feature 15-inch wheels (with a new wheel cover design) and Continental all-season tires. Versa 1.8 SL models offer standard 6-spoke 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, with new, optional 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels offered on Hatchback 1.8 SL models to complement the sport-styled exterior.
A Comfortable, Flexible Interior
In Versa, Nissan’s design and engineering teams found a way to fit a large interior in a small car. Interior length, front to back, is more than six feet. Both the Versa Hatchback and Versa Sedan have large cargo areas, ideal for owners with highly active lives. Versa Hatchback models feature a 60/40 split fold-down rear bench that allows for a wider spectrum of passenger/cargo space combinations.
Along with a spacious cabin, Versa offers a clean, simple, high quality interior design and excellent craftsmanship. Comfort is a priority for all passengers. The wide, laterally oriented instrument panel underscores Versa’s width, while the low center console flows freely toward the rear, giving a sense of the interior’s length. For 2010, the gauges have been revised with a more “dimensional” appearance and white illumination, while interior illumination has been changed to a reddish orange.
Both Sedan and Hatchback designs also integrate convenient storage solutions, including in the center console, glove compartment, front doors and an in-dash storage compartment.
The 2010 Versa also comes with a long list of available technology, including available Nissan Intelligent Key™, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately) and a new navigation system (late availability) with XM NavTraffic® Real-Time Traffic Information (XM® subscription required, sold separately).
Standard Safety Features
Versa has received the highest ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front-, side- and rear-impact evaluations, thanks in part to safety features including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags and front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection), and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
Additional safety features include standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, child safety rear door locks, child seat upper tether anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints and standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS).
For 2010, ABS is now standard for both 1.8 S and 1.8 SL models, with Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) standard on 1.8 SL (optional for 1.8 S).
Models, Options and Manufacturing
The economical 2010 Versa 1.6, with one of the lowest available Manufacturers’ Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP), offers a long list of standard features and equipment, including six air bags.
Versa 1.8 S models add upgraded interior cloth and trim, 120-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, chrome decklid finisher, ABS and more. Versa SL models include aluminum-alloy wheels, woven cloth seats, front center armrest with soft pad, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Interface System for iPod® and much more.
Available options packages include the Power Plus Package with power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control and more; the Convenience Package, with Nissan Intelligent Key™, Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System, leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted audio control; the Premium Package (Hatchback only), which adds 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels to the contents of the Convenience Package; and the new navigation system and XM® Satellite Radio (XM® subscription required, sold separately). Other packages include the Power Moonroof, Hatchback SL Charcoal Interior Package, ABS and VDC.
Versa is manufactured at Nissan’s Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant that also builds Nissan Sentra models for the United States market.
*The 2009 Nissan Versa is winner of a Consumer Digest Best Buy Award.
** For more information, see iihs.org.