The Nissan Versa hatchback, first launched as a 2007 model in North America, is one of the most versatile compact cars on the market that offers over 50 cubic feet of cargo space. For the latest model year Nissan has adopted a dual-platform product plan that sees the old model continue for the Versa Hatchback.
While the Versa Sedan is all-new for the latest model year, the Japanese automaker has decided to carry the old body and platform forward for the hatchback variant, although many changes were made to the packaging. For starters, the 1.6-liter engine was dropped, leaving just the 1.8-liter four-cylinder and three possible transmissions: a six-speed manual, a four-speed automatic or a CVT.
The 1.8-liter four-cylinder continues to be rated at 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. Fuel economy ranges from 26 city, 31 highway with the manual, to 24 city, 32 highway with the automatic, to 28 city, 38 highway with the CVT.
Versa Hatchback 1.8 S models feature 15-inch styled steel wheels with covers and P185/65HR15 Continental all-season tires. Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL models offer standard 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Continental P195/55R16 all-season tires, while six-spoke 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels are optional on 1.8 S models equipped with the four-speed automatic transmission.
The base model Versa Hatchback comes with such features as air conditioning, power windows and locks, power rear hatch release, four-speaker, 90-watt AM/FM/CD stereo with auxiliary input, tilt steering wheel, six standard airbags and a tire pressure monitoring system.
Upgrading to the SL includes sport front and rear fascias, rear decklid spoiler, fog lights, 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, woven cloth seats, front center armrest with soft pad, Nissan Intelligent Key, Interface System for iPod, tonneau cover and more.
Available options packages include the Plus Package which adds Remote Keyless Entry, cruise control and 15-inch Alloy Wheels, the Convenience Package which adds a Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, audio system with iPod control, steering wheel audio and Bluetooth switches, leather-wrapped steering wheel, map lights with sunglass holder, fabric headliner and visors and tonneau cover, or the S Navigation and SL Navigation Packages.
The Special Edition Package includes the contents of the Plus Package, 15-inch Alloy Wheels and Convenience Package, along with a "Special Edition" badge.
Nissan's Versa Hatchback breaks the traditional mold of the compact hatchback, opting for more room at the cost of content. As a result, it is larger than competitors like the Ford Focus Hatchback or Mazda MAzda3 Hatchback, but less expensive and not quite as well appointed, either. The Hyundai Elantra GT and Kia Rio5 offer similar equations of value, albeit with less room and more content.