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James Flammang
Contributing Editor - October 6, 2015

2016 Nissan Versa OVERVIEW

Not long ago, the subcompact Versa was available as a sedan or a hatchback. Since 2014, the five-door hatchback has been a standalone model called the Versa Note. The Versa sedan received a full redesign for 2013, transforming its appearance so it could compete more effectively against several sharp-looking rivals.

What's New for 2016

After receiving new fascias and interior refinements last year, the Versa sedan changes little for 2016, beyond two new colors. Body-colored power mirrors now are standard on all models, the Versa S gains standard rear speakers, and SL adds a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

Choosing Your Nissan Versa

Like other subcompact cars, the Versa can be relatively stripped-down, loaded with plenty of extras for its class, or fit somewhere between those extremes. Despite the trim-level choices, the small sedan only has one engine available, a 1.6-liter four-cylinder that develops 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque.

Buyers can obtain any of three transmissions, but choice is limited by trim level. The only version available with a five-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic is the base S trim. Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT) is standard on all upper trims. CVTs have acquired a reputation for limiting driving enjoyment, though fans of the gearless transmissions praise its efficiency. Clearly, the CVT helps the subcompact get estimates of 31 mpg in city driving and 40 mpg on the highway, compared to the five-speed manual's 27 mpg city and 36 mpg highway.

The 2016 Versa sedan is available in four trim levels:


The 2016 Versa S starts at a super-thrifty base price of $11,990. At this level, the Versa comes with little more than the bare essentials needed to pilot a car, including 15-inch steel wheels, cloth seats, air conditioning, manual windows, power mirrors, a four-speaker audio system with AM/FM/MP3/CD capabilities and an auxiliary input, and Bluetooth connectivity. Selecting the four-speed automatic transmission adds $1,500 to the base price.

S Plus

Choosing S Plus trim brings the Versa to $13,990, adding the Xtronic CVT, as well as a rear spoiler and cruise control, with steering wheel-mounted controls.


Moving up to SV level provides the Versa sedan with just about all the basic amenities that buyers expect from a smaller automobile, boosting the price to $15,530. Included are chrome door handles, an outside temperature display, keyless entry with panic button, power windows, map lights, a driver's seat armrest, upgraded cloth upholstery, printed (non-woven) headliner, split-folding rear seat, and a USB/iPod connections for the audio system. Alloy wheels are optional. SV Appearance and Technology Packages are optional.


The SL trim level loads the Versa with all the features a buyer could want in an entry-level, subcompact sedan, for $17,090. Standard equipment includes a rearview camera, 16-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, NissanConnect with voice-activated navigation and mobile apps, hands-free texting, pushbutton ignition/start, variable intermittent wipers, a 5.8-inch touchscreen display, SiriusXM satellite radio, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

CarsDirect Tip

The $11,990 starting price may seem attractive, but the extra features included with the slightly more upscale S Plus trim level make it the better bargain. So is the SV version, which adds even more conveniences. This difference is compounded by the extra gas mileage that the Xtronic CVT helps the S Plus and upper models achieve over the Versa S, with either manual shift or its available automatic. Not many four-speed automatics are around anymore.

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