The 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan made its debut at the 2014 New York International Auto Show and if you were hoping to get wholesale changes to make the car more appealing to the public, then you’re in for a rude awakening. Granted, there are some upgrades, but not enough to make you itch to get your hands on one. Some simple tweaks to the front and rear sections and a slightly improved interior are the best that you can hope for with the 2015 model.
Even the engine, with its pedestrian 109-horsepower output, hasn’t been changed. We would’ve hoped that Nissan did something about that considering that a lot of its rivals offer significantly more power, even though you have to spend a little more for them.
In the end, the 2015 Versa Sedan does still hold the distinction of being the cheapest model in its segment, so Nissan is probably riding that advantage until the cows come home. How long will that strategy last depends on how fast consumers realize that spending a little more could get you a car much better equipped than the Versa Sedan. Then again, at this price point — typically aimed at young buyers with a very limited budget — every dime counts and sacrifices are made to save those dimes.
Click past the jump to read more about the 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan.
Not a whole lot of significant changes were done on the outside of the Versa Sedan, but a close inspection will reveal a couple of things. Chief among them are the redesigned headlights and the front grille, which now come with a standard chrome plating. That’s the extent of what you’re going to get on the front section of the 2015 Versa Sedan.
Meanwhile, the rear section of the sedan also received tweaked taillights to go with a sportier rear bumper.
The higher trim SV and SL models also gets the benefit of a new fog light-finisher design, new side mirror designs, and a new set of 15-inch V-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels.
There aren’t enough changes to blow your mind, but the subtlelties are there to make for an improved sedan.
2014 Nissan Versa Sedan Vs. 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan
2015 Nissan Versa Sedan - Exterior Dimensions
|Overall length||175.4 Inches|
|Overall width||66.7 Inches|
|Overall height||59.6 Inches|
|Track width (front)||58.3 Inches|
|Track width (rear)||58.5 Inches|
Then there's the new steering wheel, which now carries standard audio and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System controls.
The 2015 Versa Sedan prides itself on having the most legroom of any other sedan in its class. Hard to make a case considering the market it’s in, but the Versa does offer comfortable five-passenger seating. The new shape of the center stack is also a welcome refresh, as is the revised meter display that now proudly carries a white LED display that’s been changed from the orange lighting of previous models.
Then there’s the new steering wheel, which now carries standard audio and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System controls. Like the exterior, the changes are small enough to be indistinguishable to some customers. But dive a little deeper and you’ll notice them.
2014 Nissan Versa Sedan Vs. 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan
2015 Nissan Versa Sedan - Interior Dimensions
|Head room (front)||39.8 Inches|
|Head room (rear)||36.6 Inches|
|Leg room (front)||41.8 Inches|
|Leg room (rear)||37.0 Inches|
|Hip room (front)||48.1 Inches|
|Hip room (rear)||46.2 Inches|
|Shoulder room (front)||51.7 Inches|
|Shoulder room (rear)||51.9 Inches|
No changes were made to the engine, either. So prepare yourself for the same 1.6-liter inline four-cylinder engine that produces just 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque while mated to a five-speed manual transmission. optionally, you can equip the Versa with a four-speed auto or Nissan’s Xtronic CVT. Fuel economy isn’t particularly impressive at just 27 mpg in the city and 36 mph on the highway with the manual, but the CVT puts it at a more sub-compact-like 31 mpg city and 40 mpg highway.
2015 Nissan Versa Sedan - Drivetrain Specifications
|Type||1.6-liter DOHC 16-valve 4-cylinder engine|
|Horsepower||109 hp @ 6,000 rpm|
|Torque||107 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual (Four-Speed Auto or Xtronic CVT optional)|
|Fuel economy (MPG City/Highway||27 / 36 (Manual) 26 / 35 (Auto) 31 / 40 (Xtronic CVT)|
Nissan is offering five trim options for the Versa, starting with the 1.6 S, which has a price of just $11,990. Even the top-of-the-line trim, the 1.6 SL, retails for only $16,890, continuing the Versa’s distinction as the cheapest (new) car in the U.S. Even with all of the options checked off and a few of the more common accessories added in — no, I left off the $12 valve stem caps that will be lost at the first tire change — the Versa came in at a thrifty $19,915.
|Versa 1.6 S||1.6 Liter 4 cyl MT||$11,990|
|Versa 1.6 S||1.6 Liter 4 cyl AT||$12,990|
|Versa 1.6 S Plus||1.6 Liter 4 cyl CVT||$13,790|
|Versa 1.6 SV||1.6 Liter 4 cyl CVT||$15,240|
|Versa 1.6 SL||1.6 Liter 4 cyl CVT||$16,890|
|Carpeted Trunk and Floor Mats||$170|
|Auto-dimming Rearview Mirror with Homelink® and Compass||$270|
|Interior Trim Appliques||$230|
|Illuminated Kick Plates||$255|
|Chrome Trunk Accent||$120|
|Nissan Vehicle Tracking and Recovery Service||$500|
|License Plate Frame (Chromed)||$35 ($40)|
|"Nissan" Valve Stem Caps||$12|
|Custom-Fit Car Cover||$105|
|Custom-Fit Car Cover Lock||$11|
|Interior Accent Lighting||$180|
|All-Season Floor Mats||$95|
|Carpeted Trunk Mat||$55|
|Emergency Road Kit||$63|
|First Aid Kit||$26|
|Seat Belt Extender||$46|
|Illuminated Ash Cup||$35|
It’s hard to argue against the starting price of the Nissan Versa Sedan because it’s cheaper than just about any other car in the US. But the Ford Fiesta Sedan makes its own compelling case.
For one, the new Fiesta’s exterior styling is now much more approachable, with big-car cues in its grille and nose that are designed to make it seem larger than it is. That’s a pretty big deal considering that cars of this segment aren’t usually the type to have some enviable appearances.
On top of that, the Fiesta Sedan also has a choice of engine, something the Versa doesn’t have. With it, customers can choose from a 1.0-liter EcoBoost that produces 123 horsepower and 148 pound-feet of torque or the more popular 1.6-liter inline-four that only has 120 horsepower and 112 ponies at its disposal. Both figures still represent better output compared to what the Versa is capable of.
Then again, with a base price of $14,000 for the S Sedan trim all the way up to $18,200 for the Titanium Sedan trim, the Fiesta Sedan still can’t call itself cheaper than its Nissan counterpart.
Gallery Ford Fiesta
You can make a case that the Kia Rio is one of the best values of its segment. Sure, the base price of $13,900 is still more expensive than the Versa Sedan, but for what you get, there’s a lot more value to the Rio than most cars of this segment.
The attractive aesthetics and the comfortable interior are only two pieces to the Rio’s puzzle. More impressive is the fact that it also carries a 1.6-liter inline-four engine that produces 138 horsepower and 123 pound-feet of torque with fuel efficiency at 27 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. Those are the same returns you can get with the Versa Sedan with extra ponies attributed to the Rio.
All that and you have a car that only costs $13,900 with a top-of-the-line model at $17,900, a little over than what you’re paying for with the Versa Sedan.
Gallery Kia Rio Sedan
Nissan isn’t pulling any punches with the Versa Sedan. It knows what it has and its determined to make it as successful as possible. Having the cheapest price of any car in the US is a huge plus, but what do you really get with all of it in the end?
Models like the Rio 5-Door and the Fiesta Sedan may be a little more expensive, but there’s more upside with those two models than what the Versa Sedan has. In the end, we’ll settle for paying the added money on the price because the long-term benefits are much more exciting.
- Cheapest car in America
- Subtle exterior changes make it a little nicer to look at
- Resale value has upside
- More powerful rivals
- Price isn’t that far off
- There are much better options out there
- Still using a four-speed auto? C’mon, Nissan...
Gallery Nissan Versa Sedan
Nissan today revealed photography and details of the new 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan, the best-selling vehicle for four years in a row*** in the highly competitive sub-compact segment. The 2015 Versa Sedan makes its debut next Wednesday, April 16th at the New York International Auto Show – the same day it arrives at Nissan dealers nationwide. The enhancements for the 2015 model year include new front and rear fascias, a range of interior refinements, and new grade level and packaging content.
"Versa Sedan is the entry point for the dynamic Nissan sedan lineup, attracting many first-time new car buyers to the brand," said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. "It’s critical that we keep Versa’s look and feel fresh and its value equation high, with a rewarding driving and ownership experience."
Most prominent of the changes is the bold new front end treatment anchored by larger headlights, a more substantial looking fascia and standard chrome plating on the grille – all of which strengthen the family ties of the Versa Sedan with the Nissan stable mates – Sentra, Altima and Maxima.
The list of exterior upgrades also includes a new fog light finisher design, new side mirror designs for SV and SL trim levels (with integrated turn signals for SL), and a more dynamic rear fascia design. A new, Versa Sedan-exclusive 15-inch V-spoke aluminum-alloy wheel design is also available with SV models.
Versa Sedan again offers five-passenger practicality with a high degree of comfort and refinement. Interior enhancements for the 2015 model year include a new center stack shape, which is similar to that found on the sporty Versa Note, a revised meter display with white LED display (previously orange illumination color) and a new, more substantial, steering wheel with standard audio and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System controls.
Versa Sedan S and S Plus grades feature a wide AM/FM/CD audio system with standard auxiliary-in and Radio Data System (RDS), standard assist grips, a passenger-side vanity mirror and new seat fabric. "Like the exterior changes, the interior refinements provide a more substantial, higher quality look and feel," added Loing.
All 2015 Versa Sedans continue to provide a roomy interior volume of 90.2 cubic feet, with more rear legroom than many mid-size sedans. Trunk volume measures 14.9 cubic feet. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is standard on SV and SL models for even greater cargo versatility.
The NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps system, which is offered as part of the SL Technology Package, includes a 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
The 2015 Versa Sedan utilizes Nissan’s global lightweight "V" platform and is powered by a 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. The 1.6-liter engine is matched with a choice of three transmissions – a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic (S models only), or a next-generation Xtronic transmission with D-mode step shift programming.
Fuel economy for the 2015 Versa Sedan is rated at 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined with the Xtronic transmission. Versa Sedan models equipped with the 5-speed manual offers 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined, while the 4-speed automatic-equipped models are rated at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.
The 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan is available in four well-equipped models – Versa Sedan S (offered in 5MT and 4AT versions), Versa Sedan S Plus (Xtronic only), Versa Sedan SV (Xtronic only) and Versa Sedan SL (Xtronic only).