Auto123.com - Helping you drive happy

2009 Nissan Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL Review

Quality car insurance coverage, at competitive prices.
Ask for a car insurance quote today.
GET AN ONLINE CAR INSURANCE QUOTE
If you owned a subcompact ten or fifteen years ago, you might think that today’s offerings are still cramped, noisy and cheap transportation devices. A lot has changed since the Pontiac Firefly and Toyota Tercel.

Nissan’s Versa has been on the market since the summer of 2006, and sales have been strong since the start.

And you know what? The subcompact segment is about to grow again; next year, Ford is adding the Fiesta to the North American line-up, and the Mazda2 will also arrive before next summer. The Canadian division of Mitsubishi is also figuring out how to bring the Colt to our home and native land.

Nissan’s Versa has been on the market since the summer of 2006, and sales have been strong since the start, which means you’re probably seeing a lot of them on the road. What makes the Versa so popular? That’s a simple question to answer.

Lots of space
There is more headroom in the Versa than in the bigger Sentra, proof of just how big the cockpit of the Versa really is. The seat adjustment levers are located on the inside near the parking brake, which means the wide cushions extend right up to the doors and humans of any size and shape will sit comfortably. The SL trim adds a height adjuster for the driver’s seat, handy for shorter people.

Rear-seat accommodations are exceptionally generous and entry and exit is eased by the squared-off doors. As a people mover, Nissan’s subcompact is hard to beat.

As a cargo hauler, however, a couple of rivals can do better. The rear seatback can fold down, but doesn’t create a flat loading floor like in the Honda Fit, and almost flat like in the Chevrolet Aveo and Suzuki Swift+ twins. Still, when the rear seat is up, luggage space is second only to the Fit.

Rear-seat accommodations are exceptionally generous and entry and exit is eased by the squared-off doors.