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June 03, 2009

First Impression: 2009 Nissan Versa 1.6 Sedan Review

Nissa versa Talk about bare bones! This week’s test vehicle was the 2009 Nissan Versa 1.6 Sedan, which was as stripped down as I’ve ever seen. When Nissan launched this model a few years ago I did an on-air overview of it with Harry Smith, host of CBS’s Early Show. At that time, Nissan provided the top-of-the-line Versa model for the camera, and it was hot. The new little sub-compact had every bell and whistle you could imagine. I knew there were other models with fewer options; however I didn’t realize there was one as bare bones as this week’s test car.

Most gadgets on the test Versa were manual including windows, seat adjustments, side view mirrors, and door locks. Let me re-phrase… door lock, which can only be opened via key and not key fob. This model had one outside door lock, which was on the driver’s side door, allowing for no other access into the car if all doors are locked. Once inside, the other three doors offer inside locks that need to be manually pressed to open or lock the doors. This isn’t a bad thing if you’re the only user of the vehicle and don’t need regular access to the rest of the car. Women with kids, this particular Versa version is not for you. Not only is access challenging it also poses a security risk to your personal safety should you need quick access to escape a weird and wild whack-job who intends you harm.

 

What I loved about this skinny-minny model was its gas mileage, which was so good that I thought the gas gauge had broken because the needle hadn’t moved off full until I hit 101 miles and even then it moved only one notch. Nissan claims only 26MPG city and 34MPG highway but I found it to exceed that.

 

If you’re in-market for just a plain Jane, point A to point B ride and don’t care about all the bells and whistles, the Nissan Versa 1.6 Sedan is a great buy for only $12K. If you need more in your daily commute than this version offers then visit the Nissan website to review the other roomy Versa models and variety of options from Nissan. No matter which Versa you choose, you can count on a governmental 5-star frontal safety rating and four stars in side impacts and rollovers. But, hopefully you’ll never have to find out just how good they are. Safe driving!

Check out RTM's Nissan New Vehicle Buyer's Guide.

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