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2013 Nissan Versa Pros and Cons at TrueDelta: Lovely car by BartHumphries

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Introduction

I drove this car from California to Georgia, up to Washington DC, then around the Great Lakes to Minnesota, then back to California.

Reviewed: 2013 Nissan Versa

4dr Sedan 109-horsepower 1.6L I4 5-speed manual FWD

Why the 2013 Nissan Versa?

Fuel economy

I did a lot of start and stop driving this summer at a camp, constantly reving up the engine to slowly drive over terrible speed bumps in the road. When I left Georgia, my average MPG was 31.3. When I arrived back in CA, after going 63 MPH (give or take 2) the whole way, my average MPG was up to 32.7.

Rear seat room & comfort

Even with the front seats slid all the way back, this car still has more room than almost any other car -- almost as much room as a BMW 780IL.

Driving position & visibility

I live in a rural mountainy area, with lots of twists and turns in the road. I love that the front left side of the windshield (from the driver's seat) is mostly far enough to my side that it rarely obstructs the road, and if it does then a slight lean to one side lets me see around it. On some cars the windshield is so far away from the driver, the dash is so huge, that the thick left side of the windshield completely blocks the road ahead on every turn.

Safety & braking

This car is light enough that it stops on a dime. Seriously, I can be driving along at a really fast pace and if I need to slam on the brakes, it just "whoomp" stops.

Interior styling

I bought the version with manual windows. If I want to go to the store and the other people in the car want to wait, I don't need to leave them the keys to let them roll down the window.

Why Not the 2013 Nissan Versa?

Cargo capacity

The two back seats don't fold down, so I can't carry anything longer than about 8 feet or so.

Front seat support & comfort

When I bought the car, I laid the seat down all the way to make sure it would be comfortable enough to nap on. It is, but it's slightly more comfortable if the car is parked on an incline because the seat doesn't quite go down completely flat... although come to think of it I haven't tried raising the seat height with the lever then setting the seat back. Anyway, the passenger side doesn't have a seat height adjustment lever and it doesn't quite make a 180% flat angle either.

Dealer practices

Nissan will send you all sorts of emails to bring your car in for its scheduled maintenance.

Other Features of the 2013 Nissan Versa

Conclusion

I love this car.  Manual transmission, so instant responsiveness to exactly how I want to drive, whether that's normal or under/overshifted to get more oomph or better gas mileage.  The trunk is roomy enough, although I wish there was a latch to put the back two seats down.  The back two speakers aren't hooked up for some reason.  I drove this car from California to Georgia in 2.5 days (pulling off the freeway, rolling over into the passenger seat and sleeping until I wasn't tired, then driving until I was tired, rinse and repeat).  I drove it all around Georgia over the summer, then took it up to DC, over to Minnesota, then back to CA with a pitstop in the middle of Iowa.

Oh, I had it all last winter in the snow too and it drove just fine.

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