2013 Nissan Versa Preview

Jeff Youngs | Jun 26, 2013
  • 5-passenger seating
  • Front-wheel drive (FWD)
  • Available only as a 4-door sedan
  • Nissan's lowest-priced model
  • EPA-estimated to achieve up to 40 mpg on the highway
  • Optional navigation system and rearview camera


Nissan's most affordable compact car, the Versa Sedan underwent a complete redesign in 2012, and just one year later, returns with a number of additional changes. For 2013, the lineup has been expanded to include a 1.6 S Plus trim level, an automatic transmission is a new option for the base 1.6 S variant, standard features and package content has been revised, and Versa Sedans equipped with a continuously variable transmission (CVT) offer improved fuel economy thanks to the use of low-rolling-resistance tires and strategically placed air deflectors.

The 5-door Versa Hatchback was canceled after the 2012 model year, making way for its replacement, the all-new 2014 Nissan Versa Note.

Exterior Features

The 2013 Nissan Versa Sedan's base model is the 1.6 S, with notable exterior features limited to 15-inch steel wheels, black grille and door handles, and halogen headlights. Visually, the new 1.6 S Plus trim level is identical to its entry-level counterpart, so buyers will need to move up to the Versa Sedan 1.6 SV for standard amenities including body-color power-adjustable outside mirrors, chrome accents, and a rear trunk spoiler. Differentiating the top-of-the-line 2013 Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6 SL are 15-inch alloy wheels and fog lights.

Interior Features

Car shoppers considering the Versa Sedan 1.6 S may be pleased to learn that this base model is not without a few amenities, with highlights including air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, height-adjustable driver's seat, cloth upholstery, and a 2-speaker sound system featuring a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. The 1.6 S Plus adds an extra pair of speakers, cruise control, and silver trim.

A more expansive array of standard comfort and convenience items accompanies the 2013 Versa Sedan 1.6 SV. Among them are electroluminescent gauges, keyless entry, power windows and door locks, premium cloth upholstery and door trim, and an inboard armrest on the driver's seat. The 1.6 SL tops things off with Bluetooth connectivity, push-button start, rear window defroster, 60/40 split-folding rear seat, and an upgraded audio system offering steering-wheel-mounted controls and an iPod interface.

Optional Features

There are two factory options available for the 2013 Nissan Versa Sedan, including a Convenience package that upgrades the 1.6 SV with Bluetooth connectivity, the 1.6 SL's audio system and 60/40 split-folding rear seat, a front map light, and a vanity mirror for the front passenger. Nissan also offers a Technology package, this time reserved for the 1.6 SL, which boasts a navigation system with a 5-inch touch screen, rearview camera, satellite radio service, and a USB port.

Under the Hood

The 2013 Nissan Versa is equipped with a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 109 horsepower and 107 lb.-ft. of torque, all of which is directed to the front wheels. Base 1.6 S models feature a standard 5-speed manual transmission or an optional 4-speed automatic; all other Versa trim levels utilize a continuously variable transmission (CVT).

Nissan complements the Versa's powertrain with an independent front suspension, torsion-beam rear axle, stabilizer bars, and electric power steering.

Fuel Economy

EPA fuel-economy estimates for the 2013 Nissan Versa are:

  • Versa Sedan with manual transmission: 27/36/30 mpg (city/highway/combined)
  • Versa Sedan with automatic transmission: 26/35/30 mpg
  • Versa Sedan with CVT: 31/40/35 mpg


The 2013 Nissan Versa's standard safety features include 6 air bags, traction control, 4-wheel anti-lock brakes with front discs and rear drums, electronic brake-force distribution, and brake assist.

In government crash tests, the 2013 Nissan Versa received an overall rating of 4 (out of 5) stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the Versa received a "Good" rating--the Institute's highest--for frontal-offset crash protection; the Versa also received a "Top Safety Pick" designation from the Institute.
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