2016 Nissan Versa

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The Nissan Versa has the distinction of being one of the least-expensive vehicles offered in the American car market today. Don't let the sub-$13,000 price tag fool you, though. Air conditioning, an audio system with four speakers, Bluetooth phone connectivity and a tilt-steering wheel and column setup come standard on the base S. The list of safety features that are also standard is comprehensive as well: anti-lock brakes, stability control, traction control, and front, front-side and side curtain airbags. After undergoing some mild styling updates last year, the Versa for 2016 gets body-colored power side rearview mirrors on the S while the higher SL comes with a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The sub-compact 2016 Nissan Versa sedan can be had in four trim levels: S, S Plus, SV and SL. A hatchback version called the Versa Note hatchback is also available. It's not covered in this review. The S Plus builds on the above mentioned S with cruise control and a trunklid spoiler as standard. The SV gets even more goodies like power windows and door locks, nicer cloth upholstery and keyless entry via a fob. Unsurprisingly, the top-level SL gets everything from the lower trim levels. It then adds fog lights, push-button ignition, and a more premium audio system.

Two option packages are offered on the SV. An appearance bundle makes the Versa more distinctive with nicer wheels and chrome exterior accents. The tech package brings Bluetooth audio connectivity and navigation. The content of both sweet suites come standard in the SL.

All iterations of the 2016 Nissan Versa are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine. It's paired to a five-speed manual transmission on the S; a four-speed automatic is available. All other Versa models get a continuously variable transmission.

Output from the engine is 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Fuel economy with both the manual and automatic is 30 mpg in combined driving.* This figure sharply rises to 35 mpg combined with the CVT.

"Versa excels in ride comfort, even on potholed streets and choppy expressways," writes the auto experts at NewCarTestDrive. "A soft, perhaps even sloppy, suspension manages to soak up most road bumps and flaws without losing composure. That’s quite a feat in the subcompact class."

*All vehicle mileage based on 2016 EPA mileage estimates. Use for comparison purposes only. Do not compare to models before 2008. Your actual mileage will vary, depending on how you drive and maintain your vehicle.