Review by Veeno Dewan

The eighth-generation Nissan Versa is a new take on the venerable compact sedan that has been a top seller for the company. The current Versa is one of the better styled compact sedans, with a look that is both sporty and substantial. The signature V-motion grille is nicely integrated, and the smooth unobtrusive styling makes it look classy and playful. The cabin and exterior have a makeover with new exterior design elements, and more premium quality materials and a thoughtful upscale look and feel. The new Versa is lower, wider, and longer and carries through Nissans emotional Geometry design language.
For 2023, changes carry over from 2022 with following additions a light facelift for 2023, with a revised grille and a new 17-inch wheel design for the SR model. There are also added technology features in the cabin, with the SR trim gaining an 8.0-inch touchscreen, WiFi hotspot, and adaptive cruise control as standard. The SV model also receives a wireless charging pad and a center console with an armrest and includes the addition of heated front seats and mirrors to base S trims , along with a 7-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.
Power for the Versa comes courtesy of a 1.6 litre four-cylinder unit producing 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. The gearbox is Nissan’s Xtronic continuously variable transmission (CVT). A five-speed manual is available, but only offered on the base S trim sadly. The 2022 Versa is offered in three models – S (5-speed manual or Xtronic transmissions), SV and the SR. Prices start at $16,798 for the S manual and top out at $21,298 for the SR Xtronic. The SR adds some sporty flair with g 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with 205/50R17 all-season tires, LED headlights, remote engine start, black painted heated exterior mirrors, body-colour rear spoiler and more.
Our SR model tester also came with such niceties as: thin lensed LED headlights, 6- way power driver’s seat, 6- speaker audio system, rear spoiler, 17 -inch alloy wheels, and black side mirrors, A dark chrome V-motion grille and chrome exhaust tips complete the look.
Interior equipment included: play. Android Auto, Wireless Charger. , -inch colour touch screen display, SiriusXM radio. Bluetooth. Hands Free text messaging Assistant, Siri eyes, Google Assist, Voice recognition and more.
The interior cabin on the Versa is also impressive: there is a high-end feel with premium textiles, plastics, and upholstery. The raised orange stitching on the black seats and dash on our SR tester looked wonderful and adds a refined sense of style. A chunky feeling steering wheel , simple clear gauges and easy to use controls add to the ambience. Nissan’s “Zero Gravity” seats reside up front- and are ergonomically designed to alleviate pressure points, they are meant for all-day driving comfort. The rear cabin is also roomy, and seats two adults in comfort rather than three. A pair of rear USB ports are also within easy reach. Opting for the available sunroof cuts into the cabin’s headroom but otherwise adults have ample space in the front and back. Trunk space is on the money at a huge for its size – 15.0 cubic foot.
On the road the wider stance provides a lower centre of gravity and more stable composure. It is certainly an improvement over the outgoing Versa. The handling is quite good, with nice reflexes. The suspension is smooth, and irons out rough surfaces well. Steering is nicely balanced and overall, the Versa is genuine fun to drive, but not that fast. Acceleration is adequate for everyday driving, not mind blowing, however there is a Sport button that can add some extra throttle response grunt when needed. We were especially impressed with its braking system. The Versa delivered reassuring pedal feel and solid stopping power on all road conditions. Not much to gripe about, the CVT is still a tad sluggish on fast acceleration and upshifts. The back seat room is also frugal in terms of room. Positives are the y good official fuel rating of 7.4/5.9 city and highway and 6.7 L/100 km combined.
I like the cool exterior styling, the nice interior, the decent –equipment levels and the performance. Its not bad on fuel either. Fit and finish is excellent, the door panels, plastics and textiles all feel durable. Nissan deserve a huge pat on the back for making one of the best compact sedans available in Canada. Highly recommended.

2021 Nissan Versa: Priced from $16,498 (base); SR Model as tested $24,898 including Freight and PDE. More info at