The 2021 Nissan Versa Actually Won an Award

by Gabrielle DeSantis

The Nissan Versa is a compact car that starts in the budget price range. It’s not exactly known for its exciting powertrains or premium fit and finish. That said, for what it is it ticks virtually every expected box relative to other small cars in the class. In fact, the 2021 Nissan Versa actually won an award. 

Modernized Nissan company logo | Stanislav Kogiku/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Consumer Guide awarded the 2021 Nissan Versa as a Best Buy in the compact car segment

The 2021 Nissan Versa earned the Best Buy badge from Consumer Guide this year. It also earned the title last year. In addition, the 2020 model year was named J.D. Power’s Most Appealing Small Car. So this little sedan has actually won a few awards and accolades in the past year or two.

This year, the Nissan Versa’s 2021 model year earned the Best Buy badge because it “boasts better passenger and trunk space, refinement, features, and even style than you might expect at its bargain prices.” In fact, it starts under $15,000. Redesigned for 2020, buyers get an all-new example of Nissan’s smallest four-door car.

Plenty of bang for the buck  

an orange 2021 Nissan Versa driving on a scenic winding road
2021 Nissan Versa | Consumer Guide

In spite of shortcomings like the lack of leather upholstery or the option for extras like a sunroof or navigation system, the 2021 Nissan Versa is at the top of its class for offering loads of bang for the buck. Even Car and Driver report that the new Versa is “much better to drive than the version it replaces, providing accurate steering feel and consistent brake-pedal feedback.” 

Plus, it got up to 40 mpg on the highway in Car and Driver’s “real-world fuel economy” testing. That is actually better than the EPA estimates for the 2021 Nissan Versa’s 122 hp four-cylinder. Overall, because of the incredibly low pricing, the 2021 Nissan Versa offers a specific appeal to budget buyers.  

What is a compact car? 

Other places like Car and Driver or U.S. News and World Report place the 2021 model year Nissan Versa in the subcompact car segment. Consumer Guide merely calls it “the smallest of Nissan’s compact cars.” Consumer Guide defines the compact car as “not too big, not too small, but just right.” 

The modern compact car is larger than it once was. That means that they are capable of accommodating a small family while achieving impressive fuel economy. Plus, low pricing is generally expected in the mainstream compact car segment as well. 

“The Nissan Versa straddles the line between the subcompact-car and compact-car classes; it’s priced like a subcompact, but it’s almost as large in some dimensions as the average compact car. However you categorize it, the Versa is an outstanding value; it offers a generous level of features and decent quietness and driving manners at very aggressive prices.” 

Consumer Guide

The 2021 Nissan Versa is an ‘outstanding value’

the interior view of the 2021 Nissan Versa compact car with sport cloth trim.
2021 Nissan Versa interior | Consumer Guide

Overall, the 2021 Nissan Versa isn’t thrilling. Nor does it offer any decadence with its simple interior. However, the total package is well executed for the price point. 

For those in search of a decent car that won’t break the bank, the 2021 Nissan Versa is a good choice. It’s earned some admiration from critics. And even the fully-loaded range topping version comes in at under $20,000.

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