The Nissan Versa is a mid-size car that is available in both a sedan and hatchback body style. Though introduced to the United States for the 2007 model year, the vehicle has been sold internationally since 2004. In Japan the vehicle is known as the Nissan Tiida. In Europe the car is rebadged as a Renault Clio. Vehicles that directly compete with the Versa in the U.S. include the Scion xB, MINI Cooper and Toyota Yaris.

The Versa is Nissan's entry-level vehicle and features a variety of economical and sporty features. The exterior features rounded edges and an unusually tall cabin area that is more commonplace in European markets. The long hood and short rear end is styled similarly to other vehicles in the mid-size class. Overall dimensions for the hatchback include a length of 169.1 inches, width of 66.7 inches and height of 60.4 inches. The sedan version is slightly longer, with a total length of 176 inches.

The interior of the Versa accommodates up to five passengers. The tall ceiling and smart layout deliver an unexpected amount of roominess. Front headroom is 40.6 inches and rear headroom is 38.3 inches (37.9 inches in the sedan). Front and rear legroom is 41.4 inches and 38 inches, respectively. High-quality materials and simple control switches are intended to be easy to use. Total cargo space available in the Versa is a respectable 13.8 cubic feet.

Nissan Versa Trim Levels

Both the hatchback and sedan can be had in an S or SL trim. The base S trim includes such standard features as air conditioning, interior air filter, power mirrors, stereo system with CD player and rear defogger. The hatchback also includes a split folding rear seat and rear wiper/washer. The SL adds cruise control, power windows, power locks, height-adjustable driver's seat, 6-disc in-dash CD/MP3 changer and alloy wheels.

A number of optional upgrades are available for both trim levels. Popular add-ons include remote keyless entry, leather-wrapped steering wheel with radio controls, power sunroof, satellite radio, rear spoiler and aluminum door sills.

Nissan Versa Performance

The Nissan Versa is powered by front-wheel drive and comes standard with a 1.8-liter 4-cylinder engine that delivers 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft. of torque. No engine upgrades are currently available. The Nissan Versa S can be had with either a 6-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic. For the SL hatchback, a continuously variable transmission is also available. The CVT transmission delivers the best fuel economy, which is EPA-estimated at 27 mpg in the city and 33 mpg on the highway.

Nissan Versa Safety

Nissan outfits every Versa with dual front airbags, side front airbags, side curtain airbags, front seat active head restraints and emergency inside trunk release. Antilock brakes and brake assist are available as an optional upgrade. In NHTSA crash tests, the Nissan Versa earned four out of five stars in all categories.

The 2009 Nissan Versa has a mid-year change happening for some Versas as well as a change of colors options for all Versa models. The Versa SL is getting new automatic power locks in the middle of the model year and the Versa S will have those locks as an option. All Versa models are being given new exterior color options. Red Brick, Metallic Blue and Sonoran Sand are available on all 2009 Versas while the Versa hatchback is getting Arctic Blue as an option as well.

The Versa comes in the S and SL trim levels in 2009 and is available in four styles: the 1.8 S Hatchback, the 1.8 SL Hatchback, the 1.8 S Sedan and the 1.8 SL Sedan. The hatchback trims all have five doors while the Sedans all have two doors. The Versa is a front wheel drive and has a 1.8 liter, six-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower and 127 pounds of torque. The S trim level comes with a six-speed manual transmission standard and has an option for a four-speed manual transmission. The four-speed automatic is the standard transmission on the SL trim level sedan. The SL hatchback has a continuously variable transmission system that gives it a better fuel economy rating and better performance.

The Versa comes standard with air conditioning, front side airbags, ABS and side curtain airbags. The SL comes standard with remote entry, cruise control, power windows and power locks. All of these features are optional for the S trim levels. The options available on the SL trim level includes a sunroof, keyless engine start and access, a cell phone link with wireless capabilities and remote engine start. The SL trim has a Sport Package available with fog lights, a rear spoiler and side sills. Both trims come standard with 15-inch wheels.