Ace of Base: 2019 Nissan Versa Sedan S

Matthew Guy
by Matthew Guy

Look, there are people who buy cars simply for transportation purposes. Yes, I know it’s hard to believe, especially for folks like you and I who are of the opinion that a bright-green Dodge Demon is just the ticket for a daily office commute.

Small, largely style-free sedans have been the mainstay of the affordable end of the market for decades. Despite the wholesale abandonment of that segment by certain automakers, there are still plenty of players in the game. Call ‘em the Econ Majors.

Matt ably told us about all trims of the 2019 Nissan Versa Sedan in yesterday’s news cycle. The base trim, labeled with a letter thanks to Nissan’s S-SV-SL naming convention, is now priced at $12,360, which represents a $50 hike over last year’s mid-year refresh.

Yes, mid-year. There are 2018.5 models of the Versa Sedan that differ in feature content compared to the 2018. Be sure to check your notes at Barrett-Jackson in thirty years’ time, folks.

The Versa Sedan was upgraded in mid-2018 with the addition of a standard RearView Monitor and an upgraded audio system. The new audio system includes a 7.0-inch color touchscreen, streaming audio via Bluetooth, a USB connection port for smartphones and other compatible devices, plus an Aux port. The 2019 retains all these goodies.

All base model 2019 Versa Sedans are equipped with a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter four-banger with a manual transmission. Fifteen-inch tires are mounted on steel wheels. Rear drums are a disappointment for this author, although there are plenty in the audience who feel those units are more than sufficient with the bonus of commanding fewer shekels at replacement time. Those people are free to be dead wrong.

Passengers will enjoy an abundance of cup holders and the all-important air conditioning. The steering wheel tilts and lights up its audio controls like Las Vegas. Color-keyed side-view mirrors are power operated.

There remains the issue of Versa’s appearance, as the designer’s styling choices have made the diminutive sedan look like a Beirut taxi. Its elongated taillights are uncohesive and, combined with a large rear overhang, seems to give it a droopy butt. This visual chicanery makes it appear too tall and narrow, as if it’s standing on tippy-toes looking for something on top of the fridge. I will point out this PR pic features a car with mismatched rims, if not in the reflection.

Still, under thirteen grand for a small sedan that’s not equipped like a penalty box and has air conditioning? That’s an attractive value. Ford’s base Fiesta is two grand more. Chevy’s base Sonic sedan? A three grand premium. Econ major, indeed.

[Images: Nissan]

Not every base model has aced it. The ones which have? They help make the automotive landscape a lot better. Any others you can think of, B&B? Let us know in the comments. Naturally, feel free to eviscerate our selection.

The model above is shown in American dollars with American options and trim, absent of destination charges and available rebates. As always, your dealer may sell for less.

Matthew Guy
Matthew Guy

Matthew buys, sells, fixes, & races cars. As a human index of auto & auction knowledge, he is fond of making money and offering loud opinions.

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  • HaveNissanWillTravel HaveNissanWillTravel on Aug 30, 2018

    We have a ‘17 Versa S 5M and absolutely love it. I picked it up as a backup car for my family. We have a soon to be driving teenager and with this family of 6, not every body goes shopping together all the time. We have a Quest for that business. It returns good mileage, AC is ice cold, trunk is huge and backseat room is incredible for a subcompact, very roomy. Sure, it’s an appliance but with the stick it is fun to drive and lowering the recommended tire PSI eliminates the drifty handling it can exhibit on the freeway. Love it.

  • Mikeyp.1 Mikeyp.1 on Sep 04, 2018

    I guess I am just a bottom feeder but I think I would like a Note 5-speed if they gave it the 125 horse engine from the Kicks.

  • Mike Lol. This is the king of suvs. And its made by GM.Why is everyone trashing it?Top of its its class for a quarter century.
  • Frank Drove past there last week, plant has a huge poster of a bronco on the outside. I was thinking "Is that where they build the new broncos?" I know they use to make the Edge and that other mundane SUV there but I believe both have been canned.
  • CanadaCraig Toyota saw this coming. So good for them for being courageous enough to say, "Wait a minute. Let's not rush into anything."
  • Rna65689660 As the previous owner of a Triumph, and current owner of a MINI, I say, LOL!
  • Yuda 1) EVs are garbage and a complete waste of time and money 2) Ford IS a business after all, cars and trucks ain't free, they take a lot of time and money to Actually make, manufacture, and build 3) SD trucks are actually useful and practical