Upgraded Nissan Versa Still Dirt Cheap, Gets Budget-friendly Special Edition

Matt Posky
by Matt Posky
upgraded nissan versa still dirt cheap gets budget friendly special edition

Peaking sharply in 2015, domestic sales of Nissan’s Versa slipped as North America pivoted toward crossover vehicles. While that’s normally a shame, there isn’t a lot of praise to heap upon the model. But is certainly is cheap!

Upgraded in the middle of 2018 to include a standard rear-view camera, along with a 7.0-inch color touchscreen, audio streaming via Bluetooth, Siri Eyes Free, a USB connection, new speakers, and — get this — an auxiliary input, Nissan intends to further improve the model for with the SV Special Edition package. However, bargain hunters might rejoice, as the model’s overall pricing will enter 2019 nearly unchanged.

That’s $12,360 (plus a $895 destination fee) for what is inarguably a new car. Hardware includes a 109-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine mated to a five-speed manual, offering impressive fuel economy and absolutely nothing else.

Relatively slow, fairly clumsy, and not particularly nice inside, the Versa is still so cheap that you really can’t complain too much. In fact, the base model almost makes the Kia Rio look expensive by comparison.

For 2019, Nissan brings in an $800 upgrade via the SV Special Edition package. The bundle adds 15-inch aluminum wheels, fog lamps, chrome accenting on the front fascia, special edition badging, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, and some Piano Black trim pieces for the interior. The current 2018.5 model will also be available with the SV Special Edition pack on top-trimmed variants as a $500 extra.

While any improvements to the Versa’s cabin is a blessing, the addition of glossy black plastic around the console and a new steering wheel probably can’t be considered a “game changer.” Fortunately, you also get Nissan’s Intelligent Key system with a push-button starter, immobilizer, tire pressure monitoring, and NissanConnect SM featuring Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and SiriusXM Satellite connectivity.

It’s not a bad little bundle if you plan on spending a lot of time inside the vehicle (or if it were available on all trim levels). But we can’t help but remind everyone there are more enjoyable alternatives out there for an extra grand or three. However, with a starting MSRP below $13k and a reasonable amount of interior space for the segment, it’s hard not to at least mention the Versa to people who don’t care about driving and simply need a fuel-efficient car, capable of holding four adults, on the ultra cheap.

As previously stated, the 2019 Nissan Versa starts at $12,360 when equipped with a manual transmission. Upgrading to the S Plus with an Xtronic (CVT) transmission brings that cost $14,500, while the Versa SV begins at $15,990 (plus destination). That represents a paltry $50 increase over the mid-year version, which was mandated by federal safety laws and added $200 to the old Versa’s price.

[Image: Nissan]

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3 of 71 comments
  • CincyDavid CincyDavid on Aug 29, 2018

    I rented one in Florida 2 years ago. Aside from poor directional stability on the interstate I was impressed. HUGE back seat, big trunk. Would I want to drive 1000 miles with 4 people on board? Nope. Would I consider it for a 5th car/cheap beater? Absolutely! I am not a fan of "modern" Nissans. Back in the 80s and early 90s I owned several, and they were cheaper alternatives to Honda and Toyota, but rock-tough and reliable. Now I don't trust their long term reliability. This one's cheap enough that I would roll the dice if I had the need for yet another car.

    • DevilsRotary86 DevilsRotary86 on Aug 29, 2018

      "Would I want to drive 1000 miles with 4 people on board?" Been there, done that. Last month for my grandmother's birthday, my family went 1000 miles from Dallas to South Bend in our Versa Note. OK, it was 3 people, not 4. But you get the idea.

  • Niraj D Niraj D on Sep 01, 2018

    S U B C O M P A C T C U L T U R E

  • GrumpyOldMan Lost me at the last word of the second paragraph.
  • Bobbysirhan I suppose this explains why almost everything that makes a GM product function has been Chinese for several years now.
  • Kevin 35 grand if a 2 door but not a 4 door!
  • Kevin 35 grand USD for a 57 wagon that still needs lots of work such as spindles body work and what ever else maybe 25 but 35 no thanks I'll stick with what I have. Floor pans replaced and whatever else my 68 chevelle I paid $4800.00 USD 20 years ago and is all original.
  • FreedMike Needs a few more HP to really spice things up...