Nissan Versa Years To Avoid and The Best Years

Nissan Versa Years To Avoid – Are you in the market for a reliable and efficient vehicle that won’t break the bank? The Nissan Versa has long been a popular choice for budget-conscious car buyers, offering an appealing blend of affordability and practicality.

However, like any other car model, the Versa has had its share of ups and downs over the years.

In this informative guide, we’ll explore the Nissan Versa’s journey through various generations and highlight the years you may want to avoid due to known issues and problems.

Nissan Versa Years To Avoid

Understanding the Importance of Knowing the Worst Years

When making a significant investment in a vehicle, it’s crucial to be well-informed about potential pitfalls that might arise.

While the Nissan Versa has earned a reputation for its economical fuel consumption and comfortable ride, certain model years have been plagued by mechanical setbacks that could lead to costly repairs and headaches down the road.

By being aware of the specific Nissan Versa years to avoid, you can make a confident and well-informed decision when shopping for a used or even a new Versa.

Whether you’re a seasoned car enthusiast or a first-time buyer, this guide will equip you with the essential knowledge needed to steer clear of problematic years and find the perfect Versa for your needs.

Identifying the Nissan Versa Years to Avoid

Let’s delve into the heart of the matter – which model years should you be cautious about?

It’s essential to remember that while some model years stand out as less reliable, Nissan has made continuous improvements, ensuring that newer Versa editions meet higher standards of performance and durability.

From the earliest models to the most recent ones, we’ll provide valuable insights into the specific issues that might have affected certain years, helping you make a well-informed decision.

Nissan Versa Years To Avoid

Remember, knowledge is power, and with the right information, you can confidently navigate the market and find a Nissan Versa that will serve you reliably for years to come.

So, let’s dive into the world of the Nissan Versa and uncover the years to avoid, empowering you to drive away with confidence and peace of mind!

2007 Nissan Versa

The 2007 Nissan Versa, being the debut model year, had a rocky start. According to data from Car Complaints, this particular Versa accumulated a staggering 549 NHTSA complaints and was subject to eight recalls, making it one of the worst years to avoid.

The most concerning issue with the 2007 Versa revolves around engine failure. Numerous owners reported loud clanking noises coming from the engine, eventually leading to engine failure, often occurring at relatively low mileage, around 50,000 miles.

Repairing this engine problem can set owners back up to $4,250, making it a significant financial burden.

Additionally, the 2007 Versa was equipped with the infamous Takata airbags, which have been associated with numerous recalls due to their potentially deadly defects.

If considering this model year, it is essential to verify with the dealer if the airbags have been recalled and replaced before making a purchase.

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2008 Nissan Versa

Unfortunately, the troubles didn’t end with the 2007 model year. The 2008 Nissan Versa also ranks among the worst years to avoid, with 538 NHTSA complaints and seven recalls.

At the top of the list of complaints about the 2008 Versa is its complex transmission system. Many affected owners reported issues such as noisy and leaking transmission fluid, difficulty shifting, and frequent hesitations.

Repairs for these transmission problems can amount to approximately $3,700, making it a costly fix.

Another prevalent issue with the 2008 Versa is rusting exhaust flanges, leading to increased engine noise and potential gasket leakage.

The typical repair cost for this problem is around $280, adding to the list of concerns for this particular model year.

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2009 Nissan Versa

The 2009 Nissan Versa seems to continue the trend of problematic years with an astounding 751 NHTSA complaints and seven recalls, making it one of the most troublesome years to avoid.

A primary concern for this model year is the coil spring prone to breakage. Many drivers reported sudden rear coil spring failures while the vehicle was in motion, and in some cases, the broken spring punctured a tire, necessitating a replacement.

Resolving this issue requires a coil spring replacement.

Another significant problem for the 2009 Versa is fuel pump failure, leading to an inability to get any gas, causing stalling or failure to start.

A P0087 trouble code may indicate fuel pump issues, requiring diagnosis and repair.

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2012 Nissan Versa

The 2012 Nissan Versa stands out as the undisputed winner (or loser) in terms of problematic years, earning Carcomplaints’ ‘Avoid Like the Plague’ award. With a staggering 779 NHTSA complaints and ten recalls, the 2012 Versa is a year to be avoided at all costs.

The most severe issue plaguing this model year is its defective transmission system.

The NHTSA found that the 2012 Versa could experience interference between the shifter knob and shifter rod, enabling shifting out of the park without depressing the brake pedal.

This flaw could result in the vehicle rolling into other objects or pedestrians, leading to potential accidents and injuries. As a result of this critical safety concern, Nissan issued a recall for the shifter assembly.

2014 Nissan Versa

Though not as notorious as the 2012 model year, the 2014 Nissan Versa still merits inclusion on the list of problematic years.

Car Complaints awarded the 2014 Versa with its ‘Avoid Like the Plague’ distinction due to reported issues with its transmission system and power loss during acceleration.

Numerous owners complained about transmission problems, including improper shifting, loud noises, and outright failure. Nissan acknowledged this issue and issued extended transmission warranties to address the problem.

Another issue to watch out for in the 2014 Versa is the loss of power during acceleration, leading to a wobbly driving experience. In some cases, drivers reported an inability to reach speeds beyond 40 mph.

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Best Nissan Versa Years

The Nissan Versa has established itself as a budget-friendly and practical choice for car buyers seeking a subcompact vehicle with great utility and fuel efficiency.

Now that we’ve covered the Nissan Versa years to avoid, it’s time to explore the models that inspire confidence and offer a reliable ownership experience.

Best Nissan Versa Years

We’ll highlight the best Nissan Versa years based on their overall reliability ratings and customer satisfaction.

Whether you’re a first-time buyer, a budget-conscious shopper, or seeking a dependable rental fleet vehicle, these top-performing Versa years deserve your consideration.

2018 Nissan Versa

The 2018 Nissan Versa stands out as one of the best years for the model, especially if you wish to steer clear of the transmission issues that plagued earlier models (2012-2017).

While it may lack some standard tech features and creature comforts, the 2018 Versa impresses with its ridiculously low sticker price, making it an attractive option for those on a budget.

With solid fuel economy, ample utility, and reliable performance, the 2018 Versa receives our vote as a budget-friendly subcompact car that won’t disappoint.

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2019 Nissan Versa

Designed to provide affordable and comfortable transportation, the 2019 Nissan Versa lives up to its promise without breaking the bank. As one of the most economical cars on the market, the 2019 Versa appeals to first-time buyers, budget-conscious shoppers, and rental fleets alike.

This model offers excellent fuel economy and boasts only a few minor reliability issues.

As a result, the 2019 Versa delivers a tremendous bang for your buck and boasts a low cost of ownership, making it a practical and reliable choice.

2011 Nissan Versa

The 2011 Nissan Versa showcases a minor role of engine and transmission issues in its reliability ratings. Notably, the number of complaints about suspension problems, a common issue with older Versa models, has declined significantly.

RepairPal awards the 2011 Versa with a 4.0 out of 5 reliability rating, ranking it 9th out of 32 car brands.

This improved reliability and relatively few trouble areas make the 2011 Versa a strong contender for those seeking a reliable and well-rounded subcompact car.

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2015 Nissan Versa (Second Generation)

The second-generation Nissan Versa, introduced in the 2012 model year, experienced a few years of reliability concerns, similar to its predecessor. However, by the time of the 2015 model year, the number of engine and transmission complaints had decreased significantly.

While the 2015 Versa exhibits fewer reports of gearbox troubles, it’s still wise to have the car thoroughly inspected by a mechanic before making a purchase, considering the well-known weakness of Versa’s continuously variable transmission (CVT).

2021-2022 Nissan Versa (Third Generation)

The third-generation Nissan Versa debuted in 2020, sporting a sleek exterior and modern cabin. While the 2020 model year might not have much data indicating poor reliability, it’s often prudent to avoid the first year of an all-new Nissan model due to historical experiences.

For better reliability prospects, we recommend considering the 2021-2022 model years, as they represent the first examples of the third-generation Versa with the potential for improved reliability.

However, it’s worth noting that there are few reports of problems at this time, likely attributed to the newness of this generation. Keep in mind that examples from 2021-2022 may still come with warranty coverage.

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2016 Nissan Versa

The 2016 Nissan Versa demonstrates a trend of fewer transmission troubles, indicating improvements over earlier model years. However, regardless of the year, it’s always advisable to conduct a pre-purchase inspection to ensure a smooth and reliable ownership experience.

RepairPal ranks the Versa 9th out of 21 subcompact cars, showcasing its above-average reliability compared to its competitors.

2017 Nissan Versa

The 2017 Nissan Versa continues the trend of improving reliability. reports only two owners making transmission-related complaints, along with single reports about paint/body problems and brake issues. These reports are encouraging, considering Nissan sold over 106,000 Versa models in the U.S. in 2017.

For those who prefer a manual transmission option, Nissan offered it with the 2017 Versa, providing additional peace of mind for those concerned about gearbox reliability.

With a clear understanding of the best Nissan Versa years, you can confidently embark on your search for a reliable and budget-friendly subcompact car.

Whether you choose the 2018 Versa for its affordability, the 2019 model for its fuel efficiency, or opt for improved reliability in 2011, 2015, 2021-2022, 2016, or 2017 models, each one offers unique advantages and a trustworthy driving experience.

Remember to consider your specific needs and priorities to select the perfect Nissan Versa that complements your lifestyle and delivers long-lasting satisfaction on the road.

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Nissan Versa Common Problems

The Nissan Versa has earned a reputation as an affordable and reliable subcompact car.

Like any vehicle, the Nissan Versa is not without its share of common problems.

Nissan Versa Common Problems

In this section, we will explore the most prevalent Nissan Versa problems reported by owners and discuss ways to address and prevent these issues.

1. Transmission Issues

One of the most common problems reported by Nissan Versa owners is related to transmission. Some models, especially those from the years 2012 to 2017, experienced frequent complaints regarding transmission noise, hesitation, and even complete failure.

The continuously variable transmission (CVT) used in these models was particularly susceptible to such problems.

Addressing this issue requires proactive maintenance, such as regular fluid changes and following the manufacturer’s recommended service intervals. Additionally, opting for a certified pre-owned Versa with a warranty can provide added peace of mind.

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2. Engine Problems

Engine-related issues are also among the common complaints from Nissan Versa owners. Some models, particularly the 2007 and 2009 model years, suffered from engine failures, including loud clanking noises and premature wear.

To avoid engine problems, it’s crucial to adhere to the manufacturer’s maintenance schedule, ensuring regular oil changes and engine inspections. Timely repairs and addressing any unusual engine noises promptly can help prevent major breakdowns.

3. Suspension and Steering Concerns

Owners of older Nissan Versa models, particularly those from the early years of production, have reported problems with the suspension and steering systems.

These complaints include issues with worn-out suspension components, loose steering, and difficulty maintaining proper alignment.

Routine inspections of the suspension and steering components during regular maintenance visits can help identify and address potential problems early on.

Replacing worn-out parts with high-quality replacements can significantly improve the vehicle’s handling and comfort.

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4. Air Conditioning and Heating Malfunctions

Several Nissan Versa owners have reported issues with the air conditioning and heating systems, especially in models from the 2012 to 2015 range.

Common complaints include weak airflow, inconsistent temperature control, and outright system failures.

To prevent air conditioning and heating malfunctions, it’s essential to have the systems checked regularly by a qualified mechanic.

Keeping the cabin air filter clean and ensuring that the refrigerant levels are adequate can go a long way in maintaining a comfortable interior climate.

5. Electrical Problems

Electrical glitches have also been reported by some Nissan Versa owners. These issues include malfunctioning power windows, faulty electrical switches, and intermittent electrical failures.

To address electrical problems, consulting a certified technician with expertise in automotive electronics is essential. Regular inspection of the vehicle’s electrical system can help identify and fix potential issues before they escalate into larger problems.

6. Brake System Concerns

While the Nissan Versa generally boasts a reliable braking system, some owners have reported concerns with premature brake wear and brake rotor issues.

Staying vigilant with regular brake inspections and brake pad replacements as needed is crucial to ensure optimal brake performance and safety. Early detection and maintenance can prevent costly repairs down the line.

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Understanding these issues and taking proactive steps to address and prevent them can go a long way in maintaining the vehicle’s reliability and longevity.

Nissan Versa Alternative Options

Nissan Versa Years to Avoid

If you are in the market for a subcompact car but want to avoid the Nissan Versa, there are several alternative options that you can consider. Some of the most popular alternative options include:

Honda Fit

The Honda Fit is a subcompact car that is known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and spacious interior. It is also known for its good safety rating, making it a popular choice for families.

Related: Honda Fit Years to Avoid

Toyota Yaris

The Toyota Yaris is another subcompact car that is known for its reliability, fuel efficiency, and comfortable ride. It is also available in both sedan and hatchback versions.

Related: Toyota Yaris Years to Avoid

Kia Rio

The Kia Rio is a subcompact car that is known for its affordable price, good fuel economy, and easy handling. It also comes with a long warranty, making it a popular choice for first-time car buyers.

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Is Nissan Versa reliable?

Yes, the Nissan Versa is considered reliable with a reliability rating of 4.0 out of 5.0, ranking it 9th out of 21 for subcompact cars. Its low severity of repairs and average frequency of issues mean that major problems are uncommon, making it a dependable choice with excellent ownership costs.

Why did they stop making Nissan Versa?

The discontinuation of certain Nissan Versa models is attributed to the shifting market trends, where SUVs and crossovers gained popularity over traditional sedans and hatchbacks.

In Canada, the Versa sedan was phased out at the end of 2014 due to low sales figures, while the Versa Note hatchback was also discontinued after 2019. However, the Versa sedan continued to exist in the U.S. market.

What is the life of a Nissan Versa?

With proper maintenance, a well-kept 2014 Nissan Versa can last around 150,000 miles before repair costs become significant enough to consider other options.

What are the most common problems with a Nissan Versa?

Some of the most common issues reported by Nissan Versa owners include sunroof rattles and explosions, recalled Takata airbags, EVAP system clogs and gas spills, and fractured coil springs.

It’s essential for Versa owners to be aware of these common problems and address them promptly to ensure a smooth driving experience.


The Nissan Versa is a reliable and budget-friendly subcompact car that appeals to many consumers seeking practicality and efficiency.

While it has garnered a positive reliability rating and relatively low ownership costs, it’s essential to be aware of the common problems reported by some Versa owners.

Issues such as transmission problems in certain model years, engine concerns, suspension and steering difficulties, air conditioning and heating malfunctions, electrical glitches, and brake system issues have been reported.

Despite these common problems, the Nissan Versa remains a solid choice for those seeking an economical and reliable vehicle.

Being informed about the specific model years to avoid and implementing preventive measures will allow you to make an informed decision and find a Nissan Versa that provides years of trouble-free driving.

So, if you’re considering purchasing a Nissan Versa, remember to stay vigilant and prioritize regular maintenance to maximize the vehicle’s reliability and minimize potential problems. With the right approach, you can confidently enjoy the benefits of owning a Nissan Versa without being affected by common issues.

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