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Summary
  • The Nissan Versa has an average resale value and will depreciate 24% after five years.
  • The Nissan Versa received fair scores on all major reliability ratings, including 4.5 out of 5.0 on Repairpal, and can easily reach 100,000-200,000 miles with care.
  • The 2009 Nissan Versa received the most complaints, but the 2012 Nissan Versa has the worst problems.
  • Some of the most common Nissan Versa issues involve its transmission, steering, air bags, and coil springs.

The Nissan Versa is a reliable subcompact sedan that enjoys bargain prices in both new and used car markets. Recent generations have plenty of safety features and high fuel economy, while older models boast roomy interiors and perform well with proper maintenance. The car has an average resale value, and CarEdge.com shows that a Versa in decent condition will depreciate 24% after five years.

Are Nissan Versas Reliable Cars?

The Nissan Versa has received fair scores on all major reliability ratings. RepairPal gives it a score of 4.5 out of 5.0, ranking it 9th out of 32 subcompact cars. Fuel economy is one of the model’s defining traits, and it compensates for the underpowered engines of early generations.

Thanks to its overall reliability, the Nissan Versa can easily reach 100,000-200,000 miles if you drive it carefully and take good care of it. Stick to Nissan’s recommended service schedule and never skip or delay maintenance, and your Versa can get you far in its service life.

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Top Nissan Versa Problems

2021 Nissan Versa Front View
The Nissan Versa is a reliable subcompact sedan that enjoys bargain prices in both new and used car markets. Image source: Nissan Newsroom.

Despite Nissan Versa’s reliability, the subcompact sedan isn’t immune to issues, with some model years developing problems worse than others. The 2009 Versa has the highest number of complaints, but the problems associated with the 2012 Versa are more severe, showed up much earlier, and cost more to fix. Here are the most common Nissan Versa problems for various model years:

Transmission Issues

The 2012 Nissan Versa’s most typical problem involved its transmission becoming prone to failing at an average mileage of 72,850 miles. Fixing it can cost the better part of $4,000.

2012 Nissan Versa
Among the 2012 Nissan Versa’s typical problems is its transmission becoming prone to failing at an average mileage of 72,850 miles. Image source: Nissan Newsroom.

While some Nissan Versa transmission problems can show up in automatic transmissions, most of them strike the CVT transmissions on the 2012-2017 Versa. Known examples include trouble shifting gears, the transmission jerking while driving, jumps in the tachometer gauge, and whining noises. Many owners have also reported that their Versa abruptly stopped on the road, which put them at great risk of a car accident.

In most cases, the issues only went away after replacing the entire transmission, either with a brand new system or a remanufactured one. A couple of owners opted to get rid of their Versa instead of spending thousands of dollars repairing the faulty transmission.

Steering Problems

The 2016 Nissan Versa has a lot going for it, including superb fuel economy and a spacious interior. However, some drivers have reported that their Versa tended to drift or fly into other lanes. The issue tended to happen on open roads and the interstate at average speeds. According to their dealerships, their sedan was seriously out of alignment. Their Versa continued drifting even after repairs were conducted.

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2016 Nissan Versa Sedan Interior Nissan Newsroom
Some drivers have reported that their Versa tended to drift or fly into other lanes. The issue tended to happen on open roads and the interstate at average speeds. Image source: Nissan Newsroom.

Complaints filed with the NHTSA also brought up other 2016 Nissan Versa steering problems. Many owners have reported issues like their car veering off or wandering back and forth across the road and the steering wheel locking up without warning. The latter problem led to drivers accidentally rear-ending another vehicle on the road. Like the drifting issue, these problems persisted even after bringing the affected Versa to a Nissan dealership.

Faulty Coil Springs

The 2009 Nissan Versa isn’t considered as bad as its 2012 successor, but it’s got its recurring problems. While it received far fewer complaints about its transmission, its suspension is prone to malfunctions. The Versa’s coil springs are prone to breaking down and will often take other suspension parts with them.

New and old shock absorber coil spring
The Versa’s coil springs are prone to breaking down and they could take other suspension parts with them.

In one case, the damaged front coil spring also snapped the bottom strut. The broken strut spun against the tire, shredding the tire’s interior. On other occasions, the broken coil spring itself damaged the tire, causing a blowout. The tire could also completely separate from the vehicle. When that happened to one driver, their car slammed into the tire and swerved out of control, destroying its axle, ball joints, and brake line.

Nissan issued a recall for the front coil springs. The corrosion coating on the springs was considered inadequate for states that apply a lot of road salt during winter. These coil springs would rust and fall apart much faster than they should.

Nissan Versa suspension problems were not limited to the front coil springs. The rear coil springs also tend to crack and produce rattling sounds. Faulty springs should be replaced with new parts before they end up damaging other suspension parts.

Airbag Problems

Like many other vehicle models, the 2007-2011 Nissan Versa featured Takata airbags to protect their occupants from injury during car accidents. Unfortunately, these airbags became the subject of a recall after a flood of reports about them not triggering during a collision. Aside from deploying too slowly or not deploying at all upon impact, Takata airbags could also burst and injure the occupants.

Nissan Versa airbag problems are bad enough on their own. But they become more dangerous when a transmission, suspension, or steering issue disrupts your control of your sedan. These problems can lead to a car crash, and you can get severely injured if the airbags don’t activate upon impact.

See also  Nissan Versa Remains Affordable

Be it new or used, a Nissan Versa is overall a good vehicle to acquire as long as you research the common problems for each model year. And if you already drive this car, knowing these issues beforehand can help you find ways to extend its service life.

Get Reliable Nissan Versa Coil Springs

Are the coil springs of your Nissan Versa looking rusty or worse for wear? You must replace the faulty suspension parts as early as possible while ensuring the new coils match their performance and longevity. Find high-quality Nissan Versa coil springs that you can rely on here at CarParts.com.

CarParts.com offers a selection of high-grade Nissan Versa coil springs for various model years of the subcompact sedan. Exclusively sourced from well-established companies and vetted by our team of industry experts, our products deliver world-class performance. Our website’s built-in vehicle selector makes finding the right part for your car easy. And you don’t have to wait long for your new suspension parts if you live in the continental US and complete your order before noon ET. We deliver to your doorstep in as early as two (2) business days.

Make CarParts.com your one-stop shop for coil springs and other replacement parts and accessories for your Nissan Versa.  Check out our Nissan Versa coil springs and order today.

About The Authors
Written By Automotive and Tech Writers

The CarParts.com Research Team is composed of experienced automotive and tech writers working with (ASE)-certified automobile technicians and automotive journalists to bring up-to-date, helpful information to car owners in the US. Guided by CarParts.com's thorough editorial process, our team strives to produce guides and resources DIYers and casual car owners can trust.

Reviewed By Automotive Features Reviewer at CarParts.com

Lisa Conant grew up in Canada around a solid contingency of gear heads and DIY motor enthusiasts. She is an eclectic writer with a varied repertoire in the automotive industry, including research pieces with a focus on daily drivers and recreational vehicles. Lisa has written for Car Bibles and The Drive.

Any information provided on this Website is for informational purposes only and is not intended to replace consultation with a professional mechanic. The accuracy and timeliness of the information may change from the time of publication.

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Bill 1963

You forgot the Dodge Charger in “Vanishing Point “

Bill 1963

You forgot to add the SAAB 900 Classics and the earlier 95s (pre GM). Ok, they will need a little work and TLC, but that engine has a long history of being bullit proof. Also, parts are available. Quirk-e, but available. The 900 Classic ragtop is one of my favorites-open air and good back seat!

Scott

My 2008 Nissan versa is hard to start then runs great for about 20 or so minutes then it does, I’m thinking maybe fuel filter or possibly the pcv Valve

Aaron

I own a 2011 Nissan Versa 6 speed manual tranny. With a little over 200,000 miles. Still runs like a clock. Suspension is tight, nothing loose or rattling everything solid. The CVT tranny is the issue not the stick shift manual tranny which is bullet proof. My clutch is still good. Worn down a little. Many Versa’s are still going at 300,000 miles if well maintained.

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