Trading a Prius 2010 for a Nissan Versa S (a/t trans)

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

I have a 2010 Prius with 30k miles that I use for work commuting about 40 miles (60% highway, 40% city). This area has tons of potholes and construction zones and the Prius feels like its axles are coming off everytime I hit a pothole, small bump, or uneven road. This might be due to the low suspension or type of suspension/framework used.

Given that the hybrid battery will cost a ton after the warranty expires, the maintenance/repair costs for drive train, transmission, or engine will cost a lot….I’m deciding whether to trade it in.

I’ve researched a bit and I think a new 2013 nissan versa sedan is a good match.

I can trade the Prius in and only have to pay about 5k or so for the versa.

Would this be a good choice? I know very little about cars…so I don’t know if the drive train components, engine, transmission compares to the Prius. My biggest concern is cost of repair/maintenance. The prius has to have the hybrid battery disconnected to repair certain components.


  1. I concur with SojournerMoons concusion except for the idea of purchasing a luxury car. While they ride better, their suspensions are extremely complex. You want a car with a McPhereson strut front end and a regular independent rear suspension. Not one with 20 links, control arms and bushings. The only car that I have seen with simple layouts are Subarus. If you want to learn how to repair a car, that’s one to learn on. Any year, model can be torn apart with a 10, 12 and 14 mm wrench. Get a 2010 and later and you have the latest iterations that get better mileage, though they are not known for mileage. Plus, they’re a bit more fun to drive than your Prius.

  2. One question: Is your Prius paid off?

    If so, imagine how much you can do with that $5k rather than getting stuck with a new car payment and full coverage insurance bills. I’m afraid that you’ll still have a lot of trouble with the Versa with the potholes and construction zones you mentioned. It’s still going to be pretty rough. Unless you go with a much more expensive luxury car or get a truck/SUV you’ll probably still face the bad ride issue.

    Consider also that the Prius should get much better gas mileage in rush hour traffic and stop and go driving through construction zones than the Versa. Also, the Prius will hold its value better than the Versa and you’ve already taken most of the depreciation hit on your 2010 Prius.

    It also turns out that the Prius is one of Toyota’s more reliable models. Even the batteries are lasting much longer than predicted. They’re still a bitch to replace, but I think remanufactured batteries are under $2k now, so that’s still not all that bad. Most of the early Priuses are still on their first battery pack. Nissan has not been all that reliable in the last few years with their newer models. Pretty much ever since Renault bought them, their reliability has suffered. I haven’t checked on the Versa in particular, but it likely isn’t as reliable as even a 3 year old Prius.

    Don’t get me wrong. I’m not a fan of hybrids in general and the Prius in particular. If there are other significant problems you’re having with the Prius that are prompting a change, it’s worth weighing that out, too. I’m just not sure a Versa is going to get you any closer to your stated needs than the Prius you already have.

    Also, look into an extended warranty. You may still be able to get one since the Prius is still under regular warranty. Also, this might help:–how-to-buy-a-used-car-warranty-220623273.html

  3. I like the Versa a lot – especially the hatchback 1.8 version. It is a very roomy car relative to others in this class. Gas mileage is a bit below average, but this is made up for – in my mind – by the car’s almost mid-sized interior space. The sedan version, however, is unremarkable except for its very low sticker price.

    If you’re interested in a compact car that delivers almost-hybrid mileage but which will likely be much more durable (long lived), you might want to take a look at a Mazda3 with the “SkyActiv” gas engine… or perhaps the almost-here “Sky-D” diesel. The Hyundai Elantra is also a great little car.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here