Nissan Versa Hatchback cargo capacity

Tire Stuffing a Nissan Versa

When my wife and I first test drove a Versa, we realized that it had pretty impressive room for a supposedly sub-compact car. This was one of the clinching factors for us that made us choose a Versa over a Honda Fit - aside from the better price, of course. We ended up getting a nice red Versa S with the 4AT. We've piled the kids and some luggage in for trips to the airport, but haven't really tested the capacity of the Versa.....until now.....

My other vehicle is a Jeep TJ that I am starting to modify from stock for off-roading. Of course, one of the first things to do is to install a lift kit with new, bigger tires. I was able to get a great deal on five new 33x12.50x15 ProComp Mud Terrains mounted on steel wheels from a shop about a three hour drive from where I live. I live in a fairly small city, so finding a deal like that here is only a remote possibility. The tires and wheel combination weigh about 75lbs apiece and in order to save myself some shipping charges, I decided to go and pick them up. I couldn't take the jeep because my lift kit hasn't arrived yet and wouldn't be able to install them with the stock suspension. I couldn't pick them up with the Jeep as it would be impossible to try and fit them in the back of the Jeep, and I knew I would likely burn twice as much
gas as the Versa for the same trip. Thus, the Versa was the answer.

I was pretty confident before I left that I would be able to fit the tires in the Versa with no problem. I had also arranged to pick up a new recovery winch from a seller in the same area - killing two birds with one stone. Once I got to the tire shop, I looked at the almost 6 foot tall stack of very large tires in the loading area and and thought to myself, "Oh @#$%, what am I going to do now, there's no way I can fit these all in." The guy who sold me the tires (Ryan) looked pretty skeptical too, but politely kept his opinion to himself. We stood back and, hands on hips, assessed the situation. I was pretty sure that we'd never get them through the side doors, so we first tried fitting them in with the rear seats folded. We were able to only get two, stacked flat on top of each other, on top of the folded seats, with two more crammed in mostly upright behind them, and they were jammed up against the rear window when the tailgate was closed. The fifth one ended up in the front passenger seat, with the seatbelt through the center hole in the rim. It quickly became apparent that this was not the best arrangement as the tire completely blocked my view out the side window and the seatbelt wouldn't hold the tire steady enough as going around a left hand turn the tire would topple over onto me. Not a good thing. Time to try plan B.

I found that by moving the driver seat forward of my usual driving position and putting the rear seats back in their normal position, I was able to get four of the tires standing on edge, across the back seat. The tire itself could squeeze in the side door with a bit of tilting. The four tires just fit, both front to back, and also side to side. The fifth tire fit easily into the trunk area, and there was lots of room for the winch, after I took it out of the box and folded the cardboard flat. I was amazed and more than a little bit relieved. Ryan was pretty impressed that it worked too. I sincerely doubt I could have done this with any other car in this class. The generous leg room in the Versa is what allowed for it.

I drove the 3 hours back home, with my seat closer to the steering wheel and less reclined than I normally prefer, but I didn't have my knees jammed against the dash. I was also carrying over 450lbs of cargo, weighted towards the back, but the car performed well on the highway and I was able to cruise along and pass cars with no problems. Even the hills didn't seem to cause any slowing. The old girl was riding noticeably lower in the back though!. And just because I am curious about mileage like everyone else, I found that after 721km of travel (at least 95% highway speed averaging 115km/h), I had consumed 58.3L of fuel, giving me a mileage rating of 8.1L/100km or 29 MPG (US gallons) - not too shabby.

Once I got home, I first called my wife out to the driveway to see what I had managed to fit into the Versa. She was suitably impressed. Then I asked her to pass me the camera, and nothwithstanding my lengthy comments here, they really say all that needs to be said. Here they are:

Versa side view
Versa back seat view
Versa hatch area view


Article contributor: Geoff Smith, NICOclub Versa owner