2007 Nissan Versa HB reliablility and cost of ownership questions

I am considering a 2007 Nissan Versa hatchback (75K miles) from a dealer. According to Carfax the front brakes were replaced at 40K (Sep. 2010) and again at 70K (Dec. 2013). The rear brakes were replaced at 70K as well.
Is this normal?
The catalytic converter was replaced at 72K, and the owner sold it shortly thereafter.
I intend to bring the car to my mechanic for a pre-purchase inspection before making an offer, but I am concerned about the brakes. If I buy this car, will I need to be replacing the brakes every 25K miles as the car gets older and needs more TLC?
Any advice would be appreciated. Thank you!

Brake wear is highly dependent upon the driving environment and the driver’s habits. There is no reason to suspect that the prior owner’s brake wear will be an indication of yours.

Regarding the cat converter, that’s an awful early death. It suggests to me that the prior owner may not have maintained the car properly and premature engine wear may have been incurred. Be sure you have a compression test done before making any decisions. Also be sure you have it checked for sludge. The second can be easily done via a check of the oil on the surfaces under the valvecover.

Oh, by the way, CarFax is where bulls***t gathers. Don’t believe a word on CarFax.

The future repairs on a used vehicle cannot be predicted. All you can do is look at the present condition and hope for the best.

The fact that the catalytic converter was replaced at such a low mileage makes me very suspicious.

The owner probably had a good reason to sell.

I would stay away from this car.

I disagree with Mountainbike concerning CarFax. I doubt that there are a great number of lies contained in the record. But it is certainly likely that a lot of information is missing because previous owners did not have the car maintained or repaired at a shop that participates in CarFax. The older the car, the more likely it is that R&M info is missing. I bought a 2 year old car with very low mileage, and a complete CarFax report with no big mileage gaps convinced me that the mileage was not low because of a serious accident. The owner just didn’t drive a lot. When you read a CarFax report, make sure you know that a lot of information might be missing. And if you want the car, make sure to get a prepurchase inspection by an independent mechanic at your expense (about $100). I am also concerned about a catalytic converter replacement during the life of the car. If you the the independent inspection, make sure the mechanic knows about the replacement and ask if he can find a reason for it.

The brakes can easily be explained away as possibly the type of driving that was done.

I’m in agreement with Docnick about the converter replacement at such a low mileage. Maybe there was a simple benign reason for it or maybe it was due to something more serious.

The original owner sold it shortly after the converter swap so that brings up the question as to why.
The owner mistakenly felt the vehicle was going to be problematic on out so goodbye…
Or the owner was given some bad news and decided to bail on it

I will say that Edmunds says repairs over 5 years should be on par with the Toytoa Corolla an maintenance costs will be several hundred less. Even if this is particular car is a poor choice, a Versa of this vintage is generally considered reliable.

I’ll go off-topic

I don’t think the Versa is known for being a very nice and/or comfortable car

I believe there are better and more comfortable choices, especially if you’ll be driving the car every day

I agree with the comments above. The Versa does not get stellar reviews for anything. I have never had to change a cat converter. I would pass on this one. It is either burning too much oil, or the check engine light was on and nobody could figure why or some other reason. The owner unloaded this car, and did not want to sell it privately either. I would pass.

I would not buy a Versa and neither should you.

I’d say there’s a good the chance the new converter is of low quality and will not last very long.

Was the catalytic converter replaced under warranty or was it a “customer pay” repair?

The brake life history isn’t meaningful in comparison to what will come. If the car lived in a hilly area or spent its life doing stop and go in metro traffic 30-40K on a set of brakes can be perfectly normal.

In my opinion and anecdotal experience, there’s nothing particularly bad about a Versa. Nothing particularly good either. It’s just an econimical, plain, drive-around commuter car.

As far as the replacement cat goes . . .

If the customer paid for the repair, I wouldn’t be surprised if they paid a shop to install the cheapest cat that was legal to install on that particular vehicle

If it was repaired under any kind of emissions warranty, I would expect it was a high quality part, quite possibly a genuine Nissan cat

Who knows,if you can get it cheap enough,go for it.But fast wearing brakes and bad converters can go together,but actually if this person drove like my wife,the brake life is about usual

40 K replacement intervals for front pads and 70 k for rear pads (or shoes) isn’t unusual, especially if the vehicle has an automatic transmission. That’s not a reason to pass on this vehicle. The early cat replacement is concerning, esp if the replacement is an aftermarket cat. Besides the standard pre-purchase mechanics inspection, suggest to get a complete emissions test on the vehicle and let your shop sus that report out before deciding yea/nay on a purchase.

I have ridden in Versa rental cars and found them surprisingly roomy and good riding for cars in this size class. I don’t think it will hold up long term as well a Corolla or Civic but the Versa actually competes in the marketplace against the Honda Fit and Hyundai Accent and should be judged accordingly.
That being said, the converter replacement is a red flag to me, I would pass on this Versa.

The reason I say high brake wear and bad converter go together is because it can signify a very heavy right foot.

My two objections to this vehicle are the CVT transmission and the fact that that the rear seats do not go down flat. I’ve rented them several times and find then pleasant to drive.