In recent years, one of the most popular models of the Nissan brand is unquestionably the Versa which comes in both hatchback and sedan configuration. This compact car makes sense for a lot of people due to its low price, fuel economy, and safety scores. The 2012 Nissan Versa has received a totally refresh and the design is many times better than the previous model. Not only does the Versa look better but the price makes it the lowest priced car you can buy in America for the 2012 model year. The Versa is a good choice for the commuter, student, senior citizen and more.
As was the case with the Toyota Yaris; Nissan’s designers have decided to retain the traditional shape of the car even though many competitors are designing wild looking vehicles like the Kia Soul or Smart Fortwo. So not only is it the lowest priced car but it looks probably the most normal. The rear seats are not only very generous, but also very comfortable for a subcompact car since the overall dimensions are quite small.
Bu the car is not all roses and teddy bears. The Versa is cheap yes and with that comes a lack of features and amenities. This car looks like every other car out there on the road in sedan form. The 2012 Nissan Versa is pretty boring compared to most current models, like the new Hyundai Accent and Kia Rio. But we must admit that there has been a marked improvement at this level and the low price of the Nissan Versa more than makes up for any lack of features or options.
Starting with the interior, one would think the front seats are out of a much more expensive car. The lateral support is not bad especially at all. The instrument panel is quite simple which is a very good thing. For example you only need three buttons to operate the A/C. The steering wheel on the base models is really stripped offering nothing but a horn. Nissan has to make certain cuts to make sure the car is priced so low. There is no cruise control or stereo control integrated onto the wheel. Of course a more expensive trim level will give you more features. The gauges are a good size and easy to understand.
If the platform of the Versa is new, the wheelbase remains the same as before. This is the platform “V” – for Versatile – shared with the 2012 Nissan Micra offered in other markets. As for the engine, its displacement is always the same at 1.6 liters. Several internal changes, including variable valve timing for intake and exhaust, provide better performance and reduced fuel consumption. Gas Mileage stands at 36 MPG on the highway. The four-speed automatic transmission from the previous version was replaced with a CVT. This allows for the best gas mileage possible. Also know that the manual transmission that contributes nothing actually driving pleasure and fuel consumption. There are other low priced cars that get 40 MPG on the highway like the Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent, and the Smart car. Check out my list of new cars under $15k at Autobytel.
Suspension wise the rear is torsion bar and the front offers Macpherson struts. The steering is electrically assisted. And like most vehicles in this category, the front brakes are disc up front and drums out back.
It’s hard to find a sedan better suited to family life. It is spacious, economical to own and its performance on the road is plenty adequate. The handling is predictable with nothing spectacular to report. But the car does ride pretty good and is one of the more comfortable cheap cars out there. The suspension is well tuned and the Versa sedan retains his composure on bumpy roads. On downside though is that interior noise level can reach a high volume thanks to the combination of road noise and the CVT trans.
All in all, this sedan is a good value. The options you do get are the most important which are A/C and a CVT transmission. There stereo is also basic but who cares you can afford to upgrade the sound system. The low MSRP price will allows you to upgrade the stereo if you so desire.
The very base model 2012 Nissan Versa S sedan is the lowest priced car on the American market at $10,990. Compared to other subcompacts and even some compacts cars that are under $15,000 the Vera is not as well equipped but it does do enough things right to make is a great car buy for a broad range of people.