2011 Versa New Car Test Drive
The Nissan Versa is a nimble subcompact with comfort, performance, versatility, and generous interior space. It's easy on the budget to buy and easy on the budget to operate. The 2010 Versa features fresh styling and an upgraded interior.
The Versa is a big and roomy inside with decent head room and leg room and lots of hip room, making it a good choice for larger drivers. Its big, cushy seats are comfortable. Back-seat passengers will find rear-seat leg room as good as that in larger cars and SUVs. The cabin is nicely finished and offers all the modern conveniences.
Yet the Versa offers the small-car virtues of nimble handling, easy parking, and lively yet efficient performance with excellent fuel economy.
The Versa is slightly bigger than the lower priced Toyota Yaris and the more expensive Honda Fit. All three are subcompacts designed with tall rooflines for increased interior comfort and visibility. The Versa is the smallest car you'll find in Nissan showrooms: Smaller and less expensive than the compact Nissan Sentra, but offering greater interior space and more versatility.
For 2010, Versa gets changes outside, inside, and functionally. All models have a new grille and wheels, and revised interior fabrics and finishes. The SL Hatchback model gets sport front and rear fascias, body side sills, fog lights, and rear spoiler as standard equipment. An optional navigation system is being offered. Other changes for 2010 include auxiliary input added to the base audio system; Interface System for iPod added to the upgraded radio.
Most models come with a 1.8-liter engine, though the stripper sedan model comes with a 1.6-liter engine.
Fuel economy for the Nissan Versa depends on the powertrain. Best is the Versa SL with CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission) with an EPA-estimated 28/34 mpg City/Highway. Versa S gets 26/31 mpg with six-speed manual, 24/32 with four-speed automatic. The base sedan with 1.6-liter engine gets 26/34 mpg with five-speed manual, 26/33 with automatic.
The 2010 Nissan Versa is available as a four-door Sedan or five-door Hatchback.
The base Versa ($10,990) is in the Sedan body style only and powered by a 1.6-liter engine of 107 horsepower. It comes with air conditioning (which can be deleted for a savings of $1,000), pre-wiring for audio. Anti-lock brakes are optional ($250). The five-speed manual is standard, but the base Versa is available with a four-speed automatic ($11,990).
All other Versa models come with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine of 122 horsepower.
Versa S Sedan ($13,100) with six-speed manual or four-speed automatic ($14,100) and Versa S Hatchback ($13,150) with manual or automatic ($14,150) come standard with cloth upholstery; air conditioning with micro filter; four-speaker, 90-watt AM/FM/CD stereo; tilt steering column; anti-lock brakes (ABS), and 185/65R15 tires on 15-inch steel wheels. The Hatchback features a 60/40 split folding rear seat. Options include a Power Plus Package ($930) with power windows, power door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control, door armrest pads, rear-door map pockets, and automatic door locks; and Vehicle Dynamic Control with Traction Control ($370).
Versa SL Sedan ($16,100) and SL Hatchback ($16,530) are fitted with the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). Versa SL models are upgraded with premium woven seat fabric, a more adjustable driver's seat, split folding rear seats, center armrests front and rear, the Power Plus Package, a 180-watt stereo with an in-dash six-CD changer and MP3 capability, and 15-inch machined alloy wheels.
A Convenience Package for the Versa SL Sedan ($650) includes an Intelligent Key system, Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and steering wheel-mounted audio controls. A Premium Package for the SL Hatchback ($980) includes everything from the Convenience Package plus 16-inch alloy wheels. A Moonroof Package ($600) for the SL Hatchback adds a power glass sunroof and illuminated visor vanity mirrors. Both SL models are also available with the Nav/SAT Radio ($610), which includes a navigation system with five-inch screen and XM Satellite Radio.
Accessories include splash guards ($110), floor mats ($155), auto-dimming inside mirror ($125), and aluminum kick plates ($130). A rear roof spoiler ($250) and a new cargo organizer ($160) can be added to the Hatchback.
Safety features include frontal airbags, side-impact airbags, roof-mounted curtain airbags, front-seat active head restraints, and a tire pressure monitoring system. Anti-lock brakes (ABS) with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD) are standard on the S and SL trim levels and an option ($250) on the base model.
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