2012 Nissan Versa

MSRP ?

$10,990 - $18,590
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Smart Buy Market Avg. ?

N/A
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Engine Engine 1.6LI-4
MPG MPG 27 City / 36 Hwy
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2012 Versa Overview

America's Cheapest Car Returns With More V is for Versa, and Nissan would like you to believe that its 2012 Versa also stands for volume, value, virtues, versatility and, since we're out of Vs, sophistication. While other automakers have been out to redefine the idea of the compact car as something hip and sporty – no longer the moped of cardom – Nissan developed this Versa "to redefine compact car value, giving buyers everything they want and need in one stylish package." That means the Versa makes math arguments, not emotional ones. It wants to give you more than you'll get elsewhere and not make you feel bad about going for its attributes instead of allure. As the segment sales leader, that argument has been working for years. Yet with other manufacturers adding new variables, we went to Seattle to see if the Versa still makes a case for itself. And it does... if you like numbers. On our flight to Seattle, the seat next to us was occupied by a gentleman who works for travel portal Expedia.com. During some final-approach jawboning, he mentioned Expedia's exclusive deal with Air Asia, the low-cost airline owned by the same Tony Fernandes funding Formula One's Lotus Racing team. Mr. Expedia called the airline "the Southwest Airlines of Asia," and explained how Fernandes was succeeding rather impressively by offering a feature-rich flying experience at a cost appreciably lower than that of his competitors. An Air Asia flight wouldn't be as luxurious as one enjoyed in British Airway's Business Club, but it would cost about half as much and you'd still get lie-flat beds, free meals and no baggage fees. In what we can only call high coincidence, we soon discovered that the 2012 Nissan Versa is a ground-based version of the same philosophy: big feature set, small price and just enough polish to make it all okay. Perhaps the most important feature of the new Versa is the one that isn't on the car: the $10,990 sticker price (plus $760 destination and handling) for the base Versa S sedan. At the time of writing, there's no new car in America that's less expensive – and we're avoiding the word "cheaper" on purpose. The least expensive Hyundai in the States is the $14,195 Accent, which means venerable Nissan is trumpeting the production of a car that's $3,200 less dear than a Hyundai. Yes, it's also less powerful, less stylish and gets slightly fewer highway miles per gallon (it gets the same combined mpg, though), but just to be safe, we'd advise you to look out your windows for the man who said he'd be coming on a white horse... Admittedly, while that base Versa S does come with air-conditioning and a modest two-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux stereo, it will also come with liberal use of your own hands to operate the five-speed transmission (the Accent manual comes with six cogs) and manual door locks and windows. Furthermore, the dashboard appears to have been designed by a Cyclops, …
Full Review

2012 Versa Overview

America's Cheapest Car Returns With More V is for Versa, and Nissan would like you to believe that its 2012 Versa also stands for volume, value, virtues, versatility and, since we're out of Vs, sophistication. While other automakers have been out to redefine the idea of the compact car as something hip and sporty – no longer the moped of cardom – Nissan developed this Versa "to redefine compact car value, giving buyers everything they want and need in one stylish package." That means the Versa makes math arguments, not emotional ones. It wants to give you more than you'll get elsewhere and not make you feel bad about going for its attributes instead of allure. As the segment sales leader, that argument has been working for years. Yet with other manufacturers adding new variables, we went to Seattle to see if the Versa still makes a case for itself. And it does... if you like numbers. On our flight to Seattle, the seat next to us was occupied by a gentleman who works for travel portal Expedia.com. During some final-approach jawboning, he mentioned Expedia's exclusive deal with Air Asia, the low-cost airline owned by the same Tony Fernandes funding Formula One's Lotus Racing team. Mr. Expedia called the airline "the Southwest Airlines of Asia," and explained how Fernandes was succeeding rather impressively by offering a feature-rich flying experience at a cost appreciably lower than that of his competitors. An Air Asia flight wouldn't be as luxurious as one enjoyed in British Airway's Business Club, but it would cost about half as much and you'd still get lie-flat beds, free meals and no baggage fees. In what we can only call high coincidence, we soon discovered that the 2012 Nissan Versa is a ground-based version of the same philosophy: big feature set, small price and just enough polish to make it all okay. Perhaps the most important feature of the new Versa is the one that isn't on the car: the $10,990 sticker price (plus $760 destination and handling) for the base Versa S sedan. At the time of writing, there's no new car in America that's less expensive – and we're avoiding the word "cheaper" on purpose. The least expensive Hyundai in the States is the $14,195 Accent, which means venerable Nissan is trumpeting the production of a car that's $3,200 less dear than a Hyundai. Yes, it's also less powerful, less stylish and gets slightly fewer highway miles per gallon (it gets the same combined mpg, though), but just to be safe, we'd advise you to look out your windows for the man who said he'd be coming on a white horse... Admittedly, while that base Versa S does come with air-conditioning and a modest two-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux stereo, it will also come with liberal use of your own hands to operate the five-speed transmission (the Accent manual comes with six cogs) and manual door locks and windows. Furthermore, the dashboard appears to have been designed by a Cyclops, …Hide Full Review