Review: 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan (Sunny)

Posted on 26. Jul, 2011 by in Auto News

The last time we looked at the Nissan Versa, in October 2010, it was the cheapest car in America under 10 grand. Unfortunately, the price for such a low sticker price was higher than their four-digit sticker. Were the lack of modern essentials such as air conditioning, anti-lock braking system and automatic transmission more than just a bummer, as an addition to the Versa made the car less than cheap. For the first redesign of the Nissan smallest tractor, the tinkerer in Japan, the sedan attack first opted for an upgrade, an interesting decision as the sedan. Account for only 30-35% of an alleged Versa sales on our shores Surprised? I was especially hatchback sales in the U.S. are finally on fire. Nissan graciously invited us to Seattle so we could down and dirty with the Versa, before hitting showroom floors in August.

The exterior of the Versa looks (known as Nissan Sunny and Nissan Tiida in other markets) has grown up a lot more than its predecessor. Swoopy lines and the bold trapezoidal "signature" grille could almost Infiniti products. Nissan tells us expect this schnoz on all Nissan vehicles are finally adjusted. Out back, the trunk is performed acceptably well, and then a sigh of relief, as so many small cars the rump get everything wrong. Hatchback lovers should not expect a new Versa hatchback soon, Nissan has a new hatching meaning we'll probably see it in 2013, taciturn, but that's just a guess.

While some scoff at hard plastics, the low base price of the Versa has always forgiven the econobox many mistakes and the new Versa is no different. Interior plastics are not fashionable, as she does in the previous version of hard plastic dash and door bits were, are the name of the game. Nevertheless, the texture and color of the plastic come far less annoying than some of the alternatives independently from Detroit or price.

Under the hood beats a brand new 1.6L four-cylinder engine with dual variable valve timing and two injectors per cylinder, good for 109hp at 6,000 RPM and 107 lb-ft of twist at 4,400 RPM. Fortunately for sedan buyers, the sedan now comes with a CVT instead of Ye Olde 4-speed automatic transmission. The new transmission has the usual cone / belt assembly and adds a new twist: a two-speed planetary transmission which these second-generation CVT a wider range than most 7-speed autos. Thanks to this cross gear and lose a little weight compared to the previous model, the loss of 13hp vs old 1.8L engine goes largely unnoticed, and with EPA numbers on the rise most buyers do not mind.

Since I had to share my journey with a colleague from About.com, (and considering we drove a pre-production vehicle) my experience with some 80-miles in Seattle on most city streets with short runs Highway based. Based on this brief encounter that. I'll leave the majority of the driving impressions to a full review However, I can say that the suspension well sorted and also plague on the broken pavement and under construction at present the Pacific Northwest, and the electric power steering is not worse than any other on offer in this segment together. Acceleration is leisurely, in relative terms, but not noticeably slower than vehicles like a Prius or Civic Hybrid. A quick test with our accelerometer resulted in a 0-60 time of 11.65 seconds. Nissan announced 2008 EPA numbers 30/38/33 (city / highway / combined) and we average 29-34 mpg during our short time with the car and especially in city traffic makes the Versa inexpensive and economical.

Security has been short list of Nissan Versa for a while and it's no different, sporting all the safety gizmos mid-size car buyers expect. Side curtain airbags, ABS with electronic brake force distribution support, emergency brake and seat belt pretensioners with force limiters are standard even the base model. The only item conspicuously absent from the list of Nissan Versa security is the active head restraint, shame, it would round up all my favorite acronyms and would be a nice gesture on the top-end-low cost car.

Speaking of dollars, the Nissan Versa lineup starts with the base Versa S with a 5-speed manual for $ 10,990, equipped now a radio with CD player (and AUX input) and two speakers (yes, only two), and air conditioning . (We were not able to test the manual-equipped car so I can not comment on the specifics of this model). I have a feeling that most buyers opt for the Versa S, one step up from the ground. The S with CVT will take you back $ 12,760, it also brings a "high efficiency" alternator and wind deflectors for the party. For $ 350 more you can cruise control and two additional speakers, good value in my book. The $ 14,560 Versa SV model bring power windows and door locks, cruise control standard, upgraded cloth seats and some shiny chrome bits. $ 350 gets the additional SV Bluetooth phone connection with steering wheel controls, map lights, vanity mirror and iPod control.

Top-line SL buyers get alloy wheels, fog lamps, a split folding rear seat, Bluetooth, the aforementioned shiny bits and some cloth inserts in the door panels. Non-Apple lovers need to buy the SL and cough up the $ 700-tech package to get the navigation system with USB interface. In addition, search the opportunity to music from your USB devices, is buying the 7-Benjamin's an easy to use navigation system with XM Radio and NavTraffic (service charge and it is only in the SL model only) to. While $ 700 is a touch steep compared to the $ 199 Garmin Special to save to your local machine, the view is worth it even with the steering wheel controls and in my book, the extra dosh integrated. This makes the fully loaded cost of some $ 16,260 Nissan Versa. Add in a $ 760 destination fee, subtract some inevitable scope and it may actually be, a fully loaded Versa for under $ 17K to obtain plus tax.

On the electronic goody and luxury before, tried the new Versa to be the best value budget without relying on their toes as the old Sentra Versa to tend to higher orders. For buyers, this means niceties like the long-awaited center armrest, key-less go, and hidden cubbies for your USB devices are all gone. While I will mourn their loss as a tech-weenie standard in its place is air-conditioning, anti-lock braking system, improved fuel efficiency and a new CVT.

Despite a base MSRP increase of $ 9,990 to $ 10,990, the Versa is probably the cheapest car in America. Fortunately for the frugal shopper, the base price increase also means less of a penalty than in 2011 with A / C and anti-lock braking system now considered standard.

Real competition for the Versa can be seen in the form of the Hyundai Accent GLS, when equipped with the manual transmission and air conditioning. Thus equipped, the Accent will run you $ 14,195 and the Versa S watches at $ 10,990, a difference of $ 3,205, the Nissan is quick to point out. On the surface, the Versa does deliver exactly what Nissan promises: cheap transportation without a penalty. If the Versa goes on sale in August this year, we'll be sure to do our best and brightest to update with a full review. Until then, sound off in the comments below: buyer should get a $ 11,000 new car with a warranty or a bit cheap in the Certified Pre-Owned category? Is that the real competitor Versa?

Nissan I flew to Seattle, put me in a fancy hotel with free-flowing drink, and where. The vehicle, insurance and fuel for this review


Statistics as tested

0-30: 3.75 seconds

0-60: 11.65 seconds

1/4 Mile: 18.44 seconds @ 76MPH