Monday, May 21, 2012
2012 Nissan Versa Gets a Style Upgrade
While its styling might still be rather plain, the 2012 Nissan Versa has gotten a new look that is a big improvement over the previous version, while still holding onto a very modest price tag.
You hear some car folks occasionally refer to economy cars as a "penalty box," and frankly, that certainly appeared to be the case with the previous version of the Versa.
You want a fuel-sipping small car that doesn't cost too much?
OK, but we must penalize you, you silly frugal consumer, and put as little as possible into this ride. You're lucky you're getting a steering wheel.
But thankfully now, the Versa gets a little more standard equipment and it remains surprisingly roomy, both in its sedan and hatchback versions.
The new look is less blocky than before, with a lower profile.
The hatchback retains its 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine, generating 122 horsepower, with a four-speed automatic or six-speed manual transmission.
The sedan gets a 1.6-liter four-banger, generating 109 horsepower. The engine is mated to a continuously variable transmission or a five-speed manual.
The hatchback with automatic gets 24 mpg city, 32 highway, while the sedan with the CVT gets 30 city, 38 highway.
Nissan added a cubic foot of cargo volume to the sedan, but that move reportedly cost four feet of passenger room. But even with that change, the Versa still has one of the roomiest interiors among subcompacts.
There are six standard airbags in the Versa, as well as traction control, LATCH to help protect child passengers and a tire pressure monitoring system.
The Versa starts at around $11,000 (although you really won't get much at that level) and ranges to around $19,000.
For affordability and practicality, the Nissan Versa makes a pretty strong case.