2012 Nissan Versa

1.6 S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 man trans

2012 nissan versa Reviews and News

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Front Left View
Small, budget-friendly cars and the 40-mpg fuel-efficiency barrier are on the minds of many people, what with gas prices trampolining around the $4-per-gallon mark and the economy very slowly recovering from grim times.
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Top View
The brand-new 2012 Nissan Versa definitely has the small, budget-friendly thing down. The car fails, however, to achieve the magic 40-mpg mark; the EPA rates the CVT-equipped Versa sedan at 30/38 mpg city/highway and the stick-shifted car at 27/36 mpg.
Does 40 mpg really matter?
Nissan officials downplay the shortness of spec, stressing that all competitive vehicles cost more and that some require costly option packages to reach the sacred four-oh. "Cost of ownership" and "buzz versus reality" are more important than fuel mileage, according to vice president of product planning Larry Dominique, who says that the EPA estimates the Versa's annual fuel cost at $36 more than that of the also-new-for-2012 Hyundai Accent, which is rated at 30/40 mpg. Fortunately for Nissan, a similarly equipped base Accent also happens to cost $3205 more than the Versa. Unfortunately for Nissan, the Accent is a markedly nicer car that also happens to weigh about the same and offers 29 extra horsepower.
The Versa's low price is definitely its biggest asset. "This is a product for people who are looking for good value," Dominique said when asked why the vehicle won't offer fancy features such as a sunroof, heated leather seats, and direct fuel injection. "We're trying to apply the right technology to the right price point." For instance, the Versa sedan does offer Bluetooth connectivity and the company's "low-cost" navigation system.
What's it cost?
The most basic trim level is the 1.6S MT (for manual transmission), which carries a base price of $11,750; this is the only model available with a stick shift, and no options besides paint color are offered. Air-conditioning is standard across the board, though, unlike in the Accent. Stepping up to the CVT-equipped version of the S trim level adds a dear $1770 to that, for a total of $13,520; a bit more money ($350) brings cruise control, two rear speakers, and a trunk light (whoopee!) to the S CVT. The Versa SV, which Nissan expects to be the most popular trim level, is the next rung up the ladder; its starting tariff is $15,320, and it adds helpful (and usually standard these days) features like cruise control, power windows, remote keyless entry, and a tachometer as well as splashes of chrome trim inside and out. (Bluetooth, an iPod input, and steering-wheel audio controls headline the SV's $350 Convenience Package.) Navigation is available only as part of the $700 Tech Package on the top-of-the-line Versa SL sedan, which starts at $16,320 and includes standard niceties such as aluminum wheels, foglights, and cloth door trim accents.
The 2012 Versa sedan will go on sale in early August. Excluding the $760 destination charge, the '11 sedan came in just under the $10,000 mark, at $9990. The 2012 base model costs exactly $1000 more.
One step at a time
Why have you read the word "sedan" so many times so far in this review? Because the hatchback Versa stands pat for 2012 and will likely have to wait until the 2013 model year (and the next auto-show season) to receive its own comprehensive update.
During the 2010 calendar year, Nissan says, Versa sedan and hatchback models led their segment in sales, comprising 30.8 percent of the market. The hatchback accounted for about 65 percent of Versa sales, so Nissan sees lots of room for improvement for the sedan version and less pressing demands to improve the hatchback, which costs significantly more (the 2011 edition starts at $15,140).
Big in back
Besides the low, low price, the Versa sedan's next biggest selling point is that it's surprisingly spacious. To wit, the trunk is rated at a very sizable 14.8 cubic feet, and the rear seats offer a whopping 37.0 inches of rear-seat legroom, a figure that Nissan claims outranks luxoboats such as the Lexus LS, the BMW 5-series, and the Mercedes-Benz E-class. A six-foot-tall person will have plenty of legroom. The big problem, however, is that he or she will have to slouch like crazy to avoid jamming hair into headliner. (The hatchback version should be much better in this regard.)
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Front View
How does it drive?
The driver of the Versa should have no problem with headroom. That person will also enjoy nice steering that has a firm feel but easy effort. Body roll is plainly evident, but ride comfort is quite good for such a small car. Handling is merely OK, but it was tough to really tell for sure on the heavily urban Seattle-area drive route that Nissan prescribed. The 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine and continuously variable transmission performed very smoothly, although the engine's 109 horses breathe pretty hard when asked to accelerate up an on-ramp with three people aboard, for instance. It certainly doesn't feel as peppy as the 2011 Versa with the larger, 1.8-liter, 122-hp four-cylinder and six-speed manual transmission. It does help, though, that the new car weighs about 150 pounds less than its predecessor, thanks mostly to the new "V" platform underneath it, which also underpins the non-U.S.-market March and Micra. The engine has the same measurements as the previous Versa's 1.6-liter, but Nissan says it's new, and the mill utilizes variable valve timing on both intake and exhaust cycles and squirts fuel via two injectors per cylinder (not to be confused with direct injection, mind you). The CVT, too, has seen upgrades for this, its second generation, which is smaller, lighter, and more efficient than before.
We weren't given a chance to drive the price-leading, stick-shifted base model, but we couldn't help but notice that it has vague shift action and lacks basic features such as a tachometer, rear speakers, and power windows.
Harder than your Hyundai
From the base S model to the top-notch SL, the Versa is crippled by a sea of hard plastics, most notably on the dashboard, the door panels, the armrests, and the center console. The graining isn't unattractive, but it can't disguise the cost savings that's happening right before your eyes and under your fingers. Frugal fittings are apparent in many other places, too, from the undamped glove box to the cheap-feeling sun visors, from the slippery seats of the base model to the fender sound deadening foam that's visible when you open a front door. Many of these shortcomings would be acceptable in an $11,000 car, but most Versas are going to cost upwards of $15,000, where consumers are much more demanding and the competition is significantly sharper.
On the plus side, the seats are fairly comfortable, and this five-seater boasts six cupholders. Switchgear is clear and simple.
Snazzier than before
The new Versa looks much more stylish than the outgoing car. Nissan designers applied design cues from the Ellure concept that debuted at the 2010 Los Angeles show, and future Nissan products will continue in this thematic direction. The interior styling seems much less striking than that of the Versa's newest rival, that pesky Accent.
The lowdown
For people who want a new car at all costs but can't afford much, the $11,750 Versa is a perfectly acceptable and surprisingly spacious conveyance. Once you start adding options or considering the type of used car that you can buy for the same money, however, the new Versa sedan quickly starts losing its luster.
2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Nissan Versa
The Versa offers incredible value for the money. The base S model starts at the remarkably low price of $11,750. It lacks such features as power locks and windows, cruise control, and keyless entry, so many buyers will gravitate to the pricier and better-equipped SV and SL trims. Navigation, Bluetooth, satellite radio, and keyless entry are all available on higher models. Many of the interior fittings and plastics look and feel cheap; it's clear that the Versa was built with cost saving in mind. However, it will satisfy people looking for basic, affordable transportation. The Versa is easy to drive and comfortable, but acceleration is only adequate. The sedan gets a new 1.6-liter engine that has a host of revisions to improve fuel economy. Versa sedans equipped with the continuously variable transmission are rated at 38 highway mpg. In spite of its compact exterior dimensions, the Versa has a spacious cabin with a roomy back seat and a surprisingly large trunk. Drivers and passengers will feel comfortable rather than cramped. Switchgear and gauges are clear and easy to use, if basic. The Versa hatchback did not receive the same revisions as the sedan and continues with its 1.8-liter engine. It remains a pleasing car with plenty of passenger room and impressive cargo space, especially with the rear seats folded. Fuel economy is slightly lower than the sedan's but is impressive for a car of its size. Whether opting for the bargain-basement S or a better-equipped sedan or hatchback, Versa buyers will find themselves behind the wheel of an agreeable and inexpensive small car.
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Profile
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has opened a safety defect investigation into the 2012 Nissan Versa. The investigation arose after NHTSA received early reports of a possible defect from Nissan. According to NHTSA, the spiral cable in the steering column of the 2012 Nissan Versa could become pinched, causing a break or short circuit. If so, the airbag warning light would illuminate, and the steering-wheel airbag would fail to deploy in a crash. There are no reported instances of this problem causing an accident or injury, but NHTSA predicts the issue could affect as many as 100,000 vehicles. So far it's unclear whether the investigation affects the 2012 Versa sedan, which was all-new for 2012; the Versa hatchback, which carried over unchanged for 2012; or both body styles. NHTSA's defect investigation means the safety agency will now try to determine how serious the problem is, and whether it poses any risk to drivers. Defect investigations can often lead to a vehicle recall. Sources: Reuters, NHTSA
2013 Nissan Note Front Three Quarter
When Nissan introduced the new, 2012 Versa sedan at last year's New York show, the company noted that the Versa hatchback would continue unchanged. Now, finally, Nissan has given us an early look at the 2013 Versa hatchback that will go on sale here later this year or earlier next year. At the same time, Nissan revealed that the 2012 Versa sedan will receive several equipment changes -- including one tweak that helps the car return 40 mpg on the highway.
Nissan Tiida Front Three Quarter
Nissan plans to invest $200 million to build a new Euro-market compact hatchback, Automotive News reports. Meant to compete directly with the VW Golf and Ford Focus, the new car will first see production in 2014 and be built at Nissan’s assembly plant in Sunderland, England. The upcoming hatchback will mark Nissan’s return to Europe’s competitive compact class, a segment the Japanese automaker left in 2006.
2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Front Three Quarter
The latest car to join the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's list of Top Safety Picks is the 2012 Nissan Versa sedan. The Versa sedan received the safety award after receiving the top marks of "Good" in front, side, rollover, and rear crash tests. This is the first time the Nissan Versa has been rated as a Top Safety Pick by the IIHS; the sedan was redesigned for the 2012 model year. Previous versions of the sedan only scored "Acceptable" ratings for side and rollover crash protection. The 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback, meanwhile, is not recommended because it is unchanged from the 2011 model. Standard safety equipment on the Nissan Versa sedan includes electronic stability control, six airbags, ABS, and brake assist. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration awarded a four-star rating to the 2012 Versa sedan; in NHTSA testing, the Nissan scored three stars for frontal impacts, four stars for side impacts, and four stars for rollover accidents. Sources: Nissan, IIHS
2012 Dodge Charger Pursuit Front Three Quarter
A recall has been issued for 36,608 units of the 2012  Nissan Versa due to a flaw with the automatic transmission, while the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator are recalled for an issue with the head restraints. The police-spec version of the Dodge Charger has also been recalled for headlamps that could dim and stability control/ABS fuses that could overheat.

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Used 2012 Nissan Versa Values / Pricing

Suggested Retail Price
$10,990

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2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Nissan Versa
1.6 S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
30 MPG City | 38 MPG Hwy
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2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Nissan Versa
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30 MPG City | 38 MPG Hwy
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2012 Nissan Versa
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$10,990
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2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Nissan Versa
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$10,990
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2012 Nissan Versa
2012 Nissan Versa
1.6 S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4
109hp
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2012 Nissan Versa Specifications

Quick Glance:
Engine
1.6L I4Engine
Fuel economy City:
27 MPG
Fuel economy Highway:
36 MPG
Horsepower:
109 hp @ 6000rpm
Torque:
107 ft lb of torque @ 4400rpm
  • Air Conditioning
  • Power Windows (optional)
  • Power Locks (optional)
  • Power Seats (optional)
  • Steering Wheel Tilt
  • Cruise Control (optional)
  • Sunroof (optional)
  • ABS
  • Stabilizer Front
  • Stabilizer Rear (optional)
  • Electronic Traction Control
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Locking Differential (optional)
  • Limited Slip Differential (optional)
  • Airbag Driver
  • Airbag Passenger
  • Airbag Side Front
  • Airbag Side Rear (optional)
  • Radio
  • CD Player
  • CD Changer (optional)
  • DVD (optional)
  • Navigation (optional)
Vehicle
36,000 miles / 36 months
Powertrain
60,000 miles / 60 months
Corrosion
Unlimited miles / 60 months
Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
POWER TRAIN:MANUAL TRANSMISSION:SHIFT PATTERN INDICATOR
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 VERSA VEHICLES EQUIPPED WITH AN AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION AND MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 9, 2011, THROUGH JANUARY 13, 2012 FOR FAILING TO COMPLY WITH THE REQUIREMENTS OF FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD NO. 114,¿THEFT PROTECTION.¿ DUE TO INTERFERENCE BETWEEN THE SHIFTER ROD AND THE SHIFT KNOB, THE VEHICLES MAY BE SHIFTED OUT OF THE PARK POSITION WITHOUT DEPRESSING THE BRAKE PEDAL.
Consequences
THE OPERATOR CAN INADVERTENTLY SHIFT THE VEHICLE INTO GEAR WITHOUT THE BRAKE PEDAL BEING DEPRESSED, INCREASING THE RISK OF A CRASH OR INJURY TO A NEARBY PEDESTRIAN.
Remedy
NISSAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL INSPECT AND REPLACE THE SHIFTER KNOB OR THE SHIFTER ASSEMBLY AS NEEDED, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MEARH 5, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN AT 1-800-647-7261.
Potential Units Affected
36,608
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


Recall Date
12-31-1969:21:35:20
Component
AIR BAGS:SIDE/WINDOW
Summary
NISSAN IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2012 ALTIMA AND VERSA VEHICLES. THESE VEHICLES MAY BE EQUIPPED WITH SIDE CURTAIN AIR BAGS THAT CONTAIN AN INCORRECT PROPELLANT MIXTURE FOR THE INITIATOR COMPONENT USED, RESULTING IN INSUFFICIENT OUTPUT OF COMPRESSED GAS.
Consequences
THE SIDE CURTAIN AIR BAGS MAY NOT DEPLOY, INCREASING THE RISK OF INJURY.
Remedy
NISSAN WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL REPLACE ONE OR BOTH SIDE CURTAIN AIR BAG MODULES, AS NECESSARY, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL BEGAN ON MARCH 12, 2012. OWNERS MAY CONTACT NISSAN CUSTOMER SERVICE AT 615-725-1000.
Potential Units Affected
976
Notes
NISSAN NORTH AMERICA, INC.


NHTSA Rating Front Driver
4
NHTSA Rating Front Passenger
3
NHTSA Rating Front Side
3
NHTSA Rating Rear Side
4
NHTSA Rating Overall
4
NHTSA Rating Rollover
4
IIHS Front Moderate Overlap
Good
IIHS Overall Side Crash
Good
IIHS Best Pick
1
IIHS Rear Crash
Good
IIHS Roof Strength
Good

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