2010 Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6

Despite the absence of any sort of stereo system, the Versa is still my favorite small car. I'd much prefer a Versa hatchback to a Honda Fit if I were buying a compact hatch right now. The biggest difference between the Fit and Versa is sound deadening. Even without a radio masking the road and tire noise, the Versa was well insulated. I could have easily held a conversation at 70 mph without raising my voice, which wasn't always possible in our Four Seasons Honda Fit.

That said, I can't believe some form of stereo system isn't standard on the Versa sedan with a starting price of $13,115. I can understand not including one on the $9,990 (plus destination) base model, but there's no way to get any stereo on a 1.6-liter Versa at all. Why not offer a stereo for $200? Who really wants a car without any way to listen to music in 2010?

Moving up to a 1.8 sedan with floor mats costs only $1860, and you get a 122-hp engine, standard ABS, and a decent AM/FM/CD stereo with an auxiliary input plus the major upgrade to fifteen-inch wheels. The move to a 1.8 car also means the manual transmission would have six speeds instead of five, although the automatic still gets only four gears.

Phil Floraday, Senior Online Editor

I have an 09 Versa sedan, 1.8S with 6spd. It is excellent, very roomy, spritely enough round town and as mentioned above a surprising accomplished highway cruiser. We've used it for a 3200 mile road trip with two kids and returned just under 33 mpg average on a mix of highways at 65-70 and interstates at 80. No space problem at all what with the huge back seat and large trunk. More comfortable and quieter than my parent's Fit, although the Fit has a better clutch feel and nicer gear change. As long as you accept it for what it is then the Versa is a great value.

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