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