2010 Nissan Versa 1.8 SL Hatchback

Yes, this Nissan Versa looks just as geeky as the Honda Fit from the outside but, as Evan and several others have mentioned, it feels far more civilized from behind the wheel. This refinement is most obvious on the highway, where, at 80-plus mph, the Versa was quiet and composed. It even shrugged off strong wind gusts that would have easily unsettled our Four Seasons Honda Fit.

Also like the Fit, the Versa has a low beltline and front cowl that give occupants a clear view out, and the tall roof makes for an abundance of headroom, even in the rear seat. Tall-roofed vehicles often have an awkward seating position or odd ergonomics, but I was instantly comfortable in the driver's seat and didn't have a problem reaching any of the controls. My only complaint is that I could have used at least one more down detent in the steering wheel's rake adjustment.

Overall, the Versa is a excellent entry in the subcompact segment but with new, more-attractive competition like the Ford Fiesta and Mazda2 on sale soon, this nerdy little Nissan might soon have a harder time making a case for itself.

Jennifer Misaros, Production Editor

New Car Research

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