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2012 Nissan Versa

Overview
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2012 Nissan Versa Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 6.2

The Nissan Versa is the Toyota Camry of the subcompact segment: Boring but a best seller. Of course, boring cars are only boring to those looking to make a fashion statement or generate an adrenalin rush with their transportation – a minority group. To its many happy buyers, the Versa is the roomiest, most comfortable new car available in the neighborhood of $15,000. And even though Nissan's designers have blessed the all-new 2012 Versa Sedan with considerably handsomer sheet metal, the basic recipe remains the same. The Versa Hatchback remains essentially unchanged for 2012.

You'll Like This Car If...

The 2012 Nissan Versa is about as roomy and comfortable as it gets in the subcompact, sub-$15,000 category.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you like your economy cars with a pinch of driving excitement, you'll have to go to another dealership.

What's New for 2012

More sophisticated sheet metal and improved fuel economy are the most important improvements on the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan. The Nissan Versa Hatchback continues mostly unchanged for 2012.

Driving the Versa

Driving Impressions Subcompact cars are neither smooth nor quiet. But some are smoother and quieter than others, and the 2012 Nissan Versa is tuned to be just that. If the category has...

a cruiser, the new Versa is it. But it's also easy around town and in parking lots, with light steering, a tight turning radius and good visibility. The continuously variable transmission (CVT) remains a polarizing proposition in the automotive world, but Nissan has made great strides in recent years and, especially in when used in conjunction with a car like the Versa, we're fans. If you're looking for a lively dance partner, check out something like the pricier Ford Fiesta. If you're more intrigued by the idea of a condensed version of a comfortable mid-size sedan, you'll like the Versa.

Rear Legroom
It isn't fast, it isn't flashy, but it sure is roomy. If you plan on taking long road trips with more than one passenger, the Nissan Versa is the most humane choice in the category.

CVT
Continuously variable transmissions take some getting used to, but you grow to appreciate the smoothness. Nissan committed to the CVT several years ago and is now doing them better than any other automaker.

2012 Nissan Versa Details
2012 Nissan Versa photo Interior

Nissan is quick to point out that the 2012 Nissan Versa has best-in-class rear legroom – more, even, than the BMW 5 Series, Mercedes-Benz E-Class and Lexus LS 460. The Versa also boasts the subcompact category's roomiest trunk – roomier, in fact, that it's Versa Hatchback sibling (14.8 cubic feet vs. 13.8). The front seats are acceptable – about as good as it gets in the category – and the interior is otherwise clean and simple. We prefer the look of the Sandstone interior, which feels richer than the Charcoal option.

Exterior
2012 Nissan Versa photo

It's still among the category's most conservative designs, but the next-gen Nissan Versa Sedan looks much better than the awkwardly proportioned outgoing model. Making its debut on the 2012 Nissan Versa is a new signature grille for Nissan sedans. The base-model Versa S can be identified by its black trim, and if you want alloy wheels instead of covered steel wheels, you have to go all the way to the top-line SL trim. The same can be said for the Versa Hatchback, which offer 15-inch steel wheels with full covers on the base model and 16-inch alloys and a rear roof spoiler and side sills on the higher SL trim.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The 2012 Nissan Versa S starts at $11,750 (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price plus destination) with a 5-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, 2-speaker AM/FM/CD/Aux stereo system and not much more. Missing in action are power windows, power door locks and a folding rear seat back. For about $3,500 more, the mid-grade Versa SV remedies the manual windows and locks situation, and adds cruise control, nicer seat cloth and a variety of visual upgrades inside and out.

Optional Equipment

A 2012 Nissan Versa SL with Tech Package has an MSRP of $17,020. For that you get Bluetooth phone and USB/iPod audio connectivity, and the Tech Package adds navigation with a 5-inch screen plus traffic info and satellite radio.

Under the Hood

The all-new 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan pairs a brand new 1.6-liter engine with a brand-new, second-generation version of Nissan's small-car CVT. Fuel economy is up significantly compared to the outgoing Versa and now competitive with category leaders, but the 2012 Hyundai Accent manages similar fuel economy while delivering 26 percent more horsepower. The 2012 Versa Sedan is the first Nissan to wear a "PUREDRIVE" badge, which the automaker says will denote cars with unspecified fuel-saving technologies. So, when people ask you what "PUREDRIVE" means, "nothing, really" is an appropriate answer. The Versa Hatchback retains the 1.8-liter engine that it always had, which can be mated to a selection of three transmissions including a 6-speed manual, 4-speed automatic and a CVT.

Nissan Versa Sedan
1.6-liter inline-4
109 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
107 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 27/36 mpg (manual), 30/38 mpg (automatic)

Nissan Versa Hatchback
1.8-liter inline-4
122 horsepower @ 5,200 rpm
127 lb-ft of torque @ 4,800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 26/31 mpg (manual), 24/32 mpg (automatic), 28/34 (CVT)

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2012 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 136 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.5/10

Not a value at all.

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,000

10 2.0
overall rating 2 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
2/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
1/10
Comfort
1/10

Pros: "none."

Cons: "noise, devaluation, design, lack of power"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"Car appears to be a great vehicle when there is the sales pitch and test drive. this vehicle does not have the torque to make it up some hills without revving the motor to the max at 35 mph. there is no room for a car seat, stroller, and other baby related items. also the big sales pitch is on the side of great gas mileage. what they do not tell you is that the car only has a 10 gallon tank so that even though you may get 30 mpg highway that you are only going 300miles and that it will balance out with the nissan altima that you are trading for the versa note. this car is great for a grandma who just goes to the grocery store and home or possibly your childs first ever car. Do not even get me started on the various knocks and other sounds the car makes when driving. also do not plan on talking on the phone in this car because there is way too much road noise to understand who you are talking to. thats just the overall. dont even get started on the interior design... way to many flaws to count. i wish nissan would come get this car back...."

6 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Car fits like a glove. Easy to drive.

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Cons: "Might be a little tight for a large family."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

""I bought this car for commuting and reliability a year ago. I got both. With 45,00o miles on the engine I have had no mechanical problems. I get 39 mpg! I opted My family of 3 fits comfortably, with two car seats in the back, and there is ample trunk space. This is also a very good looking sleek vehicle which fits very well in formal settings." - Jerry."

13 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Perfect for big and talls

By on Sunday, June 21, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 18,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Roomy for the full size family, economical"

Cons: "None. I wuld buy another in a heartbeat."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This car is perfect for the family with multiple 6 foot plus members who are not string beans. Easy to drive. Great on gas. Comfortable for all whether in town or on long trips. More interior room than most other cars, including "full-size". My grandson says it has more legroom in front than his dad's full-sized pickup truck."

21 people out of 33 found this review helpful

BEST CAR I HAVE EVER HAD...OR DRIVEN

By on Friday, June 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 10,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "REALLY FUN TO DRIVE"

Cons: "Has a BIG USB PORT, but not a regular USB port"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS CAR. I BOUGHT THE CAR BRAND NEW, PAID CASH; THE BLUETOOTH IS HANDY...CONTROLS ON THE STIRRING WHEEL, JUST SAY, "CALL Nancy"...NO HANDS NEEDED. THE GAS MILEAGE IS EXCELLENT. HAS GOOD POWER ON THE ROAD...BEAUTIFUL INTERIOR, CD PLAYER AND RADIO HAS GREAT SOUND. CUP HOLDERS FRONT AND BACK. REAR SEAT FOLDS DOWN, HUGE TRUNK, SILVER EXTERIOR SHOWS VERY LITTLE DUST, ETC. WHAT CAN I SAY!! I LOVE IT. BY THE WAY, I AM A PICKY WOMAN!"

15 people out of 28 found this review helpful

How can you even compare

By on Wednesday, June 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 166,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Price, Room, Power, Cost to Own, MPG, MPG, MPG"

Cons: "Spark Plugs under the manifold, CVT expensive"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this new, not one dollar, not one cent have I spent on this vehicle except the price of the trans fluid. On the 07 the first ever made the trans was supposed to be the problem, no problem, and there is a drain plug at the bottom so break the safety tab on the dip stick and you can do this yourself. I have changed it every 30,000 just to make sure, this vehicle will go another 100 k easy. They power is still great and remember I live in the hot dusty desert. The fan is starting to make a little noise and the CD player did stop working but for the price, I am going to get another one in the next few months. I am not sure about this 1.6 but I am sold on the 1.8 at 30-35 mpg. Had to replace the back quarter panel as I backed into someone, $800, compared to $2,400 bmw, $2,400 Honda Civic, $1,800 Honda Fit, and $3,800 Prius you don't want to know about the rest. This was at a shop with matched paint. Let's face it we are Americans and will change out vehicle every 5-10 if you even have it that long, I can't understand why this is not the highest rated car in KBB as you settle for $35,000 with payments of $380 a month or a little less thrills, maybe a little more hp, but for gas millage with a five peace drum set that fits in here great, this vehicle has got me to the price of the vehicle just in gigs. It was a little tight with two adults and a child seat but how many times will this happen. If you have seven kids get a van, but don't expect the millage, reliability, over all operating costs, or 166,000 problem free. Thanks hope this helps you can't beet the over all cost per millage if you take care of this vehicle, all maintenance. Oh did I mention 70,000 Michelin tires at WM out the door for under $300. Order on line and have them install."

20 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Average and boring

By on Monday, June 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,500

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
7/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
4/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "gas mileage."

Cons: "Simply boring, radio sound is horrible."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"Made a mistake in purchasing this car. I just find it boring. However, it's a good reliable average car. Why I purchased it, I just don't know."

5 people out of 11 found this review helpful

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?