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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
7.5
Out of 10

Based on 128 Ratings for the 2012 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    6.9/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.5/10

rough riding car we have ever had

By on Monday, May 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,184

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
1/10
Reliability
3/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
1/10

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

"car is too small for us and its very rough to ride in. car dealer said he wrote the wrong number down and would we take this one. the only difference he said was it was black. So we got in and started to drive off and when we got a couple blocks away we noticed the windows didn't have the automatic like the one we test drove and no automatic door locks by that time they were closed so we went on home and took it back the next day. They said (its to late to do any thing cause we drove it off the lot.)"

Practical and comfortable, mileage++

By on Sunday, May 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 40,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "mileage, handling, exit&entrance, reliable."

Cons: "back seat doesn't fold down."

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

"We like the car. It is practical and comfortable for a small car. The mileage averages around 39 and we drive conservatively. We thought we were getting fold-down seats. We would purchase again."

I hate this vehicle

By on Monday, May 04, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
Not Rated
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Good gas mileage, rear view camera"

Cons: "Cheaply made, needs a lot of work."

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

"I previously owned a 2009 versa which I loved. I saw the 2015 versa with the very decent 40mpg and I traded my 09 in. BIG mistake. I have had nothing but problems. The car is made very cheap and when I say very cheap, I was backing out of my driveway and tapped (literally tapped) a snow bank and when I pulled forward my back bumper snapped off a little. I ended up having to pay over $700 to have the bumper replaced, just because it cracked in a spot where they couldn't just pop it back on. After owning it for 8 months I had to have something in the engine replaced. The belt is not even 2 years old and is going to have to be replaced as well. The stereo now crackles because one of the speakers is not working properly. The USB port for the iPod no longer works. I miss my 2009 versa to be honest and will never buy brand new from nissan again. I'll stick with my 2004 F-150 which is way more reliable."

8 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Good car for the money

By on Saturday, April 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 8,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fast turtle ok to to drive"

Cons: "Cup holders bad location, can't tow anything"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"My opinion is buy the s model only if your looking for transportation to point a to point b don't waste money on the upper trim levels for a higher price because it's not a big difference then the base model when you can buy a Sentra,corrola,fiesta for about the same price as a upper trim level versa. It's a GOOD CAR FOR A SIMPLE PERSON........end of story"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Gas tank too small. Road walks on Interstate

By on Thursday, April 23, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Comfortable inside."

Cons: "Gas Tank too small"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 5

"Small gas tank. Must watch gage which goes from 1/2 full to empty just going around the blocK. Shakes and wobbles on highways unless pavement is very smooth. Does ride ok. Not uncomfortable. Basic sound system is fine."

Awesome vehicle with some character

By on Monday, March 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 44,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Great on gas, good stearing, nice power"

Cons: "Only has 1 arm rest, harder to work with on wind"

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

"Okay so we bought this vehicle last September because the old one had the transmission about to go! We paid 15 grand because our credit wasn't that great. Anyway first impression is it's a cute little brick red car and I know that Nissan's are dang reliable. When I opened the door, everything was spotless looking brand new. I did notice that the Versa SV only has one arm rest on the drivers side. Also the glove box isn't as big as you would think, but otherwise it's like any vehicle and the color on the inside was black. The trunk space is very spacious for the size of the vehicle. The gas gage is actually in the middle of the dashboard and electronic. I had a carfax and sure enough no problems to speak of that would persuade me not to buy it. I asked how many mpg's it would get, they said about 30 OH NO IT'S A LOT MORE! So we took it from Kansas to Indiana and back right before winter hit. The car worked like a dream! I also only had to use 50 bucks in gas total to get there and back! The suspension is fine, like any vehicle you hit a big enough pot hole you'll feel it. Our next trip was 6 months later to Arkansas, again that little car went just fine and went spent about the same amount to go there and back. The steering is very reliable, granted when the wind picks up then you have a tiny bit of an issue because it is a light weight vehicle it's not like a truck or anything, but it's got great power for a V4. If that little car can go through the Ozark mountains like nobodies business then I trust it. I'm a Nissan lover for life now!"

16 people out of 21 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

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