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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.
Favorite Features

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 78 Ratings for the 2012 - 2014 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.1/10
    Quality
    7.6/10
  • Reliability
    8.4/10
    Performance
    6.7/10
  • Comfort
    7.9/10
    Styling
    7.3/10

Can't say anything good about the engine or the tr

By on Sunday, April 20, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,250

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"Can't say anything good about the engine or the transmission. Under powered and the trans is junk. This is my 2nd Versa. My first was a 2010 with the 1.6 engine and a "standard" auto trans. I wanted the sedan, but found I couldn't get anything but the smaller engine. I foolishly let the salesperson sell me by saying it has as much power as the hatchback because of the transmission. Boy was I led astray! Otherwise I have really enjoyed both Versas. few minor things: no mirror on the drivers side sun screen, but one of the passengers? Whats up with that? The remote will work on the doors, but not the trunk? Well, there it is."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Reliable and Cost Effective

By on Thursday, March 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 30,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "Cost, reliability, roominess, style."

Cons: "Not the fastest car ever built."

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

"Reliable and cheap too! I have the CVT transmission and manual windows and locks. The performance is great for being an economy car, and can easily overdue a Honda Civic. We have had two Honda Civic's and the Nissan has proven itself to be more reliable. it cost around $30 to fill the tank and you can go about 350 miles but that depends on your driving style."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Best Gas Saver!

By on Sunday, March 09, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 6,500

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
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Worth the Investment!!! Amazing Exterior look!"

Cons: "Let try to work on interior just a bit!!"

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

"I love my Versa; gas wise I have been able to park my truck and very seldom uses it because the car pays for itself. What I spent on gas pays the car payment and the gas I used in a week is what I pay in a month on the Versa. I literally put $28-$32 max to fill up and it carries me from Sunday to Monday usually with estimated travel close to 375 miles for every full tank. If I am not going to work I can drive on this gas for about 12 days."

8 people out of 9 found this review helpful

great little car

By on Thursday, March 06, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 2,700

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
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Great price and roomy for a small car."

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This is a great little car and not expesive. My problem is that my arthritis is so bad now that it is difficult for me to get in or out of any car. I want to go back to a pickup truck."

1 person out of 4 found this review helpful

Heat not sufficient during winter...

By on Wednesday, January 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "gas economy"

Cons: "cabin heating very poor quality"

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

"I bought this Versa Note 2014 three monts ago. I found out that the heating in the cabin is really unsufficient during cold winter days... My garage told me that it is NORMAL! He evenoffer me a Nissan Versa 2011 for a day and after 5 minutes of driving I had to adjust the cabin temperature for colder air since it was too hot. Definitively, is there anyone out there with the same issue? THX"

8 people out of 10 found this review helpful

Nice Car

By on Saturday, January 11, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 3,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Good price, nice little car"

Cons: "Rear seat backs don't fold flat"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This Versa hatchback is a great little car. The only problem is that it's a car. I have only had small pickup trucks for about 40 years and after over a year with a car I wish I had bought a truck again as I miss having one."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

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