Go

2012 Nissan Versa

Overview
Share this page
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?

2012 Nissan Versa Review

By

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)

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?

2012 Nissan Versa Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.6
Out of 10

Based on 152 Ratings for the 2012 - 2016 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.2/10
    Quality
    7.5/10
  • Reliability
    8.5/10
    Performance
    7.0/10
  • Comfort
    7.8/10
    Styling
    7.6/10

It's what I need.

By on Sunday, February 07, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 31

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage & interior space will surprise."

Cons: "Interior is plain."

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

"No frills, for sure. But that's who I am. Love the gas mileage I'm getting. It also has plenty of pep for me. First car, or a reliable and inexpensive commute to work, Versa is an excellent choice. It's not a drive across country vehicle, although it could. It'll do fine on trips of just a few hours."

Great for College Students

By on Friday, January 29, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 17,600

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
3/10

Pros: "Great gas mileage"

Cons: "Not great speakers, not very spacious,"

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

"I bought this car at the beginning of last year. It was almost midnight by the time I got to see the car and test drive it. It seemed like a decent car. Well, it gets great gas mileage, but my backseat seat belt locks up every time I use it,therefore, I have to unbuckle and re-buckle a number of times. It fits my one car seat and 1 person comfortably. The speakers on it aren't the greatest (my brothers complain,"Why are you speakers junky, ain't this a brand new car?")"

Excellent and fun vehicle. I am sad to part.

By on Sunday, January 17, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 32,000

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
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Exterior dealer coated w/excelon for paint and scratch protection, and interior dealer coated for stain protection. Hitch added for 1-1/4 receiver."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Economic, fun, external aesthetic to my liking

By on Monday, December 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 75,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Economic,fun,aesthetically satisfactory,goodhwymph"

Cons: "gastankposition,jerkylowspds,foglghtsneeded,lowcar"

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

"I've owned my Versa since 2012, brand new from the dealer. After reviewing the reviews, I can tell you I didn't have to buy an SL class to get the fold down seats, I have the most standard class. I was influenced by the need for an economic car that was yet not going to be pre-owned, was going to be aesthetically pleasing to me and get me from point A to B. I own in the Expresso brown color, in the sun a sparkly brown sheen is easily captured, I see many black Versas but mine stands out and yet at night looks just as dark. I used to drive a truck, so this saved me a ton of gas and my passengers have the roomiest backseat. Three things I can point out, I would change the position of the gas tank to the driver side, perhaps a higher point of entry for getting in and out of your car, having fog lights as a standard feature, and a less jerkier ride when driving at low speeds within the city. I don't know if it is just slightly idling, but as with other reviewers, I got the hang of it. The Versa seems to really shine on gas mileage when driven on the highway with a route with little to no stops. I'm glad I made a smart choice that didn't break the bank, since now I'm no longer in that financial rut, I can soon say this car can allows me to spend my money on me but not sacrifice maintenance."

10 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Decent car

By on Monday, October 26, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 56,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Gas mileage, runs well, no problems so far."

Cons: "Small.....But I knew that going it."

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

"Small interior but has a lot of good spots to put stuff. Kinda cramped but we knew that when we bought it. I love the gas mileage. The trunk space is really nice. I like that the backseats lay down. Cup holder in the back is nice. My 2 kids fit comfortable in the back in carseats. Almost impossible to get a third seat in there though. You can...its just not the safest."

25 people out of 36 found this review helpful

Will not buy another one.

By on Sunday, October 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 9,200

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
8/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "classy looking"

Cons: "needs a better suspension and shocks"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Excellent gas mileage and excellent steering. Driving at highway speeds of 65 and over has an engineering problem with suspension stability. Automobile tends to drift right and left at these speeds. Manufacturer states this is a normal condition and offers no fix or recall. If the issue can be resolved this is definitely a good economically auto to consider, but as it is now I will not purchase another. The resale value is also inferior."

10 people out of 12 found this review helpful

Share this page
Advertisement
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?


Advertisement