Affordable subcompact cars have been getting better and better with each passing year as automakers continue to invest in engine technology, interior features and overall comfort to stay competitive in the entry-level segment. The 2012 Nissan Versa, which is all-new in sedan form and a carry-over when considering the hatchback model is a perfect example of how much can be achieved in terms of quality while keeping prices low. The Nissan Versa doesn't skimp in any crucial areas and delivers a value-focused package that should appeal to first-time car buyers of all stripes.
Let's take a look at 10 things you need to know about the 2012 Nissan Versa.
01. The 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Has Been Completely Redesigned
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan rides on a brand-new platform and comes with fresh styling that smoothes out the somewhat awkward curves of the previous generation four-door in order to offer a more mature and conservative look. With an appearance that falls more in line with Nissan's corporate styling language, the Nissan Versa is aimed at drivers who are interested in a competent, subcompact daily driver that doesn't draw excessive attention to itself while delivering the goods when it comes to an economical and comfortable ride. Throw in a new drivetrain and a re-engineered suspension system and the fresh Versa is made that much more appealing.
02. The 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback Holds Its Course
Nissan has decided to allow the 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback to retain the same chassis and looks as the year before, effectively splitting the Versa lineup along two more distinct lines. The Nissan Versa hatchback might not feature the same engine, appearance or interior design as the sedan, but it remains a very useful subcompact car that can step in and replace a small wagon in a pinch when it comes to hauling oversized cargo. All of this is accomplished while also offering engaging handling and fuel efficiency that is on par with that provided by its redesigned sibling.
03. The 2012 Nissan Versa Offers Two Distinct Engine Choices
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan features a new 1.6-liter, four-cylinder as its exclusive engine option. This unit has been tuned to provide 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque, and it can be matched with either a five-speed automatic (standard) or a continuously-variable automatic transmission (optional on lower trim levels and standard near the top of the model range.
The 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback comes with a larger, 1.8-liter four-cylinder unit that offers up an engaging 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of twist. Unlike the sedan, base hatchback buyers are treated to a six-speed manual transmission free of charge, with the option of a four-speed auto gearbox. The next step up the Versa hatchback trim ladder makes a continuously-variable automatic standard.
04. The 2012 Nissan Versa Provides Excellent Fuel Economy
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan features an impressive fuel economy rating of 30-mpg in stop and go driving and 38-mpg highway when matched with its continuously-variable automatic transmission. Sticking with the five-speed manual gearbox lowers the vehicle's reported fuel efficiency to 27-mpg city and 36-mpg highway. Part of the Versa's frugal fuel sipping personality can be attributed to the fact that the sedan's platform is now lighter than it was the year before, and its engine has been completely revised.
The larger motor found in the 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback yields fuel mileage figures of 28-mpg around town and 34-mpg when found equipped with a CVT. The six-speed manual transmission offers up 26-mpg city and 31-mpg highway, while the four-speed automatic turns in a rating of 24-mpg in city driving and 32-mpg during highway cruising.
05. The 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Features A Spacious Interior
The 2012 Nissan Versa impresses with 90 cubic feet of total passenger volume and what Nissan claims is the most rear leg room available in its class. Although slightly smaller than in 2011, (Versa provides incrementally less shoulder in the back than it did the year before), all vehicle occupants will enjoy the feeling of having plenty of space to themselves - particularly in the front two positions. A 14.8 cubic foot trunk is on hand to haul a considerable amount of luggage, given the sedan's small dimensions, and should extra cargo space be required the rear seat can be folded forward in order to accommodate bulkier items.
06. The 2012 Nissan Versa Hatchback Prides Itself On Practicality
The 2012 Nissan Versa hatchback model also provides much of the same passenger space and comfort found in the redesigned Versa sedan, despite riding on an older platform. Where the Nissan Versa hatchback really shines, however, is when it comes time to haul more than what a standard subcompact sedan could handle. The vehicle's rear seat folds forward in order to offer up 50 cubic feet of total cargo space - a figure which is large enough to challenge several compact sport-utility vehicles in terms of practicality. Combined with the Versa's large rear hatch, the automobile's ability to serve as a willing pack mule will undoubtedly sway subcompact buyers into taking it our for a test drive.
The 2012 Nissan Versa Sedan Is The Least Expensive Automobile On Sale In America
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan features an MSRP of $10,990. This makes the subcompact car the least expensive new vehicle on sale in the United States. The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan is $1,455 cheaper than its next closest competitor - the 2012 Hyundai Accent, which is priced at an MSRP of $12,445 - after years spent running neck and neck with that particular model at the most affordable end of the market. Nissan managed to achieve this low price point without resorting to stripping the base model Versa sedan of content - in fact, the base Versa trim level now offers several features as standard equipment that were only available as options on the 2011 version of the car.
08. The 2012 Nissan Versa Offers Three Trim Levels
The 2012 Nissan Versa comes in three different trim levels. The Nissan Versa S offers air conditioning, a trip computer, a CD player with an aux-input, 15-inch steel wheels and an adjustable seat for the driver. The Versa SV adds items such as cruise control, rear speakers for the vehicle's stereo, nicer upholstery, power windows and door locks, keyless entry and a more attractive gauge package. The top-tier Versa SL dresses up the vehicle's exterior with fog lights, replaces the 15-inch steel wheels with alloy rims, installs Bluetooth and adds an iPod interface to the automobile's sound system.
The Nissan Versa sedan is available in all three trim levels, while the hatchback comes in S and SL editions. The hatchback's base S model is better equipped than that offered on the sedan, but the SL is quite similar in terms of the features that are provided.
09. The 2012 Nissan Versa Comes With Several Options Packages
The 2012 Nissan Versa is offered with a number of different options packages which are designed to improve the specifications of lower trim models as well as add an extra degree of exclusivity to the priciest version of the automobile. For the sedan, the Cruise Control package adds cruise, two more stereo speakers for rear seat occupants and a trunk light, while the Convenience package provides an iPod interface and Bluetooth connectivity. The sedan also benefits from the availability of the Tech package, which is offered only with the SL trim and which includes a navigation system, satellite radio and a touchscreen interface.
The hatchback's Plus package consists of cruise control as well as keyless entry, while the Convenience package throws in Bluetooth, audio controls for the leather-wrapped steering wheel and an iPod connection on top of the Plus package's contents. Ordering the Special Edition package combines all available hatchback options together.
10. The 2012 Nissan Versa Doesn't Skimp On Safety Gear
The 2012 Nissan Versa has been designed to be extremely safe, regardless of its small size. The Versa comes with front seat side airbags to complement its standard forward-facing front airbags, and it also offers side curtain airbags to protect all passengers from potential head injuries in an accident. Antilock brakes are standard, as is electronic stability control in order to help prevent a loss of control at speed. Traction control is also present and accounted for, and it works to reduce wheel spin and maintain forward momentum when slippery road conditions are encountered.
Learn more about the 2012 Nissan Versa