2012 Nissan Versa (909)


This week we’re looking at the 2012 Nissan Versa 1.6 SL SDN. The following link will get you to more information. http://www.nissanusa.com/buildyournissan/?fromSav=true

The 2012 Versa sedan receives a ground-up redesign, while the 2012 Versa hatchback remains essentially unchanged after exterior and interior upgrades in 2010. The Versa sedan features an all-new, front-wheel drive, CVTC 16-valve 1.6-liter engine that weighs 150 pounds less than its predecessor, and delivers 109 horsepower for mileage estimated at 30 mpg city/38 mpg highway. The engine is mated to a 5-speed manual transmission (1.6 S model only) or a CVT automatic transmission. It’s longer wheelbase and redesigned interior makes it roomier with more rear-seat legroom. The Sedan is available in three trims: 1.6 S, 1.6 SV and 1.6 SL.


“Hath there been such a time I said it ‘twas so and then been proven otherwise” – Shakespeare / Hamlet act II scene II.

Handling & Performance:

The engine puts out only 109 horsepower but as you can see it does it very efficiently with up to 38 mpg. In part that is due to employing a continuously variable transmission (CVT). That is a trans that can change step-less-ly through an infinite number of gear ratios contrasted with other mechanical transmissions that offer a fixed number of gear ratios. The flexibility of a CVT allows the driving shaft to maintain a constant angular velocity over a range of output velocities, which enables the engine to run at its most efficient (RPM). And lastly a CVT does not strictly require the presence of a clutch.


Nice job at looking good while delivering so much in space and efficiency of operation. Thanks Nissan.

Fit and Finish:

Very good, meaning all the parts fit together with just the right spacing but not too wide… just right.


Justifiable for a great low cost family sedan.

Conveniences and comfort:

Back to basics – and that’s a good thing. Don’t you just love simplicity? I do, really I do. But I’m reminded weekly as I’m spoiled by advanced systems and wham… the following week it’s back to simple transportation and if I were spending your money it would be a Mercedes Benz or Ferrari – but then I’d be called a Politician.

In any case I’m just an average Joe spending my money so for the savings you get from basic, that’s just fine thanks. All the gadgets and goodies are convenient distractions and most are not necessary but rather ego boosters. Now the exceptions are things that make me and my family safer: Vehicle Dynamic Control, Traction Control, ABS with brake force distribution and LATCH systems make us safer. But when you figure what you pay for power heated seats, climate controlled air conditioning, power windows and locks and remote keyless entry and the like… well you get the picture. They don’t add to how safe we are and I don’t know about you, but I don’t buy a car to replace my family room with big screen TV and all the other luxury things. Better you spend less time on the highway and more with those you love. Now that’s comfort.

Consumer Recommendation:

Take my advice – Buy a car for transportation and with the difference between this and any luxury car take the wife and kids to Europe or go camping. Believe me you’ll all get something out of the money and remember more fondly that vacation than daddy impressing the neighbors with HIS BMW. Your neighbors probably know you can’t afford it anyway.

Recognized Competition:

Nissan Versa $16,000, Chevrolet Aveo $12,000, Chevrolet Aveo 5 $12,000, Chevrolet HHR $19,000, Chevrolet Sonic $14,000, Dodge Nitro $22,000, Fiat 500 $16,000, Ford Fiesta $13,000, Honda Fit $15,000, Hyundai Accent $14,000, Hyundai Veloster $17,000, Kia Rio $13,000, Mazda 2 $15,000, Scion iQ $15,000, Scion tC $19,000, Scion xB $16,000, Scion xD $15,000, Suzuki  SX4 Crossover $17,000, Toyota Matrix $19,000, Toyota Yaris $14,000.

Good News:

Efficient and inexpensive transportation with great fuel economy and nice styling to boot.

Bad News:

You’ll have to think long and hard what to do with all the money you’ll save.

Standard Equipment:

1.6 liter 109 hp 4-cylinder engine, continuous variable transmission, power ABS (Anti-Lock Brake System) front disc and rear drum brakes with brake force distribution, 15” alloy wheels, front, side and side curtain airbags, LATCH child safety system, traction control, dynamic control, tire pressure system, air conditioning, 6-way manual adjust driver seat, cloth seats, 60/40 split fold down rear seat, audio system with CD and 4 speakers, iPod Control, Bluetooth, steering wheel mounted audio controls, trip computer, power windows and locks and auto locking system, remote keyless entry, cruise control, fog lights, halogen lights, power side morrors.

Gas Stats:

$3.73/ Gal avg. Feb 18, 2012


for more information.

30 City and 38 Highway MPG


MSRP $15,560.

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

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