2012 Nissan Versa vs. Its Competition

2012 Nissan Versa 4-door Sedan CVT 1.6 SV Angular Front Exterior View
Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Senior Editor

The Hyundai Accent used share the claim as the cheapest car in the U.S.

market with the Nissan Versa, give or take a few hundred bucks, but Hyundai has raised prices on the Accent significantly for 2012 with the discontinuation of its basic two-door hatch.

The 2012 Versa S, with manual transmission, A/C, and CD sound, is priced $3,205 below the Accent.

That said, the Accent feels like a more upscale car than the Versa, especially in its base form, and its interior materials and switchgear feel a step above.

Both the Honda Fit and Ford Fiesta cost significantly more than the Versa yet are more fun to drive; the Fit stands out especially for its very low cargo floor and a seat-folding arrangement that's better than all others in this class.

Meanwhile, the Chevrolet Sonic is an all-new model for 2012, replacing the lackluster Chevrolet Aveo; unlike the Aveo, the Sonic is a serious rival to all the vehicles mentioned here, with a sophisticated, refined driving feel, great interior comfort, top-notch safety, and better interior materials than the Versa.

The Toyota Yaris has also been redesigned for 2012, although our editors had still not driven it at the time of this review's posting.

2012 Nissan Versa 4-door Sedan CVT 1.6 SV Angular Front Exterior View2012 Nissan Versa
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2012 Chevrolet Sonic2012 Chevrolet Sonic
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2011 Ford Fiesta 4-door HB SES Angular Front Exterior View2012 Ford Fiesta
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2012 Honda Fit 5dr HB Auto Angular Front Exterior View2012 Honda Fit
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2012 Hyundai Accent2012 Hyundai Accent
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2012 Toyota Yaris 5dr LB Auto LE (Natl) Angular Front Exterior View2012 Toyota Yaris
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Quick Specs
The 2012 Nissan Versa is a reasonably comfortable, well-equipped new car for used-car money—but if you're a stickler for the details it can feel as cheap as it is.
The 2012 Chevrolet Sonic is neither subsonic nor supersonic—but it's a good, sound choice and a world better than the Aveo it replaces.
You could do better if you most value space and comfort, but the 2012 Ford Fiesta packs in a lot of style and substance.
The 2012 Honda Fit is peppy and fun to drive, and its interior is incredibly space-efficient; but some might be turned off by its rather utilitarian look.
Do Americans want small cars with more room and great gas mileage? The 2012 Hyundai Accent is betting they do--and so are we.
The 2012 Toyota Yaris is fuel-efficient in the city without hybrid hardware, and it has an nicely appointed interior that feels cheerful but not cheapskate; but its weak performance and highway refinement aren't up to current class standards.
MSRP From     
Gas Mileage     
24 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy25 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy27 MPG City / 35 MPG Hwy28 MPG City / 37 MPG Hwy30 MPG City / 38 MPG Hwy
Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4Gas I4
EPA Class     
CompactCompact CarsSubcompactSmall Station WagonCompact CarsSubcompact
Style Name     
4-Door Sedan Manual 1.6 S4-Door Sedan LS 1LS4-Door Sedan S5-Door HB Manual4-Door Sedan Manual GLS3-Door Liftback Manual L (GS)
Front Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront-wheel driveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel DriveFront Wheel Drive
Passenger Capacity     
Passenger Doors     
Body Style     
4 Door Sedan4 Door SedanSedan5 Door Hatchback4 Door Sedan3 Door Hatchback
Detailed Spec Comparison
 2012 Nissan Versa vs. 2012 Chevrolet Sonic2012 Nissan Versa vs. 2012 Ford Fiesta2012 Nissan Versa vs. 2012 Honda Fit2012 Nissan Versa vs. 2012 Hyundai Accent2012 Nissan Versa vs. 2012 Toyota Yaris