The economy is still tough and many people are having difficulty making ends meet, let alone have the money to buy a new car. In times like these consumers place a high premium on value and that's where the Nissan Versa delivers. It is by far one of the most affordable small vehicles on the market and starts at just around $10k. The interior offers enough room to seat five adults. A sportier looking hatchback version is available at an additional cost. Competitors of the Versa in the affordable compact niche include the Kia Soul, Kia Forte and Honda Fit.
Appearance wise, the Versa is clean and simple looking and focused more on utility and function than form. Fifteen inch wheels are available as well as multi-reflector halogen headlights. Performance for the Versa is more than adequate; consumers aren't expecting a hot rod or high performance hot rod given the extremely low price. Handling is smooth and efficient while parking is a breeze due to the Versa's compact size. The base engine is a four cylinder 1.6 engine with a 107 hp while the mid level trim sports a 1.8 Liter engine. A Continuously Variable Transmission is available which offers mileage of 38 mpg on the highway.
Despite its affordable cost, the Versa offers a high quality cabin and comfortable seats. The upper level trim even comes with materials that are soft to the touch. The trunk offers a generous amount of space at 13.8 cubic feet. The 2012 model comes standard with a stereo system; a feature that was only available as an option on the 2011 version. Additional standard features include AC, a trip computer, cup holders, brake assist, ABS and a tilting steering column. The Versa boasts the most legroom in its class.
Drawbacks to the car are that it's traditional and old fashioned when it comes to technology. The windows need to be adjusted manually (no power windows are available) and the seats also need to be adjusted manually. Options such as Bluetooth and a navigation system are available at an additional cost but it will raise the price quite a bit. Despite its small stature, the Versa is big when it comes to driver and passenger safety. Standard safety features include traction control, an air bag system with a total of six bags, a tire pressure monitoring system and a LATCH system in order to secure child seats.