We went looking for a small, reliable car with a/c with a strong preference for a hatchback. We focused on the usual suspects - Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris, Scion whatever, Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe. Then we saw the Versa at a Hertz sales lot, liked it, researched it and could buy it for $3,000 under KBB. Negatives are rear visibility and stability in cross winds. A big positive is roominess whether carrying four people or two people and two bicycles - they fit in all the way without having to take off a wheel. When we bought we would have preferred a Matrix if the money was close to the same. That would have been a mistake.
Quietness compared to the competition. I am hearing impaired and could not converse in our old Civic. In this I can. CVT once we got used to lack of growl. Room, room, room, room.
Rear visibility. There is really no excuse for it. Make it easier to turn off the wipers.