We bought new for our son who decided to go to HS a 45 minute drive away. Price and safety features were the reasons for our choice. He put 60K miles on it in 2.5 years. We bought 1 new set of tires and changed the oil. The car was perfect every day and never a minutes trouble and that's with a teenager driving it.
safety reliability low maintenance.
Here is the best part! A few days ago our son was in a MAJOR accident with three cars totaled including a new ford explorer and Pontiac grand am. He was not at fault but I will tell you that the sheriff said the car saved him from ANY injury. The entire front engine compartment crumpled and dropped to the ground just like it was designed. My son walked away with a fat lip
When I purchased my 2012 Versa hatchback, it was the least expensive new car available in North America. And the car is what it is.
On the positive side, the car always started. I consider that a big plus. Also, the interior, which is naturally cheap and flimsy, is designed to feel deceptively roomy.
On the negative side, right after my warranty expired, the keyless entry stopped working on the front doors and the hatchback. The front passenger door and the hatchback wouldn't open at all.
A part in all the doors had to be replaced, and it was a very expensive repair. The dealership decided to do the work free, due to
the car had only been out of warranty for a few weeks.
The best features of the car are the interior design and the fact that the car starts every time. I put 45 thousand miles on the car and had no mechanical issues that prevented me from getting to and from work.
I suggest that Nissan forget about any special bells and whistles, any additional features, and concentrate on somehow using better quality interior materials. Better seat fabrics etc would improve the psychology of driving this car.
This car should be a "top ten pick" for an entry level car. My 2012 Versa Hatchback is a "bang for the buck" with CVT (smooth shifting), Bluetooth & Navigation, 16" wheels, ample trunk space w/fold down seats. Thus far, I recorded 28-29+ mph. I do a moderate amount of around town driving. It has ample pickup & power on freeway. Seat height makes getting in and out easy. Cons - rt knee patella can hit drver side dash (however, my 5' 10" husband is fine w it) - passenger dash is lower decreasing vertical leg room. A happy ex-Murano owner (Nissan makes good cars) I have no regrets buying this car (almost bought an Outback Subaru). Bought 2010 Versa Sedan for my 86 yr old Auntie. She loves it!
Extras, not found in most other "entry level" vehicles, include Garmin Nav (nice screen), Bluetooth; 16" wheels (vs 15"); CVT transmission; plus nice "form factor" (a small car, not a tiny one like the the Rio and Fit)
Most of my suggested improvements are mainly concerned with rear view visibility (not great w/most cars these days); add backup feature to Nav or on rear view mirror; square out form factor (more like a station wagon); remove blackened corners on rear window; make fold down rear head rests for when not in use (they decrease rear window visibility); redesign lower dash line so driver rt side doesn't impede rt knee comfort; raise lower dash line on passenger side to add more vertical space for leg movement/comfort; add more cushion to back seat for sitting comfort; Add to product line a small Station Wagon w/all options ($20-26k range?)