2012 Nissan Versa Consumer Review: Deceptively Appealing

2012 Nissan Versa Sedan - Consumer Review

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7 of 12 people found this review helpful
Deceptively Appealing
By sdaigle on


2012 Nissan Versa 1.6 SV 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT)


The Versa is definitely geared towards people who shop for a car with their head rather than their heart. It's quite practical and efficient, what economy cars generally aim to be. It's the cheapest car to buy in its class. It's near tops in fuel efficiency. Running costs are low. It offers a lot of room for it's size. Overall, it's a fantastic value.

If you want something stylish, fun-to-drive, with loads of personality, the Versa will disappoint. Think economy car for middle-age folks. It's like driving an appliance. It does its job well, but isn't inspiring and won't win over your heart.
I recommend the Kia Rio or Chevy Sonic if that's where your priorities reside.

After 2yrs and 56k miles of ownership, I can report that reliability and overall quality were poor. Very poor. Enough so that I traded it in, which I did not want to have to do. I was not interested in continuing to own a problematic car out of warranty, however. The black paint peeled in various areas. The front suspension made creaking noises. The catalytic converter heat shield broke on its own twice. Faulty design. The interior was full of squeaks and rattles. The transmission never felt like it operated correctly. When letting off the throttle going down hills, the engine would rev up unnecessarily and make the whole car buck like a bronco. It was atrocious. There was an annoying and dangerous delay from the transmission when pulling out into traffic. If felt as if the car was trying to start off in 2nd gear. Yes, I'm aware the CVT has no gears. Just trying to explain the sensation. The low beam headlights were very dim and had too focused a beam of light, making night vision poor. I could go on and on. When you take into consideration the troubles I had along with the common transmission, starter motor and other failures, it's just not worth considering at any price. Seriously disappointing quality from a Japanese vehicle. I replaced it with a new Mitsubishi, which has proven to be a superior quality vehicle.

Best Features

  • Braking
  • Getting in out
  • Noise and vibration
  • Front seats
  • Logic of controls
  • Dealership support
  • Engine
  • Fuel economy

Worst Features

  • Shifting
  • Steering
  • Quality of materials
  • Cargo storage
  • Rain snow traction
  • Headlights
  • Entertainment
  • Repair frequency
  • Transmission
  • Resale value
  • Warranty

Recommend (7) (5)

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Comments (2) Post a Comment
By litesong2
on 10/24/12 01:06 AM (PDT)

Agree with the interior..... not much else in your report. Given a car that ain't goin' ta visit the mechanic overmuch, unlike a Yugo, keeps gas money in yer pocket, unlike an SUV, & costs the least, like no other car, ya got opportunity & money to make yer own personality & go where you want to go. Yeah, where you are, where you're goin' & what you will love, is much more important than the car, some people give their love to.

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By aeh4
on 10/02/12 09:43 AM (PDT)

Excellent review - I agree with all your points. I love the gas mileage and roominess, but the interior disappoints. Nissan could have hit a home run with even a modest effort to upgrade the interior options on the SV and SL models. Instead, its a great practical car, but wont win any points for style or excitement. BTW - Center arm rests are available on E-Bay - but only in black. Cant' imagine why Nissan doesn't offer one as an accessory.

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