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Nissan Versa

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  • After playing around on the Nissan website, I'm definitely interested to see the Versa for myself. I found a few things odd and some surprising features on such an inexpensive car.

    The 6-speed manual is a definite suprise as is Bluetooth capability and Intelligent Key (though optional) are welcome features. I'm sure to keep prices down, they didn't include ABS/side airbags as standard. I consider this a plus as I would skip this $700 option if keeping the price low was my main objective.

    The base S model isn't available with cruise control, even with the optional power package. The S also doesn't have an AUX input which I think should be standard as it is on the current Sentra. The S could also use a wheel upgrade option, those standard wheel covers do nothing to flatter the car and an alternative would be nice.

    The Rockford Fosgate stereo isn't available on the sedan, only on the SL hatchback. It's only a $300 upgrade, but requires the $700 convenience package to get it.

    Prices can get too high if all options are selected, the SL 5-door with CVT and all options has a sticker of $19,855 . If this car is the same price as a Civic or Mazda3 it doesn't make a lot of sense. With minimal options, say the S with power package for $14,255 or SL w/ no options for $15,555 it's a strong value.

    I may have to check out the SL 6-speed manual when it arrives.

    BTW, when will it arrive???
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    I played with the Versa website also (really slow) and found that a SL hatchback equipped the way I'd want it, with 6-speed, convenience pkg (Bluetooth etc.), and ABS/bags is about $16,500. That's not too bad at all compared to, say, an Elantra 5-door that lists for $15,775 with a moonroof but w/o a 6-speed, alloys, CD changer, side curtains, Bluetooth, Intelligent Key, and a few other things. And it's still less than a Civic LX but with much more equipment--and the Civic doesn't have a hatch. If the Versa really does hold "five full sized adults" as the Web site says, and gets good fuel economy, it could be a real nice package.

    Nissan has stated the Versa will be available in the U.S. in the fall of 2006.
  • alpha01alpha01 Posts: 4,747
    Those prices ARE NOT final, we;ll see where they end up.

    alpha
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Yes, I noticed the disclaimer on the Web site. It's fun to play "what if" though. And Nissan did publically state that the Versa would start at "about $12k". The price of the S model on the Web site is in that ballpark. Compared to other cars in the class, the pricing on the site seems reasonable, IMO.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    they lower the prices. $16K is kinda steep for an "economy" car.

    But I like that they're offering Intelligent Key. Its a surprising feature in a car at this price.

    Maybe after rebates and the fact that I've got access to Nissan VPP pricing (through a friend, I haven't used it yet) might make it a screaming deal.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Yeah, $17k is steep too, yet that's what Honda charges for the Civic LX and Mazda for the 3 with less equipment than the Versa. Not too many cars for $10k out there anymore. I like the fact that features like Bluetooth are working their way down into cars under $20k.
  • Comparison of Versa with competitors (all 5-doors)-

    The Versa S with power package is $14,255 (the only 6-speed manual!!!)
    Chevy Aveo LT is $13,880 (also has alloys and cruise)
    Elantra GLS is $14,394 (and butt ugly in my opinion)
    Kia Rio5 is $14,640 with power package (also has alloys)

    I'd say that puts the Versa comfortably in the ballpark with competitors. The Chevy Aveo is a little cheaper, but slitting your wrists also would be. :P
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    But the Civic is a bigger car, since its grown to be a "Compact" while the Versa is still a "sub-compact"

    And don't forget the Honda Fit...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    The Civic may actually have less interior room than the Versa. The Versa is advertised to carry "five full-sized adults". The Civic has less interior room than even the Rio and Accent, which are typically classified as subcompacts. The Civic may be longer than the Versa, but that's not a positive thing IMO unless it is accompanied by superior interior and storage volume.

    To me, it looks like Nissan is aiming at the compact market (e.g., Civic, Focus, Corolla) with the Versa instead of the low-end subcompact market (Fit, Aveo, Rio, Accent, Yaris). This is based on the interior size of the car, its features, and its pricing.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Elantra "butt-ugly"? I think the Elantra's butt is very comely, the nicest butt in the compact sedan class. :) I'll be sorry to see it go next year. Now the Versa sedan, that is one ugly car!! The roofline in particular reminds me of the old Excels--not a good thing. The rear end isn't too bad, and is reminiscent of the first-generation Altima.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Confirmed: the Versa is roomier than the Civic:

    Versa: 93.9 cu. ft (sedan), 94.4 cu. ft. (hatchback)
    Civic sedan: 90.9 cu. ft. (DX/LX), 88.4 cu. ft. (EX)

    I read some reviews in which testers praised the room and comfort of the rear seat and also the comfort of the "Maxima-sized" front seats. Another upscale touch on the Versa is the soft-touch plastics used throughout the cabin--a nice change from the hard plastics being used on low-end and compact cars these days.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    if it is intended to compete with the Civic, Cobalt, Focus, Corolla, etc, then where does that leave the Nissan Sentra?
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Very good question. It's supposedly moving up-market from the current Sentra, meaning I suppose it will duke it out with the likes of the Mazda3s, Civic EX/Si, Cobalt SS, and Jetta in the near-$20k class of small cars. It looks to me like the Sentra will wear the performance badge for Nissan small cars, and the Versa will be focused on economy and practicality. Since the Versa is supposed to start at around $12k, it will naturally compete with cars like the Fit, Yaris, Accent, and Rio. But its roominess and feature content will likely draw buyers looking at cars like the Corolla, Elantra, Focus, and Civic DX/LX. That's why I think it will be a hit, because it can draw from a large group of potential buyers.
  • about the new Nissan Versa hatchback. I dont care about the sedan. Nissan shouldnt waste much energy and resources on the sedan.
    Dimension of the car is available at Nissan's japanese website (www2.nissan.co.jp/TIIDA/top.html). Maybe anyone who knows Japanese can translate it for us.
    If they could bring the fuel efficiency of the 1.8L engine on par with the Corolla and Civic then we have a winner.
    6 speed manual with CVT automatic
    Strut suspension in the front and a modified H shaped torsion beam on the rear
    Roomines from intial report is on par with some midsize sedan.
    Used of soft materials in the interior plus a well laid out control and gauges.

    Loose the sedan or modify the rear of it and we have a winner.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Worse gas mileage than the new Civic, no cruise control available except on the top of the line trim level, plus nerdy 1990's Euro-styling do not make this an attractive choice.
  • Sedans sell too well in the U.S. for them to ignore it. They will sell more sedans than hatchbacks even if the hatch is better looking.

    Americans see hatchbacks as cheap compared to sedans. I personally prefer a hatch and wish Honda still made a Civic hatchback for the U.S.

    Mazda3, Hyundai Elantra, Chevy Aveo, Kia Spectra, Ford Focus- they all sell a lot more sedan than hatchback versions here.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    The estimated fuel economy, 38 mpg combined EPA (not highway!), of the Versa w/CVT exceeds that of the Civic with any transmission.

    Cruise is not available on the base level of the Versa. Cruise is not available on the base level of the Civic, either.

    Versa is available as a versa-tile hatchback as well as a sedan, unlike the Civic which is not available as a hatchback (in the US anyway).

    Styling is subjective. I think the hatchback looks fine. Some people hate the looks of the new Civic, too, and consider its digital speedo to be "nerdy". To each his/her own.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    That mileage is not listed on the Nissan web site. The Versa only gives you top of the line and base, so you must choose the very top line model to get cruise.
    People would complain if you had to get the top of the line Civic EX with Navi just to get cruise control.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Not all information on a car is listed on an automaker's web site. The 38 mpg figure was reported during the recent press lauch of the Versa and can be found on multiple web sites--try your favorite search engine on "Nissan Versa 38 overall" and see what you get.

    People might complain too if you were forced to pay over $18k to get a moonroof on a Civic, because you need to get the top-end EX trim--but that is what Honda makes you do. Keep in mind the "top end" Versa trim, SL, is estimated to be about the same price as the Civic's DX trim. At least Nissan offers cruise--some competitors such as Accent and Rio don't even offer it. Also the Versa will offer options not found on any Civic, such as Intelligent Key and Bluetooth.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    Heh, Nissan is worried about equipping cars with Bluetooth, but can't put cruise control any model other than the SL.
    Honda has the LX that has what the majority of buyers want and it sells more LXs than any other model for that reason.
    If Honda only made the DX and EX it would be different.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    If Honda sold a Civic 5-door in the U.S. it would be different, too. ;)

    You seem really obsessed with the fact that Nissan doesn't plan to offer cruise on its base Versa trim line. If you really want a Versa S and cruise is important to you, it can be added aftermarket quite easily. Just as it can be on the base trim line for the Civic.
  • bamacarbamacar Posts: 749
    I think it can be a success in the 12-15k sticker range with discounts. It will be a solid competitor for the Rio, Fit, Accent and Yaris. I don't see much success if it goes for 16-19k. With the extra power and style of the Civic-Mazda3, the Versa won't compete very well. The new Sentra will probably be a real competitor for the Civic segment.
  • This argument really doesn't hold water. Yes, the base model Versa doesn't have cruise available. To get it on a Civic, you have to get the $17,060 LX model. To get it on the Versa you have to get the $15,555 SL model.

    People would complain if cruise only came on the Civic EX with Nav, that car costs $20,310 which is $5200 more than a base Civic DX. Going from the base Versa S to the SL is only an increase of $2000 and for that you get cruise, power everything, keyless entry, alloy wheels and a few other items.

    Basically, going from the Versa S to the SL model is the same as upgrading from a Civic DX to an LX, not an EX.

    As mentioned earlier, some cars in this class don't have cruise on any model- Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent. Many others don't have cruise on the base model- Honda Civic DX, Mazda3 i, Ford Focus S to name a few.

    The Versa represents a solid value in the sub-Civic range. It's not really a competitor and doubt there will be much cross shopping between the two, so comparisons of the cars aren't really that valid.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    The reason I keep mentioning the cruise control is because this is supposed to be a sub-Civic car. With cruise, the base model would have been a livable econo car for people who do some freeway cruising (maybe a daily freeway commute to work and occasional long trips), but having to bump up to the SL bumps up the price where the styling can no longer be ignored and people start thinking about cars the next level up (like a Civic).
    Cruise control cannot be installed aftermarket in some modern cars, so it remains to be seen if an aftermarket cruise control will ever be available for the Versa.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    Your argument doesn't hold water, IMO. If making people get a Versa SL, which costs about the same as a Civic DX, in order to get cruise makes people think about moving up to a Civic, then they'd need to ante up another $1500 or so over and above the Versa SL to get a Civic that has cruise. That's a big bump. More likely, if people want to save money and get features like cruise control, they'll go for something like an Elantra, which has cruise standard on all trim lines, even the base GLS, not a $17k Civic.
  • 307web307web Posts: 1,033
    OK, the Elantra may be a better choice than the Versa.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,759
    If you want a low-priced car that is a comfortable highway cruiser and has cruise control, yes, I agree. But for anyone who is willing to spend $15k or so, the Versa might have the advantage--in safety if nothing else. I can't wait to drive one and compare it to the Elantra et. al. to find out.
  • jchan2jchan2 Posts: 4,956
    I think that having to bump up to the SL to get Cruise Control is reasonable because the jump isn't too bad, especially if you finance it, and you can get a few more items that you can't get on the S.

    I think the majority of sales will be the SL. The S, without the available features that you can get on the SL, is a way to advertise a bargain basement price.

    Then again, you can always get Cruise on a Hyundai Elantra GLS, but an Elantra doesn't get 38MPG combined.
  • I'm thinking the S with power package might be the best seller, but the SL might be. The base S is mainly to advertise a low price. Few people buy cars without power windows and locks anymore.

    As several have said before, once you load up an SL with options it really gets too expensive when compared to similar cars. After the $17k mark or so, you're moving into a different class of car. Unless of course the Versa proves to be as good as more expensive cars like Civic and Mazda3. Who knows, that could be the case!

    I just can't wait to get behind the wheel of a 6-speed manual to see for myself. I just hope this 1.8L is stronger than the one in Sentra. Anyone know hp estimate for it yet?
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