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Nissan Versa



  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    This morning I darn near tried to put my Honda Fit into 6th gear!

    Which isn't funny, considering:

    1. To put the Versa into 6th gear, you put pressure on the shift lever to the right as you pull down to the right (if you don't press the shift lever to the right, you'll end up in 4th gear instead of 6th gear).

    2. To put the Fit into REVERSE, you you put pressure on the shift lever to the right as you pull down to the right - in other words the same body mechanics as putting the Versa into 6th.

    Now the Versa cleverly puts reverse safely way, way out of harm's way, in the upper left hand corner. On the left side of 1st. Plus to get there, you have to pull up on a safety collar on the shift lever to release the safety lock-out.

    At first I was fretting about trying to put the Versa into reverse and landing in 6th gear instead (since that is where reverse is, on most stick shift cars). But landing in 6th gear doesn't really hurt anything. You just don't go anywhere.

    On the other hand, shifting into reverse on the Honda at freeway speeds by accidentally shifting into a phantom 6th speed position would be a real disaster.

    This is the point where I wish ALL manufacturers installed "safety lockouts" on reverse on manual transmission cars. Pull up on a collar, push down on the shift knob, I don't care, but sure as there is a science of failure analysis, someday someone is going to drop their car into reverse on the freeway and totally trash their transmission. All as the result of "learning" to shift into 6th gear on the new wave of 6 speed manual transmission cars! :mad:
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372
    Not sure it's a negative, but definietly a quirk :P

    I found myself trying to put our 5-speed Altima into 6th gear as well for the first 5 months or so after we got the Versa. I'm pretty much over it now.

    Odd thing is I'ver never tried to put the Altima in reverse by going left and up or the Versa into reverse by going right and down. Funny how the brain works!


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  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,893
    someday someone is going to drop their car into reverse on the freeway and totally trash their transmission.

    Its happened before. A friend of a friend of mine (yes I have met him and he confirms he did it) accidently shifted into reverse doing around 80 on I-180.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372
    But I'll tell you, the Altima lets me know in no uncertain terms that I'm about to make a HUGE mistake if I try to find 6th gear.

    I can't imagine blindly slamming it into reverse.

    I'm finally used to my gas filler cap being on the passenger side too ;)

    It's not a defect, just the way it is!


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  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    It would be very hard. most cars have a "lock" where they won't let you go from a forward gear directly into reverse. I'm not sure if you could do it even if you were trying to.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,893
    Yes it is very hard to do but the key word in your post is most. This incident was 8 to 10 years ago and it was in an old car (IIRC a Toyota but could be wrong) so its model year was from the mid to late 80's. The car either wasn't equipped with it or it had stoped working or this guy somehow just overrid the thing.

    IIRC I had a 70's era Camaro that didn't have a lock they just didn't have reverse inline with any forward gear.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • jd10013jd10013 Posts: 779
    thats why I said hard and not impossible. I don't doubt a very determined indivudal could destroy his transmission by putting it in reverse while driven 50 mph.

    but your missing the point. the point is, unlike what others were saying, its not somthing you have to worry about, because the car pretty much wont let you. your not going to accidently put it into reverse because the configureation of the gears reminds you of another car.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,893
    Oh I agree unless there is a defect in the locking mechanism the likelihood of getting into reverse while driving forward is pretty much null.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Quieter than my former Caliber, not twitchy like my current fit, an excellent freeway car. Took if from Oakland to Monterey today and it was fatiguing to drive at interstate speeds. Just a notch below the Impala in terms of quiet. Not bad for a $12k (plus tax, licensing) vehicle!
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    I have a question. Both the sedan and the hatchback are neat little cars, but I notice there's not a lot of room between your feet and the front bumper. Does this worry you at all, in the event of a front-end collision in this car? I guess I worry about the lack of hood in between driver and passenger and the front bumper. In older cars it seemed like you were safer, better protected because the engine bit the dust before you did. What are your impressions, after owning this car a while now?
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372
    Well my 1966 Newport certainly had more space and metal in front of me. But it also only had lap belts, no air bags, and no crumple zones.

    I don't feel any less safe in the Versa than I do in my Altima or than I did in any of my Sentras. Truthfully, I worry more about avoiding that front end collision than how my car will handle it. The safety ratings on the Versa are very good, but only a fool would think that just that makes a driver safe. The biggest piece of safety equipment is any car is you behind the wheel.

    Heaven help us if a car ever comes out that's touted as "100% safe"


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  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Dodge City, KSPosts: 5,759
    they are developing cars that park themselves, detect cars around them and "avoid" accidents, etc. But it's true, really, the most important piece of safety equipment in your vehicle is you, the driver. So very, very true.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,828
    The Versa is as good as it gets for crash safety for this size of car--IIHS "Good" scores on front, side, and rear. If it has ESC available it would even be an IIHS "Gold" pick. So if it's a small car you want, you can't get much better except maybe the Impreza, and that will run you several thousand dollars more.

    Since you are concerned about safety, consider getting the optional ABS though--braking tests without it showed long stopping distances, even on dry pavement.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    One of curious things about the crash safety rating for the Versa is that, whereas IIHS has given it "Good" for the offset frontal, among others, which is the highest rating, with NHTSA's testing, the Versa received "only" four stars vs. five in the frontal (not offset but perpendicular to contact).

    What seems to be odd about this is that IIHS's testing is generally known to be more vigorous than NHTSA's. And yet, the Versa did not get the highest score with NHTSA. It goes on to show that the testing procedure and/or measurement protocol can change the results in a material way.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,828
    The way these scores are calculated, the Versa could have missed five stars by a fraction of a point and made a "Good" on the IIHS test by a fraction of a point. I've frequently seen a car get less than five stars on a NHTSA test get a "Good" on the NHTSA test. That happens pretty often on the side impact tests, even though the IIHS test takes head injuries into account and uses a larger and heavier sled. Go figure.

    For me, the IIHS tests carry more weight than the NHTSA tests. The offset frontal test is well known to be a more severe test of the car's structure than the NHTSA's test, and the IIHS side test includes head injuries (well, duh!) when determining the rating and simulates impact by a small truck or SUV vs. a passenger car.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    That's very encouraging! I guess I'll have to do a little research on "crumple zones" (a scary term in its own right) and how they work, and why they are safer than about 6.5 feet of engine and frame!

    I looked out of the Versa's windshield and I, I can see the ground in front! Makes me want to not go any faster than 30mph. I suppose I could pretend it's a Volkswagen Vanagon. LOL

    Thanks for the input, guys, keep it coming.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    I meant to say "it was NOT fatiguing to drive at interstate speeds."

    Emboldened by my 113 miles trip to Monterey, I took it all the way to LA (400 miles) the next weekend. This is definitely a great freeway car - stable steering, quiet, plenty of power, strong air conditioning. Will report on the mileage later - I saved the gas receipts with mileage, but they are still in the car (I'm driving the Fit for the commute this week).

    This car matches the Impala in terms of interstate-worthiness.

    The speed control is a lifesaver in terms of avoiding two types of fatigue: (1) foot fatigue and positional fatigue from holding the accelerator pedal down; and (2) high speed driving fatigue - without the cruise I drift up to 80 mph all too easily (current driving speeds along 5 are up from 80 to 85/90, believe if or not, even with the Highway Patrol pulling over as many speeders as they can). On the way down I limited my speed to an indicated 74 mph.

    In terms of economics, the cost of my 2008 Versa (12,000) vs. the payments left on the Impala ($11k) actually favored the Impala - the increased mileage on the new Versa doesn't make up for the added capital cost. BUT I like small cars.

    For those of you considering a small car to save fuel, remember that the difference in gas costs usually isn't enough to sway a deal, unless you have gone through the usual life-cycle on your old vehicle. You'll end up trading-in an almost paid off poor mileage vehicle for a great mileage vehicle, but your car payments will overcome the difference. The first rule of economy - which I violate frequently - is to change cars only every 5-10 years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,828
    I guess I'll have to do a little research on "crumple zones" (a scary term in its own right) and how they work, and why they are safer than about 6.5 feet of engine and frame!

    That was not what I said, or what anyone here said. What I did say is that if you are looking at small cars, like the Versa, it's one of the best small cars in crash protection based on published tests.

    Keep in mind that frontal crash tests can not be compared across different weight classes. It's one thing for a 2800 pound compact to hit a barrier at 40 mph. It's quite another for a 5000 pound SUV to do the same. But please do research crumple zones etc., and good luck with your car shopping.
  • irismgirismg Posts: 345
    Hm, when we get into all this what was said, what was not said, the issue sure gets muddied. "It's safe, it's not safe, no, I didn't say it was safe," just forget it, please!

    Thanks at least for wishing me luck, and I will read up on those "crumple zones".
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,828
    It's pretty simple, really: the Versa has very good crash safety for a small car. Not really all that muddied... unless you want to make it muddied?
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    First tank of gas was dealer-fillup. Probably a little light, since I drove 252.0 miles and filled it up early at 9.213 gallons, for a calculated 27.35 mpg. Since this mileage is quite a bit lower than my drive to Los Angeles, I'll chalk it up as a less than aggressive fill-up by the dealer.

    The driving after my initial fill-up was about 98% freeway - from Monterey back to Oakland, park the car for a week, then drive down to L.A. and back. Monterey to Oakland was around 75-80 indicated mph; on the drive to L.A. I used cruise control on the way down to hold it down to an indicated 74 mph, coming back the speed often crept up to 80 mph.

    In the past, with other cars, my best mileage has been the drive to Yosemite, where country roads hold down the speed and mileage is best despite the hill-climbing (perhaps partially balanced by the subsequent hill-descents). Compared to my freeway commute, where speeds are more in the 50-70 range, I usually "lose" about 2 mpg driving to L.A. due to the wind resistance at higher speeds.

    On this L.A. trip my fill-ups were at 271.6 miles, 274.2 miles, and 295.5 miles, with an indicated 1/5 of a tank before empty. Gallons on fill-up were, respectively, 8.203, 8.810, and 9.617, all at different stations but each on level ground with a cautious "top off." MPG calculate to 33.11 mpg, 31.12, and 30.73.

    I also totalled the gallons and miles (rather than averaging the mpg figures above) and came up with 31.59 overall mpg for the LA trip.

    31.59 mpg for interstate speeds is quite good.In comparison, my 2007 Yaris liftback with 5 speed returned an average of 36.14 mpg on the same route also at an early stage of break-in; I got about 30 mpg with the 2007 Dodge Caliber 5 speed.

    So the Versa returns slightly better interstate mileage than the Caliber, much less than the Yaris, but is quieter than either one and feels safer on the interstate than the Yaris.

    I'll keep my fingers crossed and as I accumulate commute miles on the Versa, will report back on commute mileage.
  • jaxs1jaxs1 Posts: 2,697
    Well, you won't really know how strong the A/C is until you try to cool the interior at city traffic slow speeds at the peak of summer someplace where temps get well over 100 degrees.
    Using it on the highway in spring, is no real test. Any car's a/c should seem fine at this time of year with mild spring time weather.
  • snakeweaselsnakeweasel a Certified Edmunds Poster.Posts: 11,893
    The first rule of economy - which I violate frequently - is to change cars only every 5-10 years.

    You should never get rid of a car, let the car get rid of you.

    2008 Sebring Ragtop, 2011 Hyundai Sonata.

  • toguchitoguchi Posts: 3
    I bought my Nissan Versa SL two weeks ago.

    Yay's: Comfortable, roomy for it's size - my tall hubby can actually sit behind me without feeling cramped, Airbags......

    Nay's: 6 speed manual doesn't shift and sound as smooth as the Automatic version, A/C is not as powerful in MO and the blower is so loud that I have to turn up the volume on the radio - very bothersome

    Other than that I really have no complaints.
  • e46kime46kim Posts: 2
    I've had my Nissan Versa SL Hatchback 2008, since April, no ABS brakes
    2000 miles on it now.

    yea's: the big one: it really is a quiet car (main consideration for me buying it)
    decent pickup
    good room on the backseat for passengers
    quality interior
    love the keyless driving

    nea's: sub-par mpg for the class
    i miss my outside thermometer
    now the big one: 2000 miles on it and it has brake problems. apparently the rotor gets deformed very easily. the dealer's mechanic admonished me not to do so many sudden stops. It heats up the brakes and deforms the rotor (did I mention that I only have 2000 miles on the car?). "many sudden stops"? i live in a metropolitan area. Of course you'll have to do the occasional sudden stop, if you don't want to run into someone doing something nutty. And I never had any kind of rotor problems with any of my other cars. Major design flaw. Check the forum for the brake thread. I'm not the only one with that problem. Can't wait for the recall.
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 6,372
    Nissan Motor Co.'s finance unit raised $600 million selling asset-backed securities in the first sign of demand for auto loans since U.S. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson unveiled a plan last month to support consumer debt. Nissan boosted the size of the sale from $500 million. A top-rated portion of the Nissan issue will mature in July 2012 and is priced to yield 400 basis points more than benchmark interest rates, a person familiar with the sale, who declined to be identified because terms aren't public, said Tuesday. A basis point is 0.01 percentage point. The sale by Tokyo-based Nissan may indicate that Paulson's plan to unlock a freeze in consumer-related credit markets is working.


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  • For you guys that have been following the Cube's upcoming release in the US - are its underpinings similar to the Versa insofar as engine, transmission, etc.? The Versa hasn't exactly hit it out of the park when it comes to reliability and quality control (Edmunds, Consumer Rpts, JDPower)!

    I'm really jazzed on a Cube as my next car but NOT if it is a mirror image of the Versa. I'll look to a Fit or new Insight, perhaps.

    The Cube that we get will be fitted with a CVT, right? Different engine or same? Cube is made in Japan - is the Versa assembled in NA?
    Is there a JDM version of the Versa that is different? Are there Renault parts on the NA Versa?

    Thanks. (Sorry about dbl posting in another discussion by mistake)
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The Cube is a low volume vehicle and will likely be made in Japan until volume picks up. On the other hand, Nissan recently decided to move all Versa/Tiida production to Mexico as a lower cost source, so likely the Cube will follow.

    FWIW it does seem to be true that quality control on American and Mexican made vehicles is equal to or better than on Japanese made vehicles (by "made" I mean country of manufacture, not nationality of manufacturer). I expected better quality on my Japanese-made Yaris and Honda Fit than on my Civic made in America, but the quality was actually lower. I guess the Japanese domestic market hit a plateau while the plants in America and Mexico kept pushing for more quality.

    BTW the low marks for reliability seem to pertain only to the Versa Sedan. My Versa hatchback was perfect.
  • sandman46sandman46 Posts: 1,798
    The local dealer will perform the TSB on the fuel pump regulator when the part comes in at the end of the week. No hassle from the service kid's very happy! Taking it on a weekend family trip up to Vero Beach on friday so it'll be nice to see how she handles on I-95. Guess I'll get to check out the rear seats also.

    The Sandman :)
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