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Honda Fit v. Nissan Versa

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Comments

  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I test drove a Versa today. All they have around here are the base S with 4sp auto. If I were to get the Versa, I'd definitely want the SL with 6spd or CVT. In comparison to the Fits I drove (both sport auto and base manual), the Versa is quieter and bigger in the 2nd row, but the Fit felt more solid and handled better. The steering was a lot better on the Fit. Plus on the Fit the dash was more solid. On the Versa I pushed here and there on the dash and there were some squeaks, but on the Fit I did the same but it was like pushing on a rock.

    That said, the problem with the Fit is that I can't get the cruise control without getting the Sport with the spoiler and ground effects, which look too "punk" to me. But right now there are no Versa SLs available, and none with ABS in the near future, and I want to buy something in the next few weeks. As far as price, both are about $16,500 for the Versa SL with CVT or Fit Sport with Automatic.

    If I had both cars sitting in front of me with my exact options I'd probably go with the Versa for the quieter ride and larger back seat. The Fit would win with it's better reputation of quality, the dash layout and the overall more solid feeling.
  • eldainoeldaino Posts: 1,618
    i think most cars wil make some kind of sound when pushed on. and i don't understand what you mean by ground effects being more 'punk'. Is that a reference to music or like an attitude? I say both are very nice vehicles, fit leaning more towards sport and fun with a nice dose of utility and the versa seems more upscale(i don't think in quality of materials but maybe in looks)with added utility and some nice technology features. if safety is an issue i would get a base versa with some options added on, but then again i don't know if it comes with cruise. Thats the only thing i hate about the versa; why make the decked out version devoid of abs!! Come on nissan! My sister is thinking about this same dilema, she loves the sportiness of the fit and thinks it's more her, but the fact that they are so damn hard to come buy is reall irritating. She likes the versa too, she would be getting just the s, which is not bad for a first car, and i reccomended her on it just for that fact that it comes with abs.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,842
    ABS is an option. If you want it, order it.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    ABS is an option, but you'll have to wait until Feb 07 to get on an Versa SL with CVT, so if you want both you'll have to wait. So if safety and convenience is an issue and you need to buy before next Feb, then I'd go with the Fit. Yes, you can get ABS with a 5spd manual, but good luck trying to find a 5spd manual SL. Most SLs are coming in with CVTs.

    As far as the dash, I wasn't leaning into the dash with my hand, just pushing here and there to see how it felt. My comment was that the Fit's dash just felt more solid, while when I pushed on the Versa's dash it squeeked here and there and just didn't feel as solid.

    For me it was a toss-up between the Versa SL with CVT and ABS and the Fit Sport. The deciding factor was that I couldn't wait until next Feb, so I went with the Fit, but if I were to buy next spring, then it would have been a harder decision.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    The CR December issue puts the Fit on top in the manual/sport version and in second place to the Versa in the auto/base version. I wonder if they compared the auto/sport version to the CVT Versa version that the Fit might have been in the #1 position in both categories. Note that the Versa in the manual version was in 4th place.

    The deciding factors had to do with reliability, handling, mpg, braking, and interior space. Negatives on the Fit were road noise, acceleration with the auto, steering wheel position and lack of height adjustable drivers seat. The Versa had better marks for interior comforts, noise levels, but the driving characteristics were not as good on the Fit.

    In the Manual category, the Fit was in first place by a pretty wide margin, while in the Auto category, the Versa SL beat out the base Fit auto by only one point.

    It seems like with other reviews I've read, and based on my own experience, the Fit and Versa are the top two in this category of tall 4dr hatchbacks with good interior room, with the Versa being quieter and with more comforts, and the Honda having better driving characteristics and quality.

    The Rio, Accent and Yaris were grouped at the bottom for various reasons.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    It's curious that the Versa is on top for the CVT and in fourth place for the stick when "the deciding factors had to do with reliability, handling, mpg, braking, and interior space." The only one of these that would be affected by transmission choice is mpg. Either the Versa stick gets really bad mpg, or all the tested cars were so close to each other that it took only one nick (on mpg?) on the stick Versa to bring it down from 1st place to 4th place.

    Or is it that different cars with different equipment were tested in automatic and manual transmissions? For example, was it an Accent sedan as an automatic and an Accent SE with a stick? Or a Rio sedan with automatic and Rio5 with a stick?
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    You're right, the transmission difference wasn't the only difference in the comparison. For example, they tested a Base Fit with an automatic and a Sport Fit with a manual, and I think they tested a Versa S with a manual and a Versa SL with the CVT. I'm not sure about the Accent, Rio or Yaris. They did comment though, that the Versa manual was pretty bad.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    Maybe it was as clunky as when I tested it. I guess they liked the CVT though! Also the Versa SL was probably the plushest of all the cars tested. And they don't ding for higher price--if a car costs $14,000 and another costs $17,000, they don't give any extra points for "value" to the lower-priced car.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I think the Versa was the highest priced at $16,500, but I think the range was within a couple of thousand dollars, depending on options.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    Looks like CR was able to find a Versa SL with CVT and ABS as the only options (maybe mats too). They did well.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Exactly. But there was a pretty big difference in braking distance with and without ABS, so don't believe dealers when they say (as several told me) that a car like the Versa doesn't really need ABS.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    Yes, CR was pretty clear about the need for ABS on these cars.

    Here's my overall impressions on the CR comparo, which I finally saw today. I put it into the Low-End cars discussion since it involves several different models:

    backy, "Low End Sedans (under $16k)" #3704, 6 Nov 2006 9:17 am
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Interesting that although the Fit & Versa are the same width, the Fit has 51.2/51.0" of hip room front & rear, while the Versa only has 48.8/47.2" front/rear. The Versa does have 4.3" more rear legroom, but it is 12" longer. The Fit's cargo area is much more versatile, as are the rear seats. Reliability I'd say goes to the Fit. It's getting better ratings, plus if you browse the forums, you'll see more issues with the Versa. The Fit is sportier with better steering, but the Versa is quieter and more plush. More standard safety features on the Fit, and it gets better MPG. Plus it's short enough that I can have it in my closed garage and still can drop down the retractable ceiling stairs! I really like the exterior length.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    Yes, there are a lot of plusses for the Fit. But two huge minuses, IMO:

    * It's very hard to find one.
    * Poor ergonomics and adjustability for the driving position--doesn't affect all drivers, but is an issue for some (including me).

    As for safety, the Versa out-does the Fit in the IIHS crash test scores (Good/Good/Good). ABS is becoming easier to find on the Versa also.

    I am wondering if the relatively small hip room measurement on the Versa is due to its rather large (and comfy) armrests. It certainly feels wider than the Fit inside.

    I am hoping the next-gen Fit addresses the driving position issue, and that Honda will send more Fits to the U.S.--or start making them here.
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    I know what you mean about the inside width...maybe it's an optical illusion because it does seem more spacious in the back of the Versa.

    And I'm only 5'8" so the driving position is too bad with me.
  • versameversame Posts: 2
    I think the Versa beats the Fit. The versa is bigger, nice, and looks better in style. The design is Well though of, it has alot of leg-room. The features on this car is GReat. The convenience package is awsome!!!!....I love My Versa... IT is the Best- well created car that was made out there.The price is reasonable too!!! i got mines for 15,600 which is not bad....

    The only thing i dislike about my Versa is the steering wheel control, the wheeel is very loose, you have to hold on tight onto the wheel. Its hard to see out your back windows..The inside dashboard doesn't look to fancy either... its just Normal....and thats about it... otherwise.. I Love the car... LOVE IT LOVE IT LOVE IT

    As for the FIT... i think the fit is pretty sportish.... but its small, i dont think it has more space. but HONDA are " Supposely better then NISSAN" So i know the most people will go towards the HONDA FIT. Honda FIT has a Nicer interior then the NIssan Versa... The Fit might keep the value of the car, better then a versa.....The versa is worth 16,000 Now, tomorrow its worth 9,000....
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    I especially like the Versa back seat perched high in the middle of the cargo area. It offers an interesting challenge any time something larger than a golf bag needs to be loaded. :)

    Versa must be more popular than the Fit, as the Nissan lots around here are covered in them and Fits are hard to find.
    Honda must think the Fit simply will not sell! :blush:

    Kip
  • bobw3bobw3 Posts: 2,997
    Other than the additional 2nd row legroom, which I agree is an advantage to the Versa, what else do you like about it over the Fit? You mentioned it being "nice" "better in style" and the convenience package, and I also agree that there are more conveniences on the Versa.

    It was a toss-up for me between the Versa and the Fit, but in the end I bought the Fit because it really drove better. You mentioned the steering, and that was something that really turned me off to the Versa (as compared to the Fit). Plus with the Versa being one foot longer than the Fit, although there is 5" more rear legroom, the cargo space is sacrificed for that extra legroom, and I've taken my Fit on some long trips with our child in the rear in a carseat, and so we really need a lot of cargo space with the 2nd row in use, and the Fit excels in that area. The lack of antilock brakes also prevented me from buying the Versa back in November when I needed to buy a car.

    And after reading the posts in both the Versa and Fit groups, it seems that while there are quite a few people that don't like the driving position of the Fit, I find it works for me. But on the Versa Forum, there seem to be a lot of categories for mechanical problems with the car, and you don't see nearly as many posts for mechanical problems with the Fit. The Fit seems to get a lot better ratings from different sources on quality. And while there have been complaints on both Forums concerning MPG, I get consistently in the mid 30s mpg in a mix of suburb/hwy driving, which is fine to me and is right in the EPA estimated range.
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    I especially like the Versa back seat perched high in the middle of the cargo area. It offers an interesting challenge any time something larger than a golf bag needs to be loaded.

    Versa must be more popular than the Fit, as the Nissan lots around here are covered in them and Fits are hard to find.
    Honda must think the Fit simply will not sell!


    Aha, aha, Kip! :P
  • fitluverfitluver Posts: 198
    I especially like the Versa back seat perched high in the middle of the cargo area. It offers an interesting challenge any time something larger than a golf bag needs to be loaded.

    Versa must be more popular than the Fit, as the Nissan lots around here are covered in them and Fits are hard to find.
    Honda must think the Fit simply will not sell!

    Kip

    Funny thing is that Honda is being criticized for having low Fit sales. They only made, what, 40K or so for all of NA? (or was it the US?)
  • clonedcloned Posts: 4
    "And after reading the posts in both the Versa and Fit groups, it seems that while there are quite a few people that don't like the driving position of the Fit, I find it works for me. But on the Versa Forum, there seem to be a lot of categories for mechanical problems with the car, and you don't see nearly as many posts for mechanical problems with the Fit."

    I've been following the Versa Forum since June '06 and they have really changed. Now, it seems that many of them are about customizing, etc., and fewer are about serious problems. Granted, serious are only serious when they happen to me.

    I tried to look at the Fit and Yaris and the dealers never had any. The Toyota dealer suggested that the Yaris was not preferable to a Matrix. Saw a couple of Fits on the road and wasn't taken by the appearance (personal thing probably). Wasn't impressed by a Scion. I think I was looking for something with a few more perks and size. Ended up getting a Versa in February '07. After about 2000 miles am getting a strong 29 MPG using 10% ethanol gas. Not great but not bad.

    Am impressed by the quietness of everything. Did have a small Mazda pickup and we still have a Honda Oddessy (our second) and the V is quieter than either. I also wanted more room in the garage and now have it.

    All depends on what we are looking for....
  • travlertravler Posts: 138
    The Fit has a long list of customers waiting for their new vehicle to arrive. It's so popular that they can't keep them on the lot. Try calling a dealer and asking them when you can get one.
    They know it's selling. They're trying to keep up with the demand. Eventually they will, but unlike other manufacturers, they build them right the first time, so sometimes it takes a while to get them on the road. Others push them off the assembly line just to fill the lots, and end up with tons of recalls.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,738
    It has nothing to do with build quality, but plant capacity. Honda decided to start shipping Fits to North America without increasing plant capacity, resulting in few units being shipped here--and shortages on dealer lots. Once Honda expands production capacity for the Fit, e.g. with its new plant in the U.S., it will be easier to get a Fit.
  • kipkkipk Posts: 1,576
    Earlier poster have said the Fit has been successfully running around Japan and Europe for a few years as a JAZZ.

    I haven't seen a Fit advertisement for quite a while. Chances are good there may be a major model change for 2008. Therefore we probably won't see many Fits here until that takes place.
    With fuel prices headed the way they seem to be, I believe the "Economy" car's time have arrived.

    Nissan will likely figure a way to deal with the Versa cargo area, and Toyota will likely do some mods with the Scion and Yaris lines. I would expect Kia, Hyundai, Suzuki, and even some US., manufacturers to jump on this bandwagon.

    Should be some interesting innovations coming along fairly soon, at reasonable prices. :)

    Kip

    Kip
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    The current iteration of the Fit was first released in Japan in June 2001. It's about to become a six-year-old design.

    Honda's gag order on the next-gen Fit has been very effectively enforced and adhered to, as only fragments of information have become available in Japan, and I am not sure which one of those is reliable.

    However, the current stream of leaked info seems to suggest that the next-gen Fit will be released in Japan this fall, between September and November. Some are saying that the release will be either immediately before or during the Tokyo Motor Show, which for this year will be held between October 27 and November 11.

    It is not very clear when the switchover will occur for the North American Fit. It has been rumored that the new Indiana manufacturing facility that is slated to go online in the fall of 2008 will build the Fit, but last month Honda announced that it would be the Civic that will be built there, at least initially. They said nothing about the Fit being part of the manufacturing plan at HMIN.
  • nthomasnthomas Posts: 40
    I have actually seen quite a few advertisements for the Fit recently, both on television and in magazines. I guess whether you see them or not probably depends on whether you're watching or reading things that target the demographic the Fit is mostly marketed towards.

    The Fit has been around for several years in Japan and Europe. Being that it just came out here in the US, though, I don't think it's very likely that there will be a big redesign for 2008. I'd think they'd wait a little longer. Then again, you never know what Honda will decide to do.

    When I was car shopping, I looked at several other small cars, but they either didn't have the features or the cargo space I wanted (Versa included), so I went with the Fit. As it is, there's not many of them around. I know a lot of people are frustrated with the availability problems. I love mine, and hopefully there will be more of them to go around before too long.
  • yenchingyenching Posts: 10
    I recently did a test drive on a Honda Fit Sport AT and a Nissan Versa AT (CVT). I liked the Nissan Versa for the horsepower and handling, but the cost was simple too much.

    Nissan Dealer: The Nissan Versa AT (CVT) - without Anti-Lock brakes is $19,000 and no other accessories.

    Honda Dealer: The Honda Fit Sport AT - with 17" RIMS and Wheel Locks - $17900

    Note: These are prices are without taxes and other Dealer charges.
  • jiaminjiamin Posts: 556
    I checked carsdirect.com, and the Versa SL with ABS ans CVT is $16,425 (MSRP) and CarsDirect price is $15942 in 95014 area.

    I tried selecting almost all options and it comes out to $19270(MSRP)/$18381(CarsDirect).

    Have bought a few cars and every time there was at least one dealer who was willing to match CarsDirect price...
  • jacksan1jacksan1 Posts: 504
    19 grand for a Versa is high, even if it's an SL with CVT, if it is a plain SL. I priced one WITH an ABS sometime ago, and it was something like 16.5. Is this Nissan dealer putting a premium on the Versa? A lot of Nissan dealers are actually starting to sell their Versas below MSRP these days (whereas the Fit is locked in at MSRP and above). I'd go to a different Nissan dealer if I were you if this particular one does not move from this sky-high 19,000 price. That's too high.
  • yenchingyenching Posts: 10
    I also did the Internet Building of the Nissan Versa AT (SL hatchback) and the $19k was way off the deep end, since the BASE price on the hatchback SL was starting around $14k. When I asked him about the "way" above MSRP price, he said that this car maintains and pays for itself because there is no Timing Belt replacement and saves gas.

    I guess I can understand the Timing Belt because this car uses a chain, but you still need to replace the Chain Belt, right? Anyhoo I'll be shopping for a Fit. Hopefully in June or July.
This discussion has been closed.