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Nissan Versa vs. Scion xA



  • lollavidlollavid Posts: 3
    Hi all.
    I've been lurking here for quite some time and want to extend my appreciation for all the helpful info. Here's my question:

    My wife and I are expecting a child soon and are moving to California in 3 weeks, at which time we will purchase a car. I have been looking at: Versa, Corolla, Scion Xa and Xb, Matrix, and a couple Hondas. We are a bit concerned that, with a stroller in the car, the Xa and Versa may just be too cramped. I have recently received a good deal on a 2006 Xa with under 10,000 miles for $700 under blue book (so under $11,900). I have also found a dealer in my area willing to sell base model Versas for $13,250, or MSRP. Now of course the question is, if they are big enough for our needs, which is the better deal?? And if not, any opinions on the Matrix/ Vibe?

    Thanks a ton.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    I have a feeling you would be able to put the stroller in back of the Versa, Corolla, or Matrix w/o lowering part of the rear seat. I don't think that would work with the xA, and if it did it would be the only thing you could a haul in back. Not sure about the xB.

    The Versa is a bigger and more comfortable car than the xA. If you will frequently carry adults in back (e.g. grandma and grampa with the baby) I think the Versa would be the heavy favorite. However, the xA does have standard ABS, which the Versa does not. Does the used xA have the side airbags package? I think that is very important, especially in these small cars. It's standard on the Versa.
  • bsbcbsbc Posts: 10
    More than g-ma or g-pa, if this is your first child I would be willing to bet that your wife will want to be next to the baby fairly often. At least for a while. Back seat comfort on the subcompacts is definitely on the Versa's side. If you move up to the Vibe/Matrix or even Corolla or Civic then obviously you have now moved to the compact class and adequate backseats will be easier to come by.

    It sounds as though you don't want to spend a lot of money. If that is the case then I would probably vote Versa S over the xA. If you want to spend more then the picture gets more complicated.

    Whether a stroller fits is largely up to the stroller. You would be amazed at the crazy configurations and "features" they can add to strollers. In general I think the Versa would work. I don't think I'm getting a bag of golf clubs in there side to side though.

    I would ask a few more questions like: is this the primary vehicle, are you planning on more kids, etc. but from what you said I think a base Versa would serve you well.


  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    The big questions here is, how long are you going to keep the car? Remember babies get big fast, and also what IF your wife gets pregnent again.. Will any of the cars you are looking at be big enough for 4...

    You also didn't say how much you can spend a car.. My personel feeling would be, get the biggest car you can afford now. Have you thought of a 06 Altima, I'm sure you can work out a sweet deal on at the dealer.. That would be a great car for the family.

  • mschmalmschmal Posts: 1,757
    I would definately pick the Versa over the Scion xA. That little 1.5L motor feels like it is being beat to death every time you try to step out into traffic.

    Personally I would take a look at a new Ford Focus. An NEW 2007 SE 4-door can usually be had for around $16,000 and right now there is a $2,000 rebate if you finance through Ford Credit.

    Focus was on Car and Drivers 10 Best list for like 5 years in a row. Focus comes with a 5yr/100,000 mile power train warranty.

  • My golf clubs WILL fit, side to side, in my Versa SL with the back shelf on, which covers them when the hatch is closed. They would not fit in the Scion xA I just got rid of. Versa is bigger and better.
  • bsbcbsbc Posts: 10
    Flippin' SWEET!!

  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Technically the 07 Focus is not a new just "redesigned" its the same basic car since 2000.... Now too sure why Ford wont import the REAL Focus from Europe, its shares the same platform as the Mazda 3 and Volvo 40... Now why is Ford giving people 2K back on a 2007 !! Because it a piece of crap... BTW, it has made the Car and Driver top 10 list in the last couple of years....

    Tony :shades:
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    Ford doesn't import the "new, improved" Focus from other lands because it would compete price-wise with the Fusion. I think what they need to do is get a B-car over here; they have some nice ones in Europe. Something that could compete price-wise with the Versa and other B-cars, but be a better car than the U.S. Focus--which is not a terrible car, but is showing its age.
  • raychuang00raychuang00 Posts: 541
    I think what they need to do is get a B-car over here; they have some nice ones in Europe.

    Actually, the latest rumor is that Ford will unveil the next-generation Fiesta as early as NAIAS Detroit in January 2007, since Ford has said the next model will be sold in the USA (it'll be assembled in Mexico at one of Ford's Mexican assembly lines).
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    let it compete with the Fusion, they are two completley different cars going after two completely differen't types of people
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    The other aspect of competing price-wise with the Fusion is that the Focus would then cost thousands more than hatches like the Fit, Versa, and Yaris. I think most people in the U.S. believe hatchbacks are "low-end" cars. The higher-end hatches haven't done that well, including Ford's own Mazda6 hatchback. I think the new Focus would do better if Ford introduced a low-end hatch to take its place, then it could position the Focus vs. cars like the Rabbit.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    I don't see the logic there...

    The Mazda3 is a Hatchback and it sells VERY well.. The Mazda3 isn't in the same catagory as the Fit,Yaris or Versa.

    The Focus ZX5 has been selling very well, and I think it would sell better if it had the same platform as the Mazda3.

    My take on the American car companys is this, if they want to survive they need to make cars like the Fit and Versa. My last car was a 2000 Ford Contour. One of Fords "world cars" granted I had for 6 yrs and never left me stranded. But it wasn't screwed together very well. The Focus is put together the same as my Contour, since it was part of that "World Car" Campiane. Mazda3's are selling very well and I think the same would happen for the Focus.. GM's cobalt is a joke, my Versa is a FAR better car and more technology for the same money... Both GM and FORD need to see these new cars from Nissan and Honda and be scared...

    With the Arrival of the new cars from Nissan for 07, GM and Ford need to watch thier backs...
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,682
    This opinion about the new Focus being too pricey for the U.S. isn't my opinion. I read it in the press awhile back. What is your opinion as to why Ford doesn't bring the new Focus here right now, if cost is not the issue?

    Most Mazda3's I see on the road are sedans, and overall sales aren't that large compared to compacts like Focus, Cobalt, Civic, and Corolla. Also I see very few ZX5's on the road.

    Anyway, I suppose we should get back to the Versa...
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Well here in Phoenix the Mazda lots don't have many Mazda3 hatchback, they sell very well here, the Sedans are another story.

    The Current Focus and 07 Focus both have HUGH incentives to buy, before buying my Versa, I almost bought a 06 ZX5 SES, MSPR was $17,400 but the dealer was willing to sell it to me for $14K... NOw if someone is on a tight budget the ZX5 looks like a great deal, but its not, its a 6 yr old car with a midlife redesign in 05. Same Engines, tranny, the car can't compete with the Versa. I'm glad I bought my Versa its a MUCH better car...

    I have no idea why the European Focus doesn't come here, its being sold as a Mazda3 and Volvo S40 & V50 here in the states.

    Tony :shades:
  • heel2toeheel2toe Posts: 149
    A month or so ago, a BusinessWeek story claimed that Ford says they are losing $5000 on Each North American Focus sold.

    Kinda hard to imagine the C1 being worse than that, heh.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    well I can see that since they are giving them away..... Look at the incentives, This is the problem with the US auto makers (mostly GM and Ford.)

  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    The engines and 5 speed were completely replaced in the Focus starting in 2003 when the 2.3 PZEV motor jointly developed by Ford and Mazda was rolled out in "green" states in the hatchbacks.

    In 2004 the same motor was rolled out nationally (only PZEV in green states), but displacement dropped to 2.0. Still, HP jumped 6.0 over the prior Zetec (in non-green states - in green states you got PZEV and 150,000 mile emisssions warranty, but no extra HP). The Duratec 20 and 20E, as they are designated, are lauded for smoothness and wide power band.

    In 2005, the stodgy sedans were stodgy no more - they also got the Duratec 2.0. Since formerly they languished with a 2 valve per cylinder, 115 HP engine, the upgrade was enormous. Mileage was, however, great with the stodgy engine - 27/36 with stickshift. With the more powerful Duratec, mileage dropped to 26/34 in 2005 and 2006. For 2007, mileage jumps back to 27/37, some of the most awesome American mileage figures since the Neon. With no horsepower loss!

    If you follow the Ford press releases over the years, there has been a lot of other subtle work on the car - they moved the sedans to 15" wheels (getting rid of the former 14") and were able to increase the front disc brake diameter which helped a lot with braking power and wear. They redid some parts of the front steering rig (I forget which pieces exactly) to improve the already fine handling). Consumer Reports, notoriously hard to please, Recommends the Focus, and commends it for having some of the best small car handling (with special nods to the steering) handling around.

    The car needs a serious styling update, I agree. The ZX3 held my interest for a long time, but it HAS been an 8 year model run without a major update (the minor refresh was SO minor - except for the interior - that in hindsight I am surprised any of us noticed it). BUT Ford made a wise decision not to go with the revised European/Japanese platform - first, the change in Europe was made primarily to allow AWD, which is justified for this car in a marketplace where it is perceived more like a Toyota Camry here (big, in other words!); second, none of the cars that I have seen that use the new platform have the "sit high" seating postion used to great advantage in the American Focus - the Mazda3, for example, returns to a "low slung" feel. Given the MANY refinements and incremental changes over the years, IMHO the Focus is one of the BEST small cars out there - 100,000 mile powertrain warranty, PZEV emissions in green states, smooth powerful engine, slick manual transmission, etc.

    What Ford needs to do, is to follow GM's lead and "reprice" the Focus - it is simply overpriced in comparison to the Cobalt, for example, and only excessive rebates bring it back to a meaningful price point. MSRP Focii are overprice; TMV Focii are a bargain.

    The Versa, in comparison, has a lot of "newness", and that is great, BUT Nissan under cost-cutting Ghosn has a poor recent quality control record and defect rate - just check the JD Powers and Consumer Reports quality surveys. So the jury is out on the Versa for at least a few months of feedback here.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 1,590
    Regarding Ghosn, he has done a wonderful job in turing around Nissan. The whole lineup starting in 07 will be from his thinking and management. 10 yrs ago the only Nissan I liked was the 240sx. Granted they have had a few issues as quality goes, but I don't see that with my Versa at all, in fact, my car is ahead of our 05 Altima SE....

  • canuck785canuck785 Posts: 160
    here is a girl's point of view on your question... :)
    i drove both the matrix and vibe, TONS of rooms in them and they dont feel too your wife would appreciate that but their gas mileage isn't as good as smaller cars (meaning they dont get close to 40 mpg..more around 30-32 but they have more powerful engines, 103 hp for scion and 120hp something for the vibe/matrix) i also test drove the xB and in my opinion, i think it would be the best pick for a familly with a baby.more options come standard in it and it is cheaper than vibe/matrix and it gets better mileage too. go try one and you will see how roomy it is!!! access to rear seat is super easy and it would work great to put/take out the baby in/from the back seat. again, i did like the 2 cars but i would pick the xB. the vibe/matrix gets excellent reviews from CR(they recommend it) and the xB got the best wagon car and cheaper cost to own at edmunds. have fun deciding and let us know!!! ;)
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