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Honda Fit v. Nissan Versa

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited March 2014 in Honda
Both are great hatchbacks - which do you prefer?


  • arkainzeyearkainzeye pittsburgh paPosts: 473
    wow i just went on the nissan site. that versa comes with alot of stardard features and a More Powerful engine too! the 5speeds mpg is in the 30's also. and the price is cheaper than the fit! i think i will wait. then the honda dealers can not be so stuck up about their prices. Im really impressed with the specs of the nissan. power and price.

  • The Versa certainly looks good on paper and if your primary goal is a people mover it's probably your best bet. That said, the back seats don't fold down flat (bad if you're a cargo mover) and while the engine is more powerful the Fit has better pick-up performance b/c it's lighter (and better MPG). The real turn-off for me is the fact that the US Versa is constructed at a brand new plant in Mexico and with Nissan's past reliability issues I am wary. The Fit is 100% Japanese made at a plant that has been making them for 5+ years. I guess you get what you pay for.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Your statement is false.

    The real turn-off for me is the fact that the US Versa is constructed at a brand new plant in Mexico and with Nissan's past reliability issues I am wary.

    Aguascalientes is not brand new, not even close to new. Nissan has been manufacturing in Mexico since 1966. Aguascalientes plant has in the past produced vehicles exported to Japan. Aguascalientes even manufactues the Renault Clio and Scenic. The facility producing the Versa has a history of producing above average quality vehicles.

    Now, back to the regularly scheduled Fit topic.
  • cmkcmk Posts: 59
    I test drove a Versa (SL, auto) yesterday. Here are my thoughts. Please take with grain of salt, this will be my first car purchase and I am no expert.

    Versa wins, hands down. Dead pedal is there, fully adjustable seat height is there. Steering wheel is tilt only, however, at 6'2" I was surprised that it was already in the right place.

    Fit and Finish:
    Versa wins, hands down. It had a much more luxurious air than the Fit. Felt a bit like the Rabbit, which I test drove last week.

    Versa wins, hands down. Keyless entry, keyless ignition (awesome), all your basics like maplights, etc (you know, all the stuff glaringly absent on the Fit). And guess what? I can get CRUISE CONTROL without all the embarassing plastic wingy things. And a sunroof, if I want!

    Trans: I prefer the Versa, I think it's nifty.
    Power: Pretty much the same, both have enough power for my purposes.
    Handling: I prefer the Fit, here. The Versa's handling felt.. odd, squirelly, like it was too responsive, or something. Reminded me of a bicycle. Maybe I need some more time with it.
    Ride quality: Versa wins, definitely. You don't feel like you are going to break the car and yourself when driving over bumps. Quiet and smooth.

    Guess what? Versa, hands down! I didn't expect that! The Versa in person looks great. The Fit would have won this category, but unfortunately I have to have cruise control, and so I'm having to compare the Versa to the Sport Fit, which I personally find ridiculous (No offense to those whose aesthetics prefer the addons).

    Versa sounded much better. A fuller sound. Plenty of options there, too (speaker packages, satellite radio, etc).

    So basically, I am in the market for a new vehicle. I was prepared to buy the Versa after one test drive, I was that sold on it. Oh, wait a minute... I left out one category...

    So, Versa is a hatchback. I will only buy a hatchback... I need the storage versatility. But guess what? The rear seats don't fold down ANYWHERE NEAR flat with the cargo floor, giving you a completely uneven floor, and making the extra space of a hatchback COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT! I mean seriously, what are you going to do, fold those things over and then perch your crap on top of the seats only to have your stuff fall right off? You might as well NEVER fold the seats down because then at least the seatbacks will keep the stuff in place.


    I've been looking for a long time and the Versa was SO CLOSE. It will be easy for you guys too say that I am picky for letting this issue break the deal, but c'mon! That's the whole point of a hatchback, for me! I need the storage.

    So, no dice on the Versa, for me. BUT if you aren't concerned with storage versatility as much as I am and are interested in the Versa, I say GO FOR IT because it is a hell of a car.
  • ramoramo Posts: 66
    Thanks for this. After buying the Fit, I could not justify driving the Versa, just to satisfy my curiosity. You have confirmed my impressions formed at the Vancouver auto show. It is a good looking car, but there is not enough 'magic'.
  • jrlncjrlnc Posts: 48
    Good writeup by cmk. The Versa wasn't available at the time I was seriously thinking about buying my Fit, but I did consider Nissan. (I've owned 2 Nissans before and the Fit is my 3rd Honda).

    One factor you did not mention (which played a large role in my decision) was the quality/reliability issue. I've got to say from my experience that though Nissan is a good make, I would rate Honda as excellent. My Hondas have generally held up better as the years and miles wore on.

    I would also be much more comfortable about buying a Japanese-made Fit than a Mexican-made Versa. Not to mention also that the Fit has been around a while and the Versa is new. The Versa may really turn out to be a great model and not have any major problems.

    My Hondas also had much better resale value than my Nissans as well.

    Just another criteria for potential buyers to consider.
  • fitchgrrlfitchgrrl Posts: 21
    Ultimately it was the reliability factor and the magic seat that forced my decision to purchase the Fit over the Versa.

    Did you test drive them one after the other? To me that is the best way to compare because they are fresh in your memory. Hence why i love auto malls. You can walk from one car dealership to another.
  • mwqamwqa Posts: 106
    Not to mention also that the Fit has been around a while and the Versa is new.

    The Versa has been around in other markets for a couple of years as the Tiida, so it's not a totally new design.
  • fit_nessfit_ness Posts: 58
    Indeed, the "magic factor".

    I've surprised myself in finding that my favorite part of the "magic" is TALL mode. I never gave it much thought, but I find myself with the rear backs and the bottoms up for TALL and that it holds a ton of the stuff you always seem to have when you come out of a store.
  • jrlncjrlnc Posts: 48
    As I mentioned the Versa wasn't available when I was car shopping (early April) but I did test drive the Sentra.

    Besides the fact that I don't really like the current Sentra, it was the Japanese-made Honda versus the Mexican-made Nissan factor that steered me away from Nissan.

    I too was persuaded by the Magic Seat and the utility and fun of the Fit.
  • cmkcmk Posts: 59
    To be honest, I did not mention reliability because it did not enter my mind as a factor. I think this is because the 3rd vehicle I am considering is a VW Rabbit, and when compared to VW, Nissan and Honda are pretty close ;)

    I guess I am trying to say, I would have been confident buying a Nissan with respects to reliability. My family has had good luck with Nissans for many years.
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    The two Sentras I owned or leased were very reliable. But they were built in Smyrna. The current Sentra, built in the same factory as the Versa, has above-average reliability according to CR. I am not concerned about the reliability of the Versa. As noted, it is not a brand-new design.
  • flightnurseflightnurse 35K feetPosts: 2,084
    I have had my Versa now for almost a week, I test drove a FIT 3 times, I'm glad I bought the Versa. The Ride is better, the seats are far more comfotable (Granted the FIT seats hold in you in place better) the car FEELS tighter then the FIT, the CVT transmission is light years ahead of both transmissions of the FIT, and I love the Convience package, the Intelli-Key and Blue Tooth are 2 opntions I'll be looking for in my future cars. Nissan has a home rum with the VERSA..

    Granted the FIT has those Magic seats, but how offen are you going to sit in the back seat and fold the front seat down and sit back there, also how offen are you going to have a Lama in your car...

    Tony :shades:
  • Car and Driver, Edmunds, Motor Week/Trend all preferred the Fit by a large margin. Granted, the Versa is bigger, but not better. Fit and Finish are far superior on the Fit. Handling, interior quality, even performance with less HP and torque is superior on the Fit. Sorry Versa!
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    "the car FEELS tighter then the FIT"
    By "tighter", I assume you mean more solid and better built? I haven't even seen a Versa in person yet, but hearing this makes me want to take a trip down to the Nissan dealer and check it out. I have to say the Fit (especially considering its segment and price) is exceptionally well put together and really quite solid. After 3000 miles there is not a single rattle or squeak on mine, and despite the rather liberal application of hard plastics, the interior does not feel cheap and is very well put together. A big thing I notice in cars is how the door sounds when shut with the window rolled down. In many cars I have been in, including other Hondas, there is usually a shaking or rattle as the door closes. In the Fit (or at least mine) the shutting door makes a single, solid noise.

    "Granted the FIT has those Magic seats, but how offen are you going to sit in the back seat and fold the front seat down and sit back there"
    I will admit that I have never used Refresh mode, but that is just one of the modes. Actual experience: Being able to take a 6-foot tall bookshelf (unassembled in a 7-foot long box), 8-foot tall patio umbrella (top was resting on the dashboard), a half trunk load of groceries, and a passenger is in my opinion quite an accomplishment for Long mode. On one outing I threw in my bicycle (front wheel removed), a cooler, box of firewood, and two folding chairs in Utility mode.

    With the Versa, putting the rear seats down is like having two suitcases in the back.

    Anyway, I'm glad you like your Versa and have fun with it. :)
  • backybacky Twin CitiesPosts: 18,910
    Car and Driver, Edmunds, Motor Week/Trend all preferred the Fit by a large margin.

    That is not really accurate. Here is a quote from C/D for example:

    If you're chiefly interested in commuting and errand hopping, this [Versa] is the one.

    Meaning that if you use a small car the way a lot of people do, the Versa was the preferred car in C/D's comparo--which included the Fit.

    Here is a comment from Edmunds' review (they haven't yet done a comparo of the Versa vs. Fit):

    In this category of low-priced, basic transportation I'd probably pick the Versa over the competition solely because of the roomy interior.

    As I recall, MT made similar comments but I don't have that issue in front of me.
  • cmkcmk Posts: 59
    "Car and Driver, Edmunds, Motor Week/Trend all preferred the Fit by a large margin. Granted, the Versa is bigger, but not better. Fit and Finish are far superior on the Fit. Handling, interior quality, even performance with less HP and torque is superior on the Fit. Sorry Versa!"

    What does this even mean? Are you saying the concept of "Fit and Finish" is a purely objective category, and people that prefer the Versa are somehow wrong or misguided? Those are mostly opinions and would be best stated as such.

    Anyhow, I spent time in both and think that the superior interior lies in the Versa.
  • lonewaldenlonewalden Posts: 26
    Im new to the message boards here but long time reader of Car Mags. This months issue of Motor Trend (August 2006), in a test of the Nissan Versa SL with the CVT transmission, the Toyota Yaris with 4 speed auto, and the Honda Fit Sport with 5 speed auto, states that the Versa is the faster/ better performer.

    The Nissan has the second best weight-to-power ratio, but its gearing advantage over the four-speed Toyota made it the best performer at the track, reaching 60 mph in 9.7 seconds, over two seconds faster than the Fit (11.9) and 0.7 second faster than the Yaris.

    But later in the article they did say that it was the "runaway sporty car of the three". This due to a combination of quicker steering, and firmer suspension to name a few.

    I personally think that both the Fit and the Versa have their strong points. Most every magazine I have read states the Versa to be a better people mover, where as the Fit is the more versatile car/"stuff" mover.
  • wulfgarwulfgar Posts: 38
    I believe you own a Fit and am happy for you. I am interested in both a Versa and a Fit and have test driven both models. I would qualify the vehicles as even except for sporty handling - fit and finish, interior quality and performance are dead even. For me, I prefer the ride and room on the Versa and will likely buy such. Magazine tests are great but tend to skew the results towards ultimate handling at the expense of ride quality. I have a sports car and am looking for an economical commuter.
  • Yes, I admit it, I own a Fit. I'm not saying the Versa is a bad car, for ME I prefer the Fit. Obviously not everyone agrees. Buy what you like. I test drove a Versa and it seemed boring to me. The room in the back seat was impressive. The handling was not nearly as good as the Fit (IMO). The interior design was well layed out, however, I prefer the Fits instrumentation.
  • wulfgarwulfgar Posts: 38
    Not a complaint - I like the Fit very much. The Fit is so popular that it is hard to get the seat time in one (locally) to get a better impression. For example, we have not been able to test drive a manual transmission model yet. Honda has a strong demand anyway and obviously build a quality product. For what we need right now, the commuter car aspect is winning out. No bad choices either way, in my opinion.
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    The Fit is so popular that it is hard to get the seat time in one (locally) to get a better impression

    Popular? :confuse:

    Scarce would be much more appropriate to describe the Fit.
    Honda sold 308,415 Civic's in 2005 and will sell even more in 2006. Compare that to the 40,000 Fit expected to be imported in 2006.
    Honda will sell 8 Civics for every Fit sold. :surprise:
    Only the S2000 and Insight are less popular than the Fit. :P
  • brek1brek1 Posts: 19
    I havent been paying attention to the forums very much since i got my Fit as i am content just to drive the thing ;)

    Anyway, without so much as seeing a versa, i will try to compare with the Fit.

    My impressions with the Fit are that it is a very bare bones, simplistic cargo mover. It is charming in a sense that it doesnt have many of the features common on today's vehicles. I almost feel like im back insidde by 92 civic dx when i sit in it. I would have loved to have had armrests, map lights, and an overhead console but after driving the fit for 2 1/2 months, i dont miss them anymore.

    Nissan did a great job with all of the features they have included with the Versa. Not just the typical things like maplights, fully adjustable seats and an available armrest, but also bluetooth, keyless entry/ignition, steering wheel mounted audio controls and a 6 speed MT.

    I knew the Versa would have all of this when i bought my Fit, but to me the Fit won out because of the "magic" seats. I drove a rental Chevy HHR last week and my parents drove a rental dodge caliber. seeing these cars with their seats folded down reminded me of how incredible the fit is with its rear seats folded down.

    before my fit i had a 99 altima for 3 years. I bought it from carmax. The car had tons of style and drove almost like a sports car. Meanwhile the 98-99 accords i test drove made me feel 10 yrs older just by sitting behind the wheel. However, the car was a piece of junk. It was in the shop every couple of months. I dont know if my experience reflects poorly on nissan, carmax, or the previous owner.

    So maybe after these cars are on the market for a little while their differences might not be so great. Honda will probably figure out to install cooler features (and basic accessories) and nissan might be able to rethink the rear seat design.
  • dewaltdakotadewaltdakota Posts: 364
    It *is* popular, in the sense that every one that hits the lots is sold very quickly. The buying public can't be blamed for the fact that Honda is only planning to give us 40k to buy. Honda makes more money on the Civic, so given the capacity of their factories and parts, if they have to choose between selling more Civics or more Fits, they're going to go with the Civic.

    I don't think we can really, truly judge how popular the car will be, until the supply is able to exceed demand, and those who want a Fit, won't have to settle for something else, simply because they can't get their hands on one.
  • vcarrerasvcarreras Posts: 247
    It is nice to have competition, my **** is better then your ****, etc. We bought our FIT, Versa, Yaris, Prius, etc mainly because of getting a vehicle which meets our needs and hopefully save money. With war again in the Middle East and oil at $78 we should ALL CONGRATULATE each other for having the "courage" to get a good fuel efficient vehicle. Thumbs up to all of us.

    What I miss on these forums is "I traded my 14 mpg truck for a 35 mpg (FIT, VERSA, Yaris, etc)". I did that, down-sizing from an 05 Honda Odyssey to my FIT. In the 5300 miles I have had my FIT I have saved some $850 in fuel. Plus it's paid off!

    I lived through the long gas lines of the 70's and 80's and I hope and pray we will not have to go though that again. You would sit in lines for hours and only allowed to get $10 worth. That's 3-4 gallons at todays prices. If prices hit the $4-5 a gallon and they sell you only 10 gallons that's $40-50! BUT it would fill my FIT!

    I myself love my FIT, but would be happier if it was a hybrid or even more efficient a hybrid diesel. Can you imagine 50-70 mpg if not more! Come on Honda, Toyota, Nissan give is something more efficient.

    Again, give yourself a pat on the back for getting your fuel efficient vehicle. Let's hope more of us in the U.S. do the same.
  • ramoramo Posts: 66
    I think you are right on the money. I believe we have hit peak oil, the most oil production possible. If that is the case, we are looking at nothing but more expensive gas, unless alternative energy is allowed to take over. I cannot believe the number of big, mainly empty vehicles on the road today. With China and other countries wanting more fuel we cannot afford to think that bigger is best. I love my Fit, but I know the hybrids do better. Hope these can come down in price and attract a wider range of buyers. In the energy conservation world, I wonder if buying a new car of any kind serves a purpose given the energy used to make the thing.
  • hungarian83hungarian83 Posts: 678
    So I guess that one Ferrari that was only available to previous Ferrari owners wasn't popular either? They only made a few hundred, but was it popular? Absolutely not...just scarce. :confuse:

    Give me a break! The Fit has limited supply and just because they are going to sell 1 for every 8 Civics doesn't mean it's not popular. Also, don't forget that the factory that makes the Fit for the US and Canada also produces it for Japan and most of Europe. You can't say a model isn't popular just by looking at total sales and then completely ignoring the supply issue.

    ...and is the S2000 "less popular" or just "more scarce" than the Fit?
  • moparbadmoparbad Posts: 3,868
    Here is one measure of "popularity", and neither Fit nor Versa are listed.

    Most Viewed Cars This Week

    Each week Yahoo! Autos brings you the top 10 most popular cars in each of the different categories. The rankings are determined by the number of visitors that view each new car.

    Top Economy Vehicles
    1. 2006 Volkswagen Golf

    2. 2006 Pontiac Solstice

    3. 2006 Mazda MAZDA3

    4. 2006 Toyota Corolla

    5. 2006 MINI Cooper

    Give yourself a break! Most of the general population is not even aware the Fit and Versa even exist.
This discussion has been closed.