2012 Nissan Versa review

The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan is about as compelling as an old dishwasher, but its fuel efficiency, roominess and unrivaled value will get a lot of shoppers to overlook that.

Economy cars boast sharper looks and more features than ever, but they're inching up in price — frustrating anyone who wants cheap wheels above all else. There's still hope: Redesigned for 2012, the Versa sedan starts at $10,990, making it the least-expensive 2012 model in the U.S. For around $14,500, it's the least expensive car with an automatic transmission, air conditioning and power windows. If a low car payment matters most, mark your calendar. The Versa goes on sale in August.

The sedan comes in S, SV and SL trims. All but the S have an automatic transmission. At a media preview, I tested the SV and SL. The Versa hatchback carries over from the previous generation for 2012, with a redesign on the way. This review covers the sedan, but if you want to learn more about the hatchback, our 2011 Versa overview gives a closer look.

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Manual operation
Fan speed control Turn the fan speed control dial to manually control the fan speed. Push the AUTO button to return to automatic control of the fan speed. Air recirculation Push the air rec ...

Antenna
Antenna The antenna cannot be shortened, but can be removed. When you need to remove the antenna, turn the antenna rod counterclockwise B . To install the antenna rod, turn the antenna rod c ...

Child safety rear door lock
Child safety rear door lock Child safety locks help prevent the rear doors from being opened accidentally, especially when small children are in the vehicle. The child safety lock levers are l ...