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.

See also:

Air bags, seat belts and child restraints
1. Top tether strap anchor (P. 1-26) 2. Rear seat belts (P. 1-13) 3. Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental air bag (P. 1-41) 4. Front seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bag (P. 1 ...

Operating tips
-When the shift selector is shifted to the R (Reverse) position, the display screen automatically changes to the RearView Monitor mode. However, the radio can be heard. - It may take some time ...

Freeing a frozen door lock
To prevent a door lock from freezing, apply deicer through the key hole. If the lock becomes frozen, heat the key before inserting it into the key hole or use the remote keyless entry keyfob (if ...