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:

Avoiding collision and rollover
WARNING Failure to operate this vehicle in a safe and prudent manner may result in loss of control or an accident. Be alert and drive defensively at all times. Obey all traffic regulations. Avoid ...

Sway control device
Sudden maneuvers, wind gusts and buffeting caused by other vehicles can affect trailer handling. Sway control devices may be used to help control these affects. If you choose to use one, conta ...

Locking doors
1. Place the ignition switch in the LOCK position. 2. Close all doors. 3. Press the button on the Intelligent Key. 4. The hazard warning lights flash twice and the horn beeps once. 5. All d ...