2012 Nissan Versa Overview

2012 Nissan Versa Photo
MSRP Range:
$10,990 - $18,590 | Dealer Pricing
Fuel Economy:
24 MPG city / 31 MPG highway
1.6L I4
Front Wheel Drive

2012 Nissan Versa Overview

The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan is redesigned with excellent fuel economy and a more than spacious cabin. The hatchback doesn’t see as many changes for 2012, but the added versatility of a hatchback offers even more cabin and cargo space. Despite tough competition within the subcompact class, the Nissan Versa is still a smart choice amongst competitors.

New for 2012

For 2012, the Nissan Versa hatchback receives very few changes, but the sedan will see a whole redesign with changes that include:

  • A 1.6-liter engine
  • 150 pound reduction in overall weight
  • More spacious cabin
  • Better fuel economy
  • Height adjustable driver seat
  • Standard four-wheel, anti-lock brakes


The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan comes in three different trim levels, S, SV, and SL. The baseline S trim level is pretty basic, offering 15-inch steel wheels, intermittent wipers, and all-season tires. The SV model sports a similar exterior with added keyless entry and an option of foglights. The SL model receives upgrades like 15-inch alloy wheels and fog lamps. All three sedan trim levels have exterior options of a rear spoiler and a chrome trunk accent.

The Versa hatchback is available in two trim levels, the S and the SL. The baseline S model offers 15-inch steel wheels, intermittent wipers, and all-season tires. The S trim has an option of 15-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and the Plus Package option, which offers the S trim keyless entry and cruise control. The more impressive SL trim exterior comes standard with 15-inch alloy wheels. Overall, both the sedan and hatchback are excellent choices.

Interior & Cargo

The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan may have an interior more appealing than that of the hatchback, but both carry the same basic features. The cloth bucket seats are fairly comfortable for basic commuting, but they might get a little stiff on long road trips. All trim levels, except the 1.8S hatchback, are equipped with height adjustable driver seats for added comfort.

The amount of space in the subcompact Versa is quite admirable. The Versa sedan models offer an impressive 14.8 cubic feet of cargo room with the seats in place. The SL sedan is equipped with a 60/40 split folding rear seat, which offers consumers even more space options. The hatchback models also come with split-folding rear seats. With all seats in place, the S and SL hatchback trim levels have a cargo capacity of 17.8 cubic feet, and with the seats folded down, the cargo room grows to 50.4 cubic feet.

The interior of the S sedan trim is just as basic as its exterior, including air-conditioning, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, a single CD stereo with MP3 auxiliary input and just two speakers. The SV sedan trim level adds full power accessories, upgraded upholstery, keyless entry, and four total speakers. The Cruise Control package is also included with the SV level, which gives the vehicle two rear speakers, a trunk light, and cruise control. The Cruise Control package is an option for the lower S level sedan with an automatic transmission. There is a Convenience package available for the SV sedan as well, which adds Bluetooth and an iPod interface. The premium SL sedan has an impressive interior with everything that the SV level offers and added USB connection, speed sensitive volume control, and auxiliary audio input for iPod and phone integration. The SL sedan also comes standard with both Cruise Control and Convenience packages. To upgrade the SL sedan even further, the Tech package offers a navigation system, a compact touchscreen interface, and satellite radio.

The 1.8 S hatchback is also fairly minimal, including full power accessories, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and a four-speaker, single CD player system with an auxiliary MP3 audio jack. An automatic S level can easily be upgraded with the Plus package, which adds keyless entry and cruise control. Also available is the Convenience package, which includes everything from the Plus package and a leather-wrapped steering wheel, Bluetooth, steering wheel audio controls and an iPod interface. The extravagant Special Edition package combines both the Plus and the Convenience packages along with 15-inch alloy wheels. The 1.8 SL hatchback is a step-up, including all of the S model’s optional equipment and upgraded upholstery, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, and six speakers. There is a Navigation Package available for both the SL and S Special Edition trim levels.


The 2012 Nissan Versa has respectable safety features such as anti-lock brakes, traction and stability control, and emergency braking assist. For airbags, standard fare includes front and rear head airbags, dual front side-mounted airbags, and side curtain airbags.

During crash testing, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) gave the 2012 Versa sedan three out of five stars for frontal-impact protection and four stars for side-impact protection, with four out of five stars for overall crash protection. The 2012 Versa hatchback is lees confident and receives three out of five stars for overall frontal crash protection.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety rated the 2012 Versa sedan the highest rating of Good for frontal-offset, side-impact, and roof strength crash tests. The 2012 Versa hatchback also received the highest rating of Good during its frontal-offset crash testing, but earned the second-highest rating of Acceptable for both its side-impact and roof strength tests.

Driving Experience

The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan sports a smaller 1.6-liter, four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 lb-ft of torque. The S trim comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is also available. The CVT comes standard with the SV and SL levels.

The sedan weighs much less than the hatchback, but it has less power and worse acceleration. Despite the lack in engine strength, the Versa sedan’s fuel economy is note-worthy. The standard five-speed manual has an estimated fuel economy of 27/36/30 mpg city/highway/combined. The continuously variable transmission will increase those numbers even further to 33/38/33 mpg city/highway/combined.

The 2012 Versa hatchback has a little more power with its 1.8-liter, four-cylinder engine that makes 122 horsepower and 127 lb-ft of torque. The S trim level comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a four-speed automatic is available as an option. Although not as impressive as the sedan models, the S level hatchback has a decent estimated fuel economy at 26/31/28 mpg city/highway/combined. The SL hatchback comes standard with a continuously variable transmission and an improved fuel economy estimated at 28/34/30 mpg city/highway/combined.

The 2012 Nissan Versa offers a comfortable and pleasant ride, but some drivers will find that it is less than sporty. Most consumers will overlook the sedan’s poor acceleration due to its excellent fuel economy and redesigned interior. Overall, the Versa is a roomy and efficient choice. Still, it faces stiff competition with even more practical, peppy, and efficient rivals in the subcompact class.

Key Competitors of the 2012 Nissan Versa

  • Honda Fit
  • Chevy Sonic
  • Hyundai Accent
  • Kia Rio
  • Ford Fiesta

The 2012 Nissan Versa has 5 models that range from $10,990 - $18,590. The 2012 Versa is a hatchback,sedan with front wheel drive that gets between 24 mpg (city) - 31 mpg (highway) fuel efficiency using a 1.6L I4 engine. The 2012 Nissan Versa has a seating capacity of 5/5, wheelbase is 102.4 inches, cargo capacity of 14.80 cu.ft., and ground clearance of N/R inches. Choose one of the trims like the 2012 1.6 S FWD 4-Dr Sedan I4 to get specific details on prices, rebates, and warranties.