Related: More Nissan News
A new SV Special Edition Package combines elements of last year's SV Appearance and SV Tech packages as the major change for Nissan's subcompact Versa sedan. The $500 Special Edition Package includes 15-inch alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, a 5-inch color audio display, Bluetooth, satellite radio, hands-free text messaging and a rearview camera.
With the elimination of the SV Tech Package, voice-activated navigation is no longer available on the SV model; it remains standard on the top-line SL model.
The Versa sedan is Nissan's least-expensive car, with a starting price of $12,825 for the base S model (including the $835 destination charge) with a five-speed manual transmission. A hatchback version, the Versa Note, comes with more standard features and a higher base price.
Though the Versa S is appealing from a price standpoint, it comes only with manual windows and door locks, and the only factory option is a $1,550 four-speed automatic transmission. The S Plus costs $2,000 more and comes with a standard continuously variable automatic transmission (as do the SV and SL trims), cruise control and a few other amenities. All models use a 109-horsepower, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.
The SV model ($16,415) adds power windows and locks, USB and iPod compatibility and interior upgrades — features that most buyers expect these days even in an entry-level small car.
The Versa is among the roomier small sedans, and it has generous trunk space, but the driving experience isn't as satisfying. Acceleration is sluggish with the CVT and noise levels are high. It offers some value for shoppers on a tight budget but doesn't rank among the most appealing small cars.