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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, I need to get a car for my son who has decided to "save" money by commuting to college for his Jr and Sr years. It will save money long term but be a challenge short term because I'll need to get a third car, pay for insurance and of course gas and maintenance.

I've considered used, but I'm the kind of person who keeps cars a long time and likes to have the warranty, no problems, and know how the car has been treated. I currently drive a 2005 Nissan Altima 2.5s (160,000 miles) and on my commute am able to average 30 MPG.

Of course my son has to have an automatic. I asked about a manual and he's not interested. When I was his age I was dying to have a car with a manual transmission and bucket seats!

I've been looking for a couple of months to get educated about small cars and have eliminated a few. Honda Fit - too expensive, Ford Focus/Fiesta - won't do the dual clutch auto, Chevy Sonic - too new and poor MPG numbers.

I seem to have it down to a Kia Rio sedan with manual windows and the Versa base model S. The Rio is fine but feels small. I've driven the Versa twice and I don't mind the base models interior. My son won't care that it doesn't have a tachometer, he'll only care that it has air conditioning and a radio.

He's a very big guy - over 6'2" and about 240lbs and the size of the Versa appeals to me. I like it.

So for those of you that have the new 2012 sedan, help me decide. Do you like you car? All of the professional car reviews have panned it, but it's like they're missing the point. I can get a Versa for almost 2,000 less than the base Rio and it still has a radio, automatic and air.

Should I worry about the CVT's reliablity? That concerns me.

Also, I've heard it is tossed around quite a bit in the wind. Have you had this problem?

How do you like your Versa?

Thanks
 

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Not sure about the 12s CVT reliability but it seems a few have needed replacing. I have 60,000 kms (not miles), and my brothers SER with cvt has around the same mileage, both are working fine ... However the warranty is good. 10 years, 200k. I love the smoothness of the CVT so i would never buy a regular automatic transmission in the future. Gas mileage on my hatch hasn't been that great, but I'm also not the grandmotherly type driver. For the price, I think the car will suit your needs very well.

Oh and welcome to the forums :)

And how do I love my Versa? My name should say it all. :)
 

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Education is very important, it is great that he's wanting to continue getting better
I believe that if I had to buy a used car again I would still get the Versa. Plenty of room and I'm also easy with it because I know small cars cannot take too much abuse.
I have the Hatchback so I guess I cannot contribute much on this topic, to me is like having a little SUV. The Versas seat are a little higher so it makes it easier to get in and out of the car. my head doesn't hit the side if I'm not too careful.

Let him test drive the Versa and the Rio and see which one he likes better; that's the important thing that he likes it. my sales guy was 6-5" and he had plenty of headroom.
a buddy of mine is 6" but his around 250lbs and he fits just fine in the passanger seat and the backseat

that's just my 2 pennies :2cents: =)
 

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I only have 3,500 miles on it so don't know how reliblle it is going to be in long run. I do not like driving this car on windy day and seems every day is a windy day with this car at hiway speeds. When accelerating CVT revs engine hard even if you not pushing gas pedal too hard. On hiway there is some wind noise ( like if you have your window not all the way up noise) not too bad but it could be better . My CVT have a flat spot at about 30-35 mph what I mean by it it feels like my car slows it's acceleration even I 'm pressing gas pedal the same. After that spot, car accelerate much faster. At hiway speeds 60-65 CVT downshifts even on a small uphill .When you learn to ignore these and few other flaws this car has, you may start to love it. For the money its wort it but I'm pretty shure I would not buy my car again if I had another chance. By the way I do miss a tachometer.
Almost forgot,very annoying hard to get used to - when stopping at stop sign you must stop completely or you are starting like in a second gear and after a second or so CVT downshifts and then you start accelerating decently.
 

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I love my Versa and its a great commuter. I know since I've owned it 9 months and already put 12k on her. 90% is highway miles. It came standard with AC. It has tons and tons of room for everyone in any seat front or back to sit comfortably. Even when your son has to put the seat all the way back.

My car is a manual and I love it, I drove a cvt equipped one before I found mine and it was good but I definitly enjoy dropping it into fifth and passing a few pokey people on the freeways here in SD.

I hope you get the versa its a great car.

P.S.

I got the HB model for 12K cause it was on sale at the dealership. It was just couple hundred more than the used one!!!
 

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MizuShinobi303 2012 Sedan and HB are two different cars, engine trans. style . My father has stick and A/T (older ones) I have new sedan . I like better the way his A/T drives. But I like better my MPG .
 

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I've had mine for almost 2 years and love it. It's a 5speed manual along with the 1.6 engine. It's a base model but not looking for luxury right now so I dont mind. Hope you get a Versa and your son likes it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks everyone for the input. I once owned a 1978 Datsun B210 and the base model Versa sedan reminds me of it. I keep hearing that the sedan is bounced around in the wind and that does concern me. I had the same issue with my Datsun and it was no fun. I replaced it with a 1982 Honda Civic sedan and that car drove like it was on railroad tracks - straight as a rail in the wind. You'd think that manufacturers today would know how to handle that instability in the wind. My 2001 Toyota Corolla was also bad in a cross wind.

I'll get more serious this month and see if anyone wants to deal for a base Versa sedan with CVT. one dealer had an internet price of $12,800 for a car with a MSRP of $13,800. At that price we'll handle the wind! Plus, the drive to college is not highway at all - mostly two lane roads at about 50 with no lights and no stop signs - a nice easy drive.

thanks for the input.
 

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Actually I was very afraid of the cross wind effect on the Versa. I stayed awake nights as I imagined myself being blown around like a feather. Know what? The day I picked up my Versa there were 50 mile an hour cross winds. I had purchased the car 45 minutes away by freeway. But the car was great! It does hold the road and the buffeting in the wind was hardly noticeable at all.

I would have no hesitation buying my kids the base Versa. You can't even get a good used car for the price of the Versa S. (Mines and SV). Good luck to you!
 

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I find that my Versa also doubles as an excellent sail too. Even the slightest bit of wind and its blown all over the road. that being said its great on gas, pretty nimble, fields of space (im 6'3" and people can sit behind me driving comfortably).
 

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I love my Versa S, but if your wanting just a commute car to college I'd get the sedan def. over the hatchback at this point, it's a completely different car since Nissan decided to not change the HB model to attempt to force more sales of the sedan, and it's a lot less expensive. I've heard many bad reviews about the 2012 CVT's though so if they offer it get the regular automatic, it won't get as good MPG but most of the CVT reviews I've seen state that MPG are horrible on the new one which kinda goes against the point of having a CVT imo.

Oh yes and the Versa is good quality, but it's kinda built like a toy since it's easy to take apart lol. Best of luck :)
 

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I have a Versa sedan 2012 with the CVT transmission. I just took the car to Toronto on a day with 40mph winds. The car behaved really well. I did feel some buffeting by the wind, but I never felt unsafe or had to correct the car's directional stability. Furthermore I found great power for passing with my CVT. And best of all... I got 52 mpg!!!!
 

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If you buy used get either Nissan or Honda Certified. That will get you a 100k powertrain warranty. If I had to do it all over again, I would have bought a certified used one instead of new. Save a few thousand and get better warranty. When I get ready to buy a car for the wife it will be a certified used. The 2012 Nissan Versa S w power package went up $1000.00. I paid 16,8 for mine in 2011 and now they want 17,8 for the exact same car.
 
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