The 2012 Nissan Versa, equipped with a standard transmission, air conditioning, electronic stability control and AM/FM/CD/AUX stereo, is the cheapest car in the United States for the second straight year and is priced at $10,990.
The 2012 model year marks the first time a new car is available in the United States for less than $10,000. For 2011, the base models of the Nissan Versa and Hyundai Accent, both categorized as subcompacts, were both priced at less than $10,000.
The increase of $1,000 for the base Nissan Versa in 2012 reflects two items: air conditioning wasn’t standard in the 2011 model. Additionally, government regulations now require that new cars are equipped with electronic stability control.
The 2012 Nissan Versa is also the cheapest automatic model in the U.S. with the 1.6 S equipped with a continuously variable transmission starting at $12,760. The top trim Versa 1.8 SL CVT starts at $15,660 and offers Bluetooth, USB input, and a touch screen navigation system.
The sedan is the only new Nissan Versa model for 2012. It weighs 150 pounds less than the 2011 edition, has the same wheelbase and width, but is slightly shorter in length and height.
The 2012 Versa sedan has improved gas mileage (27 city/36 highway) compared to 26 city/34 highway in 2011.
Article Last Updated: September 8, 2021.
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A sports, travel and business journalist for more than 45 years, James has written the new car review column The Weekly Driver since 2004.
In addition to this site, James writes a Sunday automotive column for The San Jose Mercury and East Bay Times in Walnut Creek, Calif., and a monthly auto review column for Gulfshore Business, a magazine in Southwest Florida.
An author and contributor to many newspapers, magazines and online publications, James has co-hosted The Weekly Driver Podcast since 2017.