I was brought up to be a Nissan fan. With my aunt working for the car company as long as I can remember, we got Nissans and Datsuns at cost, and riding in so many Nissans throughout my life instilled a strong sense of Nissan loyalty in me. The very first car I had that was all mine was a pea-soup green 1978 Datsun B210 that, despite the giant rusted dent in the side, the push button radio, and advanced age, had a certain loveable charm.
I still like Nissans, and am excited about the all-new lineup this year. The brand new 2007 Nissan Versa has that same kind of charm as my B210, only without the dent and with a much nicer sound system. The Versa is another one of those tiny, economical hatchbacks that have come out recently, along with the Honda Fit and the Toyota Yaris liftback. These cars are often entry-level, affordable cars geared towards a younger market. The Versa has a touch of sophistication that makes it stand out from the pack.
I recently had a chance to sit in the 2007 Nissan Versa at the New England auto show, and I was impressed. I think it has the nicest interior among the tiny cars, with a spacious trunk and reasonably-sized backseat. The Versa is a little bit longer than its competitors, which makes it infinitely more practical for carting around luggage and friends. The dash is attractive and logically laid out, and doesn’t have that cheap, trying-to-be-quirky look that so many cars in this market have, like the Scion xb. It looks like a grown-up’s car. Of course, the auto show model had all the gadgets, like bluetooth capability and an MP3 player hookup. It was also equipped with extras like sporty racing pedals, which diminished the cutness factor and put a little bark in its bite. The Versa was one of more popular cars I saw at the auto show, and I had to wait in line for chance to peek inside.
Hopefully I’ll get a chance to test-drive it soon. Early reviews say that it is a reasonably nice drive, but somewhat slow and can be noisy. A sedan version is expected to come out early next year.
A review of the Versa can be found here: http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drives/FullTests/articleId=115699