During your hunt for a new vehicle, you may have asked yourself, “What’s the best 2022 sedan?” It’s a simple question; however, the answer depends entirely on what you look for in a car. Chances are you’re looking for a vehicle with all the modern features but don’t want to break the bank paying for it. This is often the dilemma car buyers find themselves in: finding the balance between state-of-the-art and affordability in a vehicle. Nissan knows this predicament well, which is why the 2022 Nissan Versa is perfectly designed for the discerning car-buyer needing modern features coupled with a starting price that is lower than a lot of its competition.
This starting price of $15,180 allows the Versa to stand out among its compact sedan peers easily. Even when moving up the list of trims, the price never exceeds over $19,000, so let’s be real here—pricing doesn’t get much better than this for new vehicles. Three trim levels are available for the Versa, and the base model can be obtained with either a manual or automatic transmission. A common misconception may have you believe that a brand new vehicle with this low of a starting price must mean it’s proverbial “garbage.” That’s not true—not in the slightest. Let’s take a quick look at performance and go from there.
Less Gas & More Milage
The Versa hasn’t seen a change in powertrain since 2020, but the difference it had brought with it was increased horsepower and torque output, along with greater fuel efficiency when operating its Continuously Variable Automatic Transmission. Otherwise, 5-speed manual transmission will come standard, which may be preferable for certain drivers. With this in mind, the 2022 Versa outputs 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque stemming from its 1.6L I-4 engine, while models released before 2020 received 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque from an identically-sized engine.
Those seeking V6, or even V8 engines with over 200 hp, will want to look elsewhere but be prepared to pay the hefty premium associated with such performance. For the price of the Versa, it performs admirably, and thanks to its excellent fuel efficiency, you’ll be saving more money thanks to fewer gas station trips. With your 2022 Versa, you can expect EPA-estimated ratings of 32 MPG in the city and 40 MPG on the highway with the CVT, and a still-impressive 27 MPG in the city and 36 MPG on the highway with the manual transmission on the base model.
Where Value Truly Shines
As admirably sleek as the exterior of the Versa is, the interior makes all of the difference. Simply put—you’d be hardpressed to find an interior with this many amenities within this price range. In some cases, the Versa offers more features than its pricier competitors all together. Ultimately, the base level Versa may leave something to be desired, but this doesn’t mean it’s void of must-have features. Fortunately, the Versa’s price remains relatively cheap, even if you purchase the higher-tier trim levels, which inevitably adds upon the base model’s feature-set.
The one area of the 2022 Versa’s interior that stands out the most is its technology—both standard and optional ones. Although we mentioned the base-level Versa doesn’t have as much integrated tech as the higher-end ones, it still comes with a built-in 7-inch touch screen. This touch screen is where you’ll control the radio and sound settings, although audio controls can also be adjusted via buttons built into the steering wheel too.
Aside from your local AM/FM stations, the Versa can come with SiriusXM Radio if you purchase either the SV or SR trims which include a 3-month trial to the service. If you’ve never used SiriusXM Radio before, there’s a fair number of satellite radio stations to tune into, and there are essentially a few stations for every genre. Like classic rock and heavy metal? Try Ozzy’s Boneyard on XM Radio Channel 38. Easy-listening more of your thing? Try Channel 16 The Blend. There’s something for everyone!
What if you want to leave radio stations in the past, and have a more personalized listening experience by curating your own personal playlists? You can easily listen to music on your phone by using Bluetooth wireless connectivity or plugging your phone in. If you own a phone or an MP3 player with a 3.5mm Auxiliary port, the Versa has you covered, and if your phone doesn’t include an Auxiliary port of any kind (I’m looking at you Apple), then you can plug your iPhone into the media center with one of the three included USB ports. By default, the audio system will include four speakers, but with the SR, you’ll get a six-speaker system.
A Connectivity Champion
Although some drivers may feel a tad jaded about the lack of Apple CarPlay and Android Auto on the base level Versa, all you’ll have to do is upgrade to one of the two other trims. Not having Apple CarPlay or Android Auto on the base model makes perfect sense, and with the Versa’s low starting price, an upgrade to these features won’t cost you an arm and a leg. Both of these features come with the NissanConnect infotainment center, which utilizes a 7-inch screen like the standard offering, and you’ll get this upgraded media center with either the SV or SR trims.
Why would you want Apple CarPlay and Android Auto? For a vehicle as lowly priced as the Versa, using one of these features makes the experience feel more like its pricier counterparts. Since we all use our phones more often than not these days, the uses for a phone stretch far beyond the days of text messaging and phone calls. Sure, we still do these things, but phones are our portal to a world of information and connectivity.
Of course, normally using your phone while driving is highly discouraged, but features such as Apple CarPlay and Android Auto give you the most important functions of your smartphone while you’re behind the wheel. Best of all, it does so in a way that doesn’t take your attention off the road, making them relatively safe to operate. An example of this is voice commands, which both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto allow you to use, where you’ll be telling your virtual assistant to play a specific song, asking for directions somewhere, or simply texting a friend that you’re on the way. That’s right, a virtual assistant in a vehicle that costs under $20,000 at most—that’s what we call the future.
Don’t Spend More if You Don’t Have To
The Versa has taught us over the years that new vehicles don’t always have to garner an outrageous price tag. The Versa also proves that new vehicles are more accessible than ever before, especially for first-time buyers. Having access to some of the most up-to-date tech features, a comfortable and relatively spacious interior, and the honor of being its first owner are just a few of the benefits that purchasing a new 2022 Versa has. The affordability isn’t entirely unexpected either—Nissan is well known for pushing the limits of what we can ultimately expect from value-oriented vehicles. If the 2022 Versa is anything to go by, the differences between cheaper and pricier vehicles are coming down to general raw performance and highly optional amenities. However, if you want a well-rounded and brand-new vehicle that you can purchase today, then the 2022 Versa is going to be an easy recommendation for those on the hunt.