NEW FOR 2008:

– Optional Sport Package available for SL sedan

An all-new model for 2007, the Versa moves into 2008 unchanged, save for the addition of an available Sport Package on the sedan, which was previously optional only on the hatchback.

Available as a four-door hatchback or four-door sedan, the Versa is sold in several global markets, where it’s also known as the Tiida.

All models use a 1.8-litre four-cylinder engine with six-speed manual transmission that can be optioned to a four-speed automatic in the S trim lines, and to a CVT in the SL trim lines.

Standard features on the S include 15-inch steel wheels, four-way manual driver’s seat, heated mirrors, tilt column, variable intermittent wipers, 60/40 split-folding rear seat and CD stereo. The hatchback adds a rear wiper/washer and cargo cover.

The SL adds 15-inch alloy wheels, air conditioning, anti-lock brakes, power locks with keyless entry, power windows, cruise control, map lights, overhead sunglasses storage, glove compartment light, six-way manual driver’s seat, front and rear centre armrests, anti-theft system and six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary audio jack.

The Versa is surprisingly roomy for its size, in both body configurations, and its double-stuffed foam seats are the most comfortable in the segment, or even in comparison to many larger vehicles. The electric steering tends to be numb, though, and while the four-speed automatic is very well-suited to the peppy engine, the CVT can tend to slog along at lower speeds. Shop it against vehicles such as the Honda Fit, Toyota Yaris and Chevrolet Aveo.

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