Certified Benz & Beemer Compares 2012 Nissan Versa VS 2012 Volkswagen Jetta Near Scottsdale, AZ

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2012 Nissan Versa

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VS

2012 Volkswagen Jetta

Safety Comparison

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Both the Versa Sedan and the Jetta have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four wheel antilock brakes, traction control and electronic stability systems to prevent skidding.

Warranty Comparison

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There are over 77 percent more Nissan dealers than there are Volkswagen dealers, which makes it much easier to get service under the Versa Sedan’s warranty.

Reliability Comparison

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The camshafts in the Versa Sedan’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Jetta GLI 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Jetta’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 24th in initial quality. With 14 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 28th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2011 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Volkswagen vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 25th in reliability. With 8 more problems per 100 vehicles, Volkswagen is ranked 29th.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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On the EPA test cycle the Versa Sedan gets better fuel mileage than the Jetta:

Versa Sedan

Jetta

4 cyl./Manual

27 city/36 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

5 cyl./Manual

n/a

23 city/33 hwy

4 cyl./Auto

30 city/38 hwy

23 city/29 hwy

5 cyl./Auto

n/a

24 city/31 hwy

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Versa Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Jetta GLI requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

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The Versa Sedan stops much shorter than the Jetta:

Versa Sedan

Jetta

70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

193 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

136 feet

Motor Trend

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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The Versa Sedan has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Jetta doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For better maneuverability, the Versa Sedan’s turning circle is 1.6 feet tighter than the Jetta’s (34.8 feet vs. 36.4 feet).

Chassis Comparison

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The Nissan Versa Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 450 to 700 pounds less than the Volkswagen Jetta.

The Versa Sedan is 6.8 inches shorter than the Jetta, making the Versa Sedan easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

To almost totally eliminate engine vibration in the passenger area, the Versa Sedan has a liquid-filled front engine mount. The liquid helps further dampen engine harshness. The Jetta uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

Passenger Space Comparison

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The Versa Sedan has 1.6 inches more front headroom and .6 inches more front legroom than the Jetta.

Ergonomics Comparison

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The Versa Sedan has a standard locking fuel door with a remote release located convenient to the driver. A locking fuel door helps prevent vandalism, such as sugar in the tank and fuel theft. The Jetta doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

The Versa Sedan’s optional steering wheel mounted cruise control is close at hand. The Jetta SE/SEL/TDI’s standard cruise control is on an over-crowded turn signal stalk.

The Versa Sedan’s available GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service available in a limited number of metro areas.) The Jetta’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

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