2019 Nissan Versa Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Prius c

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Versa Sedan are height-adjustable to accommodate a wide variety of driver and passenger heights. A better fit can prevent injuries and the increased comfort also encourages passengers to buckle up. The Toyota Prius c doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.

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

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does 35 MPH front crash tests on new vehicles. In this test, results indicate that the Nissan Versa Sedan is safer than the Toyota Prius c:

 

Versa Sedan

Prius c

 

Driver

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

311

359

Neck Injury Risk

28%

37%

Neck Compression

75 lbs.

262 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration does side impact tests on new vehicles. In this test, which crashes the vehicle into a flat barrier at 38.5 MPH and into a post at 20 MPH, results indicate that the Nissan Versa Sedan is safer than the Toyota Prius c:

 

Versa Sedan

Prius c

 

Front Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

HIC

173

216

Chest Movement

1.4 inches

1.4 inches

Abdominal Force

248 G’s

276 G’s

 

Rear Seat

STARS

4 Stars

4 Stars

Spine Acceleration

58 G’s

90 G’s

Hip Force

759 lbs.

991 lbs.

 

Into Pole

STARS

5 Stars

5 Stars

Max Damage Depth

14 inches

15 inches

Spine Acceleration

32 G’s

49 G’s

Hip Force

584 lbs.

922 lbs.

New test not comparable to pre-2011 test results. More stars = Better. Lower test results = Better.

Reliability

J.D. Power and Associates rated the Versa Sedan second among small cars in their 2018 Initial Quality Study. The Prius c isn’t in the top three.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2018 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 11 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Versa Sedan’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 10 more horsepower (109 vs. 99) than the Prius c’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl. hybrid.

As tested in Car and Driver the Nissan Versa Sedan is faster than the Toyota Prius c (automatics tested):

 

Versa Sedan

Prius c

Zero to 60 MPH

9.8 sec

10.9 sec

5 to 60 MPH Rolling Start

10.2 sec

10.8 sec

Passing 50 to 70 MPH

6.9 sec

7.6 sec

Quarter Mile

17.5 sec

18.1 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

81 MPH

76 MPH

Top Speed

112 MPH

102 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

The Versa Sedan has 1.3 gallons more fuel capacity than the Prius c (10.8 vs. 9.5 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the Versa Sedan has larger tires than the Prius c (185/65R15 vs. 175/65R15).

The Versa Sedan SV offers an optional easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Prius c doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The Versa Sedan has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Versa Sedan flat and controlled during cornering. The Prius c’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

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 Prius c doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa Sedan’s wheelbase is 2 inches longer than on the Prius c (102.4 inches vs. 100.4 inches).

The Versa Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the Prius c’s (61% to 39%). This gives the Versa Sedan more stable handling and braking.

Passenger Space

The Versa Sedan has 2.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Prius c (90.2 vs. 87.4).

The Versa Sedan has 1.2 inches more front headroom, .1 inches more front legroom, 2 inches more rear legroom and .2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Prius c.

Servicing Ease

A maintenance reminder system is standard on the Versa Sedan SV/SL to save the owner time and money by calculating maintenance intervals for oil changes based on odometer mileage. This takes the guesswork out of keeping your vehicle in top condition and helps it last longer. Toyota doesn’t offer a maintenance reminder on the Prius c.

Ergonomics

The Versa Sedan has standard lighted power window and cruise control switches so that they are easily found at night. The Prius c doesn’t have lighted switches.

The Versa Sedan’s variable intermittent wipers have an adjustable delay to allow the driver to choose a setting that best clears the windshield during light rain or mist. The Prius c’s standard fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.

Consumer Reports rated the Versa Sedan’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Prius c’s headlights, which were rated “Fair.”

To shield the driver and front passenger’s vision over a larger portion of the windshield and side windows, the Versa Sedan has standard extendable sun visors. The Prius c doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Versa Sedan’s optional rear view mirror has an automatic dimming feature. This mirror can be set to automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on it, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Prius c doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

Model Availability

The Nissan Versa comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Toyota Prius c isn’t available as a station wagon.

Economic Advantages

Insurance will cost less for the Versa Sedan owner. The Car Book by Jack Gillis rates the Versa Sedan with a number “1” insurance rate while the Prius c is rated higher at a number “5” rate.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Prius c because typical repairs cost much less on the Versa Sedan than the Prius c, including $501 less for a water pump, $211 less for fuel injection, $8 less for a fuel pump, $751 less for a timing belt/chain and $444 less for a power steering pump.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Versa Sedan will be $4040 to $4242 less than for the Toyota Prius c.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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