2019 Nissan Versa Sedan vs. 2019 Toyota Yaris

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The Versa Sedan has standard whiplash protection, which use a specially designed headrest to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the whiplash protection system moves the headrests forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Yaris doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

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

Reliability

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Versa Sedan has a standard 470-amp battery. The Yaris’ 356-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

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

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 3 more horsepower (109 vs. 106) and 4 lbs.-ft. more torque (107 vs. 103) than the Yaris’ 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.

Transmission

The Versa Sedan offers an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT). With no “steps” between gears, it can keep the engine at the most efficient speed for fuel economy, or keep it at its peak horsepower indefinitely for maximum acceleration. The Yaris doesn’t offer a CVT.

Brakes and Stopping

The Versa Sedan stops shorter than the Yaris:

 

Versa Sedan

Yaris

 

70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

187 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

134 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

152 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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 Yaris 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 Yaris’ 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 Yaris doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa Sedan’s wheelbase is 1.2 inches longer than on the Yaris (102.4 inches vs. 101.2 inches).

Chassis

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Versa Sedan is quieter than the Yaris (77 vs. 78 dB).

Passenger Space

Because it has more passenger and cargo room, the EPA rates the Versa Sedan a Compact car, while the Yaris is rated a Subcompact.

The Versa Sedan has 4.3 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Yaris (90.2 vs. 85.9).

The Versa Sedan has 1.6 inches more front headroom, 2.6 inches more rear legroom and 1.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Yaris.

Cargo Capacity

The Versa Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Yaris (14.9 vs. 13.5 cubic feet).

Ergonomics

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

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 Yaris 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 Yaris doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

To direct the driver from any location to a given street address with audible turn-by-turn directions, a GPS navigation system is standard on the Versa Sedan SL. The Versa Sedan’s navigation system also has a real-time traffic update feature that offers alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Yaris doesn’t offer a navigation system.

Model Availability

The Nissan Versa comes in sedan and station wagon bodystyles; the Toyota Yaris 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 Yaris 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 Yaris because typical repairs cost less on the Versa Sedan than the Yaris, including $27 less for a water pump, $1 less for a starter, $90 less for front struts and $67 less for a timing belt/chain.

Recommendations

The Nissan Versa outsold the Toyota Yaris by almost three to one during 2018.

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

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