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For enhanced safety, the front seat shoulder belts of the Nissan Versa 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 Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer height-adjustable seat belts.
In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Versa SV/SR are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.
Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The Versa has standard Rear Automatic Braking that uses rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.
The Versa SV/SR’s blind spot warning system uses digital cameras monitored by computer to alert the driver to moving objects in the vehicle’s blind spots where the side view mirrors don’t reveal them. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a system to reveal objects in the driver’s blind spots.
To help make backing safer, the Versa SV/SR’s cross-path warning system uses wide-angle radar in the rear bumper to alert the driver to vehicles approaching from the side, helping the driver avoid collisions. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a cross-path warning system.
Both the Versa and the Yaris Liftback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available daytime running lights and driver alert monitors.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 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 7th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 4 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 8th.
The Versa’s 1.6 DOHC 4 cyl. produces 16 more horsepower (122 vs. 106) and 11 lbs.-ft. more torque (114 vs. 103) than the Yaris Liftback’s 1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
On the EPA test cycle the Versa gets better fuel mileage than the Yaris liftback:
1.6 DOHC 4 cyl.
32 city/40 hwy
1.5 DOHC 4 cyl.
30 city/35 hwy
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) certifies the Nissan Versa as a “Super Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (SULEV). The Toyota Yaris Liftback is only certified to “Ultra Low Emissions Vehicle” (ULEV) standards.
The Versa 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 Liftback doesn’t offer a CVT.
A standard “hill holder” feature keeps the Nissan Versa from rolling backwards on a steep slope. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a hill holder feature.
For better traction, the Versa has larger standard tires than the Yaris Liftback (195/65R15 vs. 175/65R15). The Versa SV’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Yaris Liftback (205/55R16 vs. 195/50R16).
For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Versa SR has standard 17-inch wheels. The Yaris Liftback’s largest wheels are only 16-inches.
The Versa has a standard 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 Liftback doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.
The Versa has standard front and rear stabilizer bars, which help keep the Versa flat and controlled during cornering. The Yaris Liftback’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa’s wheelbase is 4.3 inches longer than on the Yaris Liftback (103.1 inches vs. 98.8 inches).
For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the Versa is 1.5 inches wider in the front and 2.5 inches wider in the rear than the average track on the Yaris Liftback.
The design of the Nissan Versa amounts to more than styling. The Versa offers aerodynamic coefficients of drag from .288 to .319 Cd (depending on bodystyle and options). That is lower than the Yaris Liftback (.3 to .32) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Versa get better fuel mileage.
The Versa has 3.8 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Yaris 5dr Liftback (88.9 vs. 85.1).
The Versa has .2 inches more front headroom, 3.9 inches more front legroom, .9 inches more front hip room, .6 inches more front shoulder room and 1.8 inches more rear shoulder room than the Yaris 5dr Liftback.
The Versa SR has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a remote starting system.
To help each driver find a more comfortable driving position, the Versa has a telescoping steering wheel. Much better than just a tilt steering wheel or adjustable seat, this allows a short driver to sit further from the steering wheel while maintaining contact with the pedals. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer a telescoping steering wheel.
The Versa’s driver’s power window opens or closes with one touch of the window control, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths. The Yaris Liftback’s power windows’ switch has to be held the entire time to close it fully.
The Push Button Ignition standard on the Versa allows you to start the engine without removing a key from pocket or purse (Versa SR’s Intelligent Key will also allow unlocking the driver’s door and trunk without taking your keys out). The Toyota Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer an advanced key system.
The Versa’s cruise control switch is lit from behind, making it plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Yaris Liftback’s cruise control switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.
The Versa’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 Yaris Liftback’s fixed intermittent wipers only have one fixed delay setting, so the driver will have to manually switch them between slow and intermittent.
The Versa has a standard automatic headlight on/off feature. When the ignition is on, the headlights automatically turn on at dusk and off after dawn. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer automatic headlights.
The Versa has standard power remote mirrors. The Yaris Liftback L doesn’t offer either a remote driver side or passenger side mirror. The driver will have to roll down the windows and reach across the car to adjust the mirrors.
The Versa SV/SR’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer heated side mirrors.
The Versa’s power mirror controls are mounted on the armrest for easy access. The Yaris Liftback LE/SE’s power mirror controls are on the dash where they are possibly hidden by the steering wheel and are awkward to manipulate.
The Versa SR offers optional heated front seats, which keep the driver and front passenger extremely comfortable in the winter. Heated seats aren’t available in the Yaris Liftback.
The Versa SR’s standard automatic temperature control maintains the temperature you set, automatically controlling fan speed, vents and temperature to maintain a consistent, comfortable environment. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer automatic air conditioning.
To keep a safe, consistent following distance, the Versa SR offers an optional Intelligent Cruise Control, which alters the speed of the vehicle without driver intervention. This allows the driver to use cruise control more safely without constantly having to disengage it when approaching slower traffic. The Yaris Liftback doesn’t offer an adaptive cruise control.
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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