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The Corolla Hybrid has standard Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats, which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the Whiplash Injury Lessening Seats system allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. The Versa doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.
The Corolla Hybrid has a standard Secondary Collision Brake, which automatically applies the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Versa doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.
The Corolla Hybrid has standard Safety Connect, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Versa doesn’t offer a GPS response system, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.
Both the Corolla Hybrid and the Versa have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, lane departure warning systems and rearview cameras.
Toyota pays for scheduled maintenance on the Corolla Hybrid for 2 years and 25000 miles. Toyota will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Nissan doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Versa.
There are over 13 percent more Toyota dealers than there are Nissan dealers, which makes it easier should you ever need service under the Corolla Hybrid’s warranty.
The Versa’s redline is at 6500 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Corolla Hybrid has a 4000 RPM redline.
J.D. Power and Associates rated the Corolla Hybrid second among compact cars in their 2019 Initial Quality Study. The Versa isn’t in the top three in its category.
J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Toyota second in reliability, above the industry average. With 29 more problems per 100 vehicles, Nissan is ranked 15th.
From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2018 Auto Issue reports that Toyota vehicles are more reliable than Nissan vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Toyota second in reliability. Nissan is ranked 14th.
On the EPA test cycle the Corolla Hybrid gets better fuel mileage than the Versa CVT (53 city/52 hwy vs. 32 city/40 hwy).
Regenerative brakes improve the Corolla Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Versa doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.
In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Corolla Hybrid’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Versa doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid comes standard with an automatic transmission, for driver comfort, especially in the city. Automatic costs extra on the Versa.
For better stopping power the Corolla Hybrid’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Versa:
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid has standard four-wheel disc brakes for better stopping power and improved directional control in poor weather. Only rear drums come on the Versa. Drums can heat up and make stops longer, especially with antilock brakes that work much harder than conventional brakes.
The Toyota Corolla Hybrid’s wheels have 5 lugs for longer wheel bearing life, less chance of rotor warping and greater strength. The Nissan Versa only has 4 wheel lugs per wheel.
For superior ride and handling, the Toyota Corolla Hybrid has fully independent front and rear suspensions. An independent suspension allows the wheels to follow the road at the best angle for gripping the pavement, without compromising ride comfort. The Nissan Versa has a rear torsion beam axle, with a semi-independent rear suspension.
For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Corolla Hybrid’s wheelbase is 3.2 inches longer than on the Versa (106.3 inches vs. 103.1 inches).
For better maneuverability, the Corolla Hybrid’s turning circle is .7 feet tighter than the Versa’s (34.1 feet vs. 34.8 feet).
The design of the Toyota Corolla Hybrid amounts to more than styling. The Corolla Hybrid has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .28 Cd. That is lower than the Versa (.288 to .319) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Corolla Hybrid get better fuel mileage.
The Corolla Hybrid has 2.1 inches more front hip room, 1.7 inches more front shoulder room, .8 inches more rear headroom, 3.8 inches more rear legroom and 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room than the Versa.
The Corolla Hybrid’s standard rear seats fold to accommodate long and bulky cargo. The Versa S Manual doesn’t offer folding rear seats.
The Corolla Hybrid’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch or automatically. The Versa has a lever-type parking brake that has to be strenuously raised to engage properly. It has to be lifted up more and a button depressed to release it.
The power windows standard on both the Corolla Hybrid and the Versa have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Corolla Hybrid is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Versa prevents the driver from operating the other windows just as it does the other passengers.
The Corolla Hybrid’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Versa’s passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.
If the windows are left open on the Corolla Hybrid the driver can close them all at the outside door handle. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows at the outside door handle or from a distance using the keyless remote. (This window function must be activated by your Toyota service department.) The driver of the Versa can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.
The Corolla Hybrid’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Nissan only offers heated mirrors on the Versa SV/SR.
The Corolla Hybrid has a standard center folding armrest for the rear passengers. A center armrest helps make rear passengers more comfortable. The Versa doesn’t offer a rear seat center armrest.
For greater rear passenger comfort, the Corolla Hybrid has standard rear heat vents to keep rear occupants more comfortable. The Versa doesn’t offer rear vents.
Consumer Reports® recommends the Toyota Corolla Hybrid, based on reliability, safety and performance.
The Toyota Corolla outsold the Nissan Versa by over four to one during the 2019 model year.
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