Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Versa VS 2017 Chevrolet Sonic Near New Braunfels, TX

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2017 Nissan Versa

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2017 Chevrolet Sonic

Safety Comparison

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 Sonic doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Versa Sedan and the Sonic 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 available rearview cameras.

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


Versa Sedan



Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

53 G’s

Hip Force

785 lbs.

885 lbs.

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

Warranty Comparison

The Versa Sedan’s corrosion warranty is unlimited miles longer than the Sonic’s (unlimited vs. 100,000 miles).

Reliability Comparison

The camshafts in the Versa Sedan’s engine are driven by a hardened steel chain, with no maintenance needs. The Sonic 1.8 DOHC 4 cyl.’s camshafts are driven by a rubber belt that needs periodic replacement. If the Sonic’s cam drive belt breaks the engine could be severely damaged when the pistons hit the opened valves.

To reliably power the ignition and other systems and to recharge the battery, the Versa Sedan has a standard 110-amp alternator. The Sonic’s 100-amp alternator isn’t as powerful.

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Versa Sedan has a standard 470-amp battery. The Sonic’s 438-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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



Versa Sedan




1.6 4 cyl./5-spd. Manual

27 city/36 hwy

25 city/33 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Manual


1.6 4 cyl./CVT

31 city/39 hwy

24 city/34 hwy

1.8 4 cyl./Auto

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Versa Sedan stops shorter than the Sonic:


Versa Sedan



70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

184 feet

Car and Driver

Tires and Wheels Comparison

The Versa Sedan SL 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 Sonic doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling Comparison

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa Sedan’s wheelbase is 3 inches longer than on the Sonic (102.4 inches vs. 99.4 inches).

The Versa Sedan’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (57.8% to 42.2%) than the Sonic’s (62.5% to 37.5%). This gives the Versa Sedan more stable handling and braking.

Chassis Comparison

The Nissan Versa Sedan may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 400 pounds less than the Chevrolet Sonic.

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 Sonic uses conventional solid rubber engine mounts.

For excellent aerodynamics, the Versa Sedan has standard flush composite headlights. The Sonic has recessed headlights that spoil its aerodynamic shape and create extra drag.

Passenger Space Comparison

The Versa Sedan has 1.1 inches more front headroom and 2.4 inches more rear legroom than the Sonic Sedan.

Ergonomics Comparison

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 Sonic doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

Consumer Reports rated the Versa Sedan’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Sonic’s 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 Sonic doesn’t offer extendable visors.

The Versa Sedan has standard power remote mirrors. The Sonic LS 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 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 Sonic doesn’t offer the luxury of an automatic dimming rear view mirror.

The Versa Sedan SL’s standard GPS navigation system has a real-time traffic update feature that plots alternative routes to automatically bypass traffic problems. (Service not available in all areas.) The Sonic’s available navigation system doesn’t offer real-time traffic updates.

Economic Advantages Comparison

The Versa Sedan will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the Versa Sedan will retain 51.75% to 57.76% of its original price after five years, while the Sonic only retains 41.12% to 47.13%.

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Sonic because typical repairs cost much less on the Versa Sedan than the Sonic, including $119 less for a water pump, $299 less for an alternator, $7 less for front brake pads and $116 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 $2277 to $5195 less than for the Chevrolet Sonic.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Versa outsold the Chevrolet Sonic by almost three to one during the 2016 model year.

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