Ancira Nissan Compares 2017 Nissan Versa VS 2017 Ford Fiesta Near San Antonio, TX

Responsive image

2017 Nissan Versa

Responsive image

2017 Ford Fiesta

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 Fiesta doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

Both the Versa Sedan and the Fiesta 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 Ford Fiesta:


Versa Sedan



Into Pole


5 Stars

5 Stars




Spine Acceleration

35 G’s

53 G’s

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

Reliability Comparison

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

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 10th in initial quality, above the industry average. With 1 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 11th.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2016 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Nissan 27th in reliability. With 31 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 31st.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ April 2017 Auto Issue reports that Nissan vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Nissan 5 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine Comparison

As tested in Consumer Reports the Nissan Versa Sedan is faster than the Ford Fiesta 4 cyl. (automatics tested):


Versa Sedan


Zero to 30 MPH

4 sec

4.3 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

10.6 sec

10.9 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

6.6 sec

6.9 sec

Quarter Mile

18.1 sec

18.4 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

79.6 MPH

79.5 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range Comparison

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



Versa Sedan




4 cyl./Manual

27 city/36 hwy

27 city/35 hwy



4 cyl./Auto

31 city/39 hwy

27 city/37 hwy


To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Nissan Versa Sedan uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Fiesta with the 1.0 turbo 3 cyl. engine requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Brakes and Stopping Comparison

The Versa Sedan stops shorter than the Fiesta:


Versa Sedan



70 to 0 MPH

179 feet

181 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

140 feet

142 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

152 feet

159 feet

Consumer Reports

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 Fiesta 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 Fiesta’s suspension doesn’t offer a rear stabilizer bar.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Versa Sedan’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Fiesta (102.4 inches vs. 98 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Versa Sedan is .6 inches wider in the front and 1.5 inches wider in the rear than on the Fiesta.

Chassis Comparison

The design of the Nissan Versa Sedan amounts to more than styling. The Versa Sedan has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .319 Cd (optional .288 Cd with CVT). That is lower than the Fiesta (.33) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Versa Sedan get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space Comparison

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

The Versa Sedan has 5.1 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Fiesta (90.2 vs. 85.1).

The Versa Sedan has .7 inches more front headroom, 5.8 inches more rear legroom and 2.9 inches more rear shoulder room than the Fiesta Sedan.

Cargo Capacity Comparison

The Versa Sedan has a much larger trunk than the Fiesta Sedan (14.9 vs. 12.8 cubic feet).

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 Fiesta doesn’t offer a locking fuel door.

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

Economic Advantages Comparison

According to The Car Book by Jack Gillis, the Versa Sedan is less expensive to operate than the Fiesta because it costs $234 less to do the manufacturer’s suggested maintenance for 50,000 miles. Typical repairs cost less on the Versa Sedan than the Fiesta, including $107 less for a water pump, $153 less for an alternator and $53 less for a starter.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Nissan Versa Sedan will be $274 to $653 less than for the Ford Fiesta.

Recommendations Comparison

The Nissan Versa outsold the Ford Fiesta by almost three to one during the 2016 model year.

© 1991-2016 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. Who We Are
Click here to view the disclaimers, limitations and notices about EPA fuel mileage, crash tests, coprights, trademarks, and other issues.