Well, I finally actually got to sit in a Versa (no test drive unfortunately...I could have but didn't have time). I had to drop off the '04 Maxima for some minor work (paint on the inner part of the flying buttresses is flaking off, and the stupid Bose system is a crap shoot if it'll work or not--I HATE BOSE!) and I noticed a blue Versa sitting on the lot.Anyway, a lot monkey saw me checking it out. I told him about NICO and NissanVersa.org and how popular the car was here, and he unlocked it for me. He knew a lot less about the car than I did (I told him It was too bad they didn't have a CVT Versa on the lot because I was interested in test driving one--he asked me what the heck a CVT was) but then he wasn't a salesman, either.
A few thoughts that went through my mind as I was checking it out:
--Bigger than I expected to be inside. (Still too small for me, though...but I've been feeling that way about my '93 Maxima lately, too).--I liked the layout of the dash.--I'm not a fan of the highchair seating (I prefer my Maxima's on-the-floor seats), but it did have plenty of leg and head room for my 6'4" of lankiness. Seat was comfortable (I actually liked it better than the seats in the '04 Maxima since they lack the irritating "XTREME Lumbar Support!!!" that I hate so much).--I LOVE the small triangular windows at the front of the front doors. The pillar-mounted side mirrors look kind of goofy, but I'd say the windows are worth the tradeoff.--The shifter for the 6 speed is in a good location, right where my hand rests naturally. Not like my old Ford for which the odd ("away") gears were out of reach and the even ("nearer") gears were in the passenger's lap.--The dark blue paint looks good in person. It's a great color.--The headlights are HUGE! (I already knew that, but seeing them in person, I realized just how huge.)--Instrument panel is too low (shroud blocks the tops of the dials from my height. Of course the seat was also too far forward and I didn't slide it back to where I'd be sitting, which would probably have fixed it.)
Overall I liked the car. It was comfortable, felt a lot bigger than many of the alternatives (a HUGE plus in my book) and it had enough little "hey, that's nice" features and items that it stands out.
I told the lotmonkey I really wanted to drive an '07 Maxima with CVT to see if I like it as much as my dad's '04 (the one I was dropping off for service) but he didn't get the hint. That's okay. The '04 is better looking, and there's no way the CVT is more fun than the 5 speed manumatic. I just wanted to see where the CVT kept the revs...