Nissan Versa Vs. Ford Fiesta Sedan: Small Sedan Shootout

By Justin Cupler | March 13th, 2019

Subcompact cars may be inexpensive, but there is no reason for them to be cheap or boring. The Nissan Versa and Ford Fiesta are both inexpensive, but neither is cheap or boring. They both offer ample room, some style, and plenty of desirable options, but which is better for our Saginaw area buyers? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The Nissan Versa debuted way back in 2012, making its design a little dated, but it received a mild refresh in 2015 that brought in new front and rear fascias. Otherwise, though, the Versa has remained mostly the same since its 2012 redesign. While some may find this lack of change boring, buyers looking for a simpler appearance will appreciate the more basic looks the Versa offers.

The Ford Fiesta is even older than the Versa, as its last redesign came in 2011, but it got a refresh in 2014. The 2019 Fiesta is sportier looking than the Versa, but it’s clear Ford designed this sedan for the younger crowd.

These subcompact sedans have tiny bodies. The 2019 Nissan Versa is 175.4 inches long, 66.7 inches wide, and 59.6 inches wide. It sits atop a 102.4-inch wheelbase and weighs 2,395 to 2,494 pounds. The 2019 Ford Fiesta Sedan is 173.5 inches long, 67.8 inches wide, and 58.1 inches wide. It rides on a puny 98-inch wheelbase, and its curb weight starts from 2,571 pounds.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Simpler design
  • Newer looks with more recent refresh

Advantage: 2019 Ford Fiesta Sedan

  • Sportier appearance

Interior

In their interiors, the Ford Fiesta and Nissan Versa are simple with basic features and a lot of black plastic. The 2019 Versa has some chrome and silver accents in its higher trim levels to add a little extra style. The Fiesta’s cabin, like its exterior, has a sportier look with its smaller three-spoke steering wheel, outward bulging dash, and a grey-colored center-stack bezel.

Inside, the 2019 Nissan Versa’s front seats offer 39.8 inches of headroom, 41.8 inches of legroom, 48.1 inches of hip room, and 51.7 inches of shoulder room. The Fiesta’s front seats have an extra 1.8 inches of legroom and 1 inch of shoulder room, but it comes up short in headroom by 0.5 inches and hip room by 2.5 inches.

 

In its rear seats, the 2019 Versa has 36.6 inches of headroom, 37 inches of legroom, 46.2 inches of hip room, and 51.9 inches of shoulder room. The Fiesta’s rear seats have an extra 0.5 inches of headroom and 2.8 inches of shoulder room, but it is short on legroom by 5.8 inches inches and hip room by 3 inches.

 

Luggage room is generally not generous in subcompact sedans, but the 2019 Nissan Versa is surprising at 14.9 cubic feet. The 2019 Fiesta is significantly tighter at 12.8 cubes.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Big-time advantage in rear legroom
  • Significantly more cargo room
  • Larger standard touchscreen

Advantage: 2019 Ford Fiesta

  • Sportier interior looks

Performance

As subcompact sedans, neither the Nissan Versa nor the Ford Fiesta are overly powerful. The 2019 Nissan Versa comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. This adds up to a 9.2-second o-to-60 time.

The 2019 Ford Fiesta comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 120 horsepower and 112 pound-feet of torque. It also comes standard with a five-speed manual transmission, but its optional transmission is a six-speed PowerShift automatic. This adds up to an independently tested 9.1-second 0-to-60 time.

While power is far from the first thing on the minds of subcompact sedan shoppers, fuel economy is one of the most important considerations. The Versa is the better of the two with ratings of its up to 31 mpg city, 39 highway, and 34 combined**. The Fiesta is only slightly worse at up to 27 mpg city, 37 highway, and 31 combined.

Advantage: 2019 Nissan Versa

  • Small fuel-economy advantage

Advantage: 2019 Ford Fiesta

  • Big power advantage
  • Quicker to 60 mph

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Nissan Versa has a fairly simple lineup that includes four trim levels — S, S Plus, SV, and SV Special Edition — and their starting prices range from $12,360 to $16,790*.

 

There are just two trim levels that make up the Ford Fiesta sedan lineup: the $14,260 S trim and the $15,490 SE trim.

2019 Nissan Versa Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $12,360

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Speed-sensitive electric power steering
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Chrome-accented multireflector halogen headlights
  • Power mirrors
  • Chrome-accented grille
  • Black door handles
  • 7-inch touchscreen
  • Siri Eyes Free
  • USB port
  • Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  • Hands-free text messaging
  • Tilt steering wheel
  • Variable-intermittent wiper
  • Cloth seating
  • Four-way manual driver’s seat
  • Silver-accented steering wheel
  • Black interior trim
  • Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  • Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  • Rearview camera

 

S Plus: $14,500*

  • All S features, plus
  • CVT
  • Rear tire air deflectors
  • Rear spoiler
  • Cruise control

 

SV: $15,990*

  • All S Plus features, plus
  • Chrome door handles
  • Fine-vision gauges
  • Outside temperature display
  • Service-interval reminder
  • Keyless entry
  • Remote trunk release
  • Power door locks
  • Power windows with one-touch-down driver’s side
  • Passenger seatback pocket
  • Six-way manual driver’s seat
  • Driver’s seat armrest
  • Upgraded cloth seat trim
  • Cloth door trim
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seats
  • Silver-accented interior
  • Chrome door handles and center vent accents

 

SV Special Edition: $16,790*

  • All SV features, plus
  • 15-inch six-spoke aluminum wheels
  • Fog lights
  • NissanConnect infotainment system
  • SiriusXM radio
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Keyless unlock and ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Piano-black trim
  • Easy-Fill Tire Alert
  • Nissan immobilizer system

2019 Ford Fiesta Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $14,260

  • 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  • Five-speed manual transmission
  • 15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  • Electric power steering
  • Front disc and rear drum brakes
  • Hill-start assist
  • Black belt-line accents
  • Chrome upper grille and surround
  • Black lower grille
  • Body-color door handles
  • Halogen headlights with black bezels
  • Tinted glass
  • Acoustic windshield
  • 12-volt power outlet
  • Auxiliary audio input
  • Carpeted front floor mats
  • Manual air-conditioning
  • Passenger seatback pocket
  • Ice Blue cluster lighting
  • Intermittent wipers
  • Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  • Multifunction message center
  • Power door locks
  • Rear seat heat ducts
  • Six-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system
  • 4.2-inch infotainment display
  • SYNC with SYNC Applink
  • Two-way manual passenger’s seat
  • Four-way manual driver’s seat
  • 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Cloth seating
  • Rearview camera
  • Perimeter alarm

 

SE: $15,490

  • All S features, plus
  • 15-inch Sparkle Silver aluminum wheels
  • 12-volt rear power outlet
  • Cruise control
  • Front center console with armrest and cellphone holder
  • Ford MyKey
  • Overhead console
  • Power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down driver’s side
  • Trip computer
  • Upgraded cloth seating

Who Should Buy the 2019 Nissan Versa?

With its super-low $12,360 base price, the 2019 Nissan Versa is a great sedan for buyers who just need a car to get them around and aren’t overly fussy about everything else. Beyond its low price, though, the Versa has a strong array of features, including a standard 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth audio streaming, and available Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and more.  

Who Should Buy the 2019 Ford Fiesta?

With its sportier look, the Fiesta is for younger buyers looking for some added style with their entry-level sedan. Also, with its available SYNC system and Ford MyKey, this small sedan has a few technological tricks up its sleeve.

 

Whether you need to save money on your daily commute to Midland or just need a cheap car to get you around the Bay City area, the 2019 Nissan Versa is the car for you. Head down to the Garber Nissan showroom serving the Saginaw area to test drive this subcompact sedan. Can’t make it in today? You can see what 2019 Versa models we have in stock via our online inventory, then call us to schedule a test drive later.

 

* All prices are Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP). MSRP excludes destination and handling charges, tax, title, license, and options. Dealer sets actual price.

** Actual mileage may vary