I do have the 6-speed transmission and I admit, I have been berating myself for not getting the CVT. But now that you have mentioned how it puts undue pressure on the hydraulics, I feel so much better. I've been driving manuals forever and it just felt more comfortable that's why I chose it. Nissan has been pimping the CVT because of the no shift-shock feature and the alleged more miles per gallon, glad to know it's not really true.
Regarding the lead foot, I've been very careful lately about the starting and the speeding, but find it hard since I live in NYC and most people/drivers here are impatient as hell.
I read this post because I'm considering buying a Versa. I'm on a budget and want a hatchback for the added cargo room and better gas mileage. I've been doing a ton of research on the Versa (prices, equipment, safety ratings, etc.) It has a 6-spd manual standard, optional 4-spd automatic on the base "1.8S" version, or optional CVT transmission instead on the "1.8SL" version. Personally, I don't like the CVT from what I experienced test driving a Caliber. If you're used to driving traditional automatics, it's really unnerving. It feels like the transmission is slipping when in reality that's how it's supposed to function. Also, it makes the engine rev up VERY high in normal driving, especially when accelerating on the highway and passing even leisurely. I have a feeling it's going to shorten engine life span. 4000-4500rpm seemed to be the norm in a Caliber. Created lots of unnecessary engine noise. I would think it would make highway travel so tiring like any noisy car. My current '89 Lebaron, a 3100lbs convertible with a 2.5L 4cyl. and 3-spd. automatic, gets 31-33mpg on the highway. That's another reason why I'm consider small hatchbacks, for even better fuel economy. Surprisingly though, new, smaller cars don't seem to be all that much better on gas. They seem to be getting worse in fact compared to previous generations. The '95 Sentra EPA rating was higher than the new redesigned '07 model and even the smaller Versa. But I suppose making the cars larger, adding more equipment, and installing bigger motors is going to cause that.
I'm the person that put the comment about 1000 psi hydraulic pressures in the CVT & if you're a lead footer maybe you should stay away from the CVT.
I have the CVT in a Dodge Caliber & I love it. Your comment that the CVT is like a slipping clutch is untrue. The CVT really feels like a propellor airplane accelerating you down a road (runway). Like an airplane you accelerate down the road (runway) without jerking. Like an airplane the rpms don't change. The CVT beltdrive is made of carbon fiber graphite, 4 times stronger than steel. Boeing uses the material increasingly in their airplanes. No finer material for the CVT exists. The problem is your lead foot, not the CVT.
My Caliber is rated at 30MPG highway (27MPG highway under the most recent EPA ratings). With over 10,000miles, I have a highway high of 34.9MPG, 32.5 MPG over 4000 foot mountain passes from sea level, & am overall averaging 30.0MPG. This is again proof that the CVT is not a slipping clutch. No slipping clutch will overall average the EPA highway average for over 10,000miles.
Your other comments about the CVT & high rpms are inaccurate in the least & malicious in the most. Continuous 1000psi internal pressure only occurs if you are a lead foot. I run my CVT at low pressures even over the mountains.
Made the comments about the Nissan Versa & Dodge Caliber CVTs having high hydraulic pressures when driven hard. The Versa & Caliber high gear manual transmissions run at higher highway rpms than both CVT transmissions run at. That is why the Versa CVT has a higher EPA MPG rating than the Versa 6sp. manual transmission. Supposedly, the Caliber manual 5sp. transmission has a bit higher EPA MPG than the Caliber CVT. But my own CVT Caliber, when feather footed, has very fine highway MPG. Also I found a 2% error in my Caliber odometer, which means my personal Caliber MPG numbers have been under reported. My more accurate Caliber MPG numbers are: 35.6MPG highway high, 32+MPG over 4000 foot mountain passes, & OVERALL AVERAGES 30.9MPG. With warmer weather & summer mix gas this last number should continue to rise till October 2007 when colder weather & winter mix gasoline return.
I don't have Versa, but a friend of mine has one and I've driven it a few times. I'm used to V8 car, but for a 1.8l with the 6 speed its pretty good if you know how to shift and know the sweet spots.
I like the way it looks cause I like different looking cars anyway.
The engine is smooth, quiet and its fun to drive.
The only thing I'm not really cool on is the body roll; on a windy day at highway speeds you feel the wind pushing on the car. I think some stronger springs and an after-market wheel and tire package would help a lot, along with a strut tower brace. All are availible on ebay and aftermarket sites.
I own a 2007 Versa and I couldn't be happier. I have driven it through an unusually hot summer and get 30 mpg in mixed city, country, no Interstate driving. On my one trip I got 36 mpg cruising between 76-80 on the Interstate.
I have the CVT, Bluetooth and the SL package. I don't miss my Camry at all.
Hi Oct 1,2007...I was looking at Versa's, but ended up with a Caliber too because it was $3000+ less. Read the Caliber threads on Carsurvey. My review is the one with the most posts & discussion, 'Too big & needs better MPG, but CVT is wonderful'.
Agree with most of what you say. As for Versa & Caliber interiors, I found the Versa dungeon-like compared to the Caliber's bright interior. Some say the Caliber's interior is cheap, but I find it sunny & cheery. After 1 year, my overall average with 50 tanks of gas is 31.4MPG, averages 32.7MPG over 4000 foot mountain passes with a highway high of 35.6 MPG. Have no problems mechanically & not one creak, squeak, or rattle with 18,000 miles.
I have a 2008 Versa SL Hatchback with CVT transmission. I love the car. I get approximately 37mpg on the highway and 34 in the city.
I don't hear much road noise, nor does my RPM go too high. It usually rides between 1000RPM in stop and go traffic, and 2,000 - 2,500 RPM on acceleration. I find the CVT transmission extremely smooth. I love the exterior and the interior is great. Better than my Honda.
My only issue is when the RPM is lower than 1,500 I do get a vibration, kind of like the car wants to slide into a different gear phase, but the RPM is too low. It is fine when I first get into the car, the RPM gets high enough so the car runs smooth. If I park the car for more than 1/2 hour, I get the low RPM and the vibration. I would love to get rid of that vibration, then my car would be perfect.