I recently rented a Nissan Versa at the airport when I landed for a sales trip to Ottawa. This was going to be a 3 day supertrip with lots of around-town appointments, and with no plans for long distance driving at all. I chose to rent a smaller car because I was trying to keep fuel costs down, and because the parking garage at my favourite Gatineau hotel is extremely tight. Hard to believe we were all driving gas guzzling boats back when this hotel was built - not sure how anyone made the corners. That, of course, was before Al Gore invented global warming (damn you Al Gore!)
Great - gas mileage of course. Beyond that, though, is the thoughtful design, including really very large squared off rear doors. It looks quite comfortable back there, with lots of leg room. That extra door space would be appreciated by young parents hoisting little ones in and out of car seats, although this might not be the right car for them - read on...
Good - climate control system. This thing chilled down in some pretty intense heat very quickly, although the smallness of the car contributed to that. The visibility all around is very good - and I especially appreciate the little triangle shaped window in the A-Pillar. Parallel parking gets easier when you're not guessing where the end of his bumper is, you can actually see it past your own side view mirror.
Room for Growth: Well, it's a commuter car so it's great around town and it handles well, but rapid acceleration for a quick merge onto the 417 when the air conditioner is blasting - not gonna happen. Trunk space is practically non-existent with the rear seats up, enough room for a bag or two of groceries or a set of golf clubs. This is definitely not a car for a single-car family with a couple of small kids, even if the price is right.
Overall - I really liked it, fun to drive, economical, well made and well designed. The car competes with and holds it's own against the Toyota Yaris, the Honda Civic, the Chevy Aveo, the Mazda 3 - but it's a limited use vehicle best for those who must drive to work everyday in the big city, with limited highway driving and very limited cargo needs.