2012 Nissan Versa

2012 Nissan Versa Credit: Nissan

Q. Is the 2012 Nissan Versa or 2012 Hyundai Accent a better value?

A. Both cars offer good value, but if you want a factory-installed navigation system, the Versa is the right choice because navigation is a $700 option on the Versa SL sedan, and Hyundai doesn't offer it in the Accent. Portable aftermarket units that could work in either car are available for less.

Base prices are $15,560 for the Versa SL sedan and $15,795 for the Accent SE hatchback, the top-shelf models in both lineups. (Those prices do not include a $760 destination charge.) However, a continuously variable automatic transmission is standard on the Versa SL, and a six-speed automatic is a $1,000 option on the Accent SE.

The Accent sedan comes in a GLS price level that starts at an enticing $12,445, but that is with a manual transmission, manual mirrors and windows and no air conditioning or stereo -- a configuration few would want to buy.

Adding those features boosts the sedan's price to $15,195. Bluetooth, cruise control, remote entry, steering-wheel audio controls and other features are grouped in the $1,300 Premium Package, so a loaded Accent GLS tops out at $17,255 all in. A Versa SL with navigation is $17,020 (including destination), not a huge advantage.

The Accent holds a slight advantage in fuel economy (30/40 mpg city/highway vs. 30/38 mpg for the Versa SL) and a big advantage with its longer warranties: five years/60,000 miles basic coverage and 10 years/100,000 miles on the powertrain. Nissan's coverage is three years/36,000 miles for the basic warranty and five years/60,000 miles for the powertrain.

Hyundai's longer warranties enhance the Accent's value, but if factory navigation is a must-have feature, the Versa should be your next new car.

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