Nissan Versa Vs. Toyota Corolla: Which Is Better?

The Nissan Versa and Toyota Corolla are both reliable economy cars, but which is the better option? Click here to find out!
Written by Sarah Gray
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
The 2022 Toyota Corolla beats its competitor, the Nissan Versa in terms of overall value, performance, and convenience options.
It’s easy to assume that with a starting price thousands less than the Corolla, the Nissan Versa would be the better choice for value, but there’s a lot more to consider when it comes to which car is the best than just how much it costs. 
To help you decide which car wins in this comparison,
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shopping as easy as sending a text, has gathered all the specs for a side-by-side comparison. 

Pricing 

Let’s start with the big question: which car has the better price? Both the Corolla and the Versa are solid economy cars, but let’s see how they stack up in a side-by-side comparison for 2022 pricing.
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Even the most expensive of the Nissan Versa’s three trims is still over $1,000 cheaper than the base-model Toyota Corolla L. But before you start thinking this makes the Versa a clear winner for pricing, let’s take a look at the true cost of ownership for both the Corolla and the Versa.
While the Corolla L and the Versa SR are closest in terms of MSRP, for a more real-world comparison, we’ll be looking at the most popular trim for both models in terms of sales—the Corolla LE and the Versa SV.
Cost of ownership takes into account not only the vehicle’s sale price but also taxes, insurance, maintenance, repairs, depreciation—as well as
Toyota insurance costs
versus
Nissan insurance costs
. According to Edmunds, five-year ownership costs for the Corolla LE add up to $28,107.
The Nissan Versa’s five-year cost of ownership is $28,729. This means that while opting for the Versa over the Corolla may save you close to $2,500 upfront, the Corolla is more affordable to own long-term.

Performance

The Corolla’s optional turbocharged engine coupled with a six-speed transmission allows it to dominate the Nissan Versa when it comes to performance. 
All three 2022 Nissan Versa trims are powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine offering up 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. The 2022 Toyota Corolla, on the other hand, has two powertrain options. The base 139-horsepower 1.8-liter four-cylinder is already more powerful than the Versa’s standard engine, but buyers can also upgrade to a 2.0-liter turbo-four capable of developing 169 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque.
A five-speed manual transmission is standard on the Nissan Versa, but buyers can pay extra for an optional continuously variable transmission (CVT) on any trim. On a Corolla, a CVT is standard equipment, and a six-speed manual is available on hatchback models with the turbocharged engine.
So what’s the bottom line for performance? Neither the Corolla nor the Versa is a sports car by any stretch, but while the Corolla may lag a bit on the roadway, the Versa seems downright lazy. Put simply, a turbocharged Corolla will leave any Versa in the dust.

Fuel efficiency

The Toyota Corolla Hybrid LE offers some of the best fuel efficiency in its segment, easily beating the Nissan Versa’s standard gas-powered engine for mpg.
If hybrid isn’t your jam, the Corolla and the Versa are neck-and-neck to start, but the Corolla’s available 2.0L four-cylinder beats the Versa’s single option by at least 1 mpg in all categories.
Model
Engine
Fuel economy (city/hwy/combined)
2022 Toyota Corolla
1.8L four-cylinder (base)
30/38/33 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla
2.0L four-cylinder
31/40/34 mpg
2022 Toyota Corolla Hybrid
1.8L four-cylinder
53/52/52/ mpg
2022 Nissan Versa
1.6L four-cylinder
30/38/33 mpg
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While the Corolla wins in this category, both options are still very fuel-efficient vehicles.

Technology

This one’s a tie—the Versa features the most advanced safety tech in its class, but the Corolla offers much more in the way of infotainment and convenience tech.
Let’s get right to it—the base Versa doesn’t even offer Apple CarPlay or Android Auto and heated front seats are only available as part of the Convenience package for the top-tier SR trim. Driver assists are plentiful and advanced even from the base trim, though, with options like lane departure warnings and rear automatic braking standard across the lineup.
The base Corolla begins with the types of standard tech features we’ve come to expect—like smartphone integration—but it’s fairly comparable to the base Versa. As you step up the trim ladder, though, you begin to see a lot of options in the Corolla that are never available in the Versa. For example, those heated seats we mentioned come into play as standard equipment on the Corolla XLE.
Both cars offer a base 7-inch touchscreen, and a full suite of driver assists, but the Corolla builds much more on creature comforts than the Versa. From a larger infotainment touchscreen to a power-adjustable driver’s seat, Toyota seems to have taken a lot more into account than just functionality when it comes to the Corolla’s tech features. 

Reliability

Toyota and Nissan both have solid reputations when it comes to reliability, but the 2022 Corolla edges out the Versa in terms of individual ratings from experts like J.D. Power, RepairPal, and Consumer Reports. 
J.D. Power awards the 2022 Toyota Corolla a predicted reliability score of 85/100, while the Versa follows close behind with 83/100. Consumer Reports recommends both cars for reliability, but the Corolla earns a 4.5/5.0 from RepairPal—the Versa only receives a 4.0/5.0

Interior

While the Nissan Versa’s interior has gotten a glow-up in recent years, it still can’t beat the Toyota Corolla in terms of passenger or cargo space.
Thanks to recent upgrades, the Versa’s interior finally feels like it’s made for grown-ups, which places it on par with the Corolla. Both interiors feature solid material quality and user-friendly buttons and controls throughout. 
It may seem a little unfair, considering the Versa is a subcompact while the Corolla is a compact, but thanks to the larger overall body and available hatchback, the Corolla handily beats out the Versa when it comes to passenger space—in the backseat anyway
The Versa offers its front seat passengers a solid inch more headroom and 2.5 more inches of legroom than the Corolla, so if you don’t need to use the backseat much, and you don’t plan on hauling much cargo, the Versa would be your go-to here.
Measurement
Toyota Corolla Sedan
Toyota Corolla Hatchback
Nissan Versa Sedan
Cargo volume
13.1 cubic feet
17.8 cubic feet
14.7 cubic feet
Headroom (front seats)
38.3 inches
38.4 inches
39.5 inches
Legroom (front seats)
42 inches
42 inches
44.5 inches
Headroom (rear seats) 37.1 inches
37.6 inches
36.3 inches
Legroom (rear seats)
34.8 inches
29.9 inches
31.0 inches

The final word

The Nissan Versa may be the cheaper option upfront, but when it comes to overall value, performance, and options, the 2022 Toyota Corolla is the clear winner over the 2022 Nissan Versa
Even if all you need is something to get you from point A to point B, we’d recommend a base Corolla, as it will be a better value, costing you less in maintenance and repairs over the life of the car.  If you’re looking for a car with solid options and a little fun, go with the Corolla SE hatchback. This will add a sport-tuned suspension, a larger engine, and the option for a manual transmission without even adding a full $1,000 to the base MSRP.

How to find cheap car insurance for any vehicle

Even if you’re still on the fence, you can still take a minute to make sure you’re getting the best deal on
Toyota Corolla insurance
,
Nissan Versa insurance
, and any car insurance in between.
If you’ve got two minutes, you’ve got enough time to potentially save over $800 a year on car insurance premiums with
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FAQs

No. The 2022 Nissan Versa is slightly smaller than the Toyota Corolla, with a wheelbase of 103.1—3.2 inches smaller than the Corolla.
With the base engine, the Corolla and the Versa get an average 33 mpg combined fuel efficiency rating, but the Corolla’s available upgraded engine and hybrid powertrain offer better fuel economy than the Versa.
The 2022 Nissan Versa’s top trim costs about $1,000 less than the Corolla’s base trim, making the Corolla the more expensive car. The five-year cost of ownership, though, is roughly equal on both models, with the Corolla coming in slightly cheaper.
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