The Versa gets the higher performing 1.8 liter I4 engine. That's still very small, and it makes the Versa the entry level model from Nissan in the United States, replacing the Sentra, which has moved into a more of a mid-scale car with its most recent redesign.
The Versa is sold as a hatchback and as a 4 door sedan. The engine does make 122 horsepower, which is decent for its size but still underpowered compared to most other cars on the market.
There are three transmission options for the Versa. They are a 4 speed automatic, a 6 speed manual, or the continuously variable transmission which eliminates most shift shock and is the upscale option. The 6 speed manual is the standard transmission, making it the only compact car in the United States to currently be sold with a 6 speed standard.
In 2009 the SE and SE-R versions of the Versa will be introduced. They will have upgraded performance parts inlcuding a better suspension. The ultra low sulfur diesel engine will also be introduced into the U.S. market.
These cars are not yet showing up in great quantity on the used car market, as they are too young. You can find lots of parts for them, especially since they have been sold in foreign markets for several years. There are already many aftermarket parts manufacturers making parts for these cars. Check on eBay for the best prices.