All-new 2012 Nissan Versa coming this summer

Andross Moonah - CAP staff
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Nissan has recently announced the latest generation of its popular Versa sedan, which will be available as a 2012 model this summer. The Versa competes with well-established rivals such as the Chevrolet Aveo, Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Suzuki Sprint+ and Toyota Yaris, as well as a healthy crop of newcomers like the Ford Fiesta, Mazda2 and the Scion xD. In response to this challenge, the Versa delivers several improvements over the current model.

In terms of design, the new Versa has similar proportions to today's model, but the styling is much improved. The 2012 Versa has curvaceous body panels that flow harmoniously across the entire length of the vehicle. The front styling is also improved with eye-catching headlights and an attractive signature grille design.

The 2012 Versa is also shapelier on the inside. In comparison to the current Versa's rather blocky looking dashboard, the new one is more elegant in its design execution. Overall, the 2012 Versa's interior is more modern and up to date, more on par with the offerings from Nissan's competition. The interior is even touted to have more rear legroom than a Lexus LS 460, BMW 5-series, or Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

Powering the 2012 Versa is a 1.6-litre four cylinder gasoline engine that features a dual injector system with Continuous Valve Timing Control (CVTC). The engine produces 109 horsepower and 107 pound-feet of torque. Transmission choices include a five-speed manual gearbox or second-generation Xtronic CVT automatic transmission, which features Adaptive Shift Control.

Fuel economy with the CVT transmission is estimated to be the equivalent of 7.8 L/100km in the city and 6.4 L/100km on the highway. The five-speed manual transmission gets an estimated 8.7 and 6.5 respectively.

The 2012 Nissan Versa will be offered in three trim levels in the U.S. (Canadian specs are not yet available) including the 1.6 S, the 1.6 SV, and the 1.6 SL. The S model includes many standard features and comes with either a manual or automatic transmission. The SV adds other features, some of which include cruise control, power windows, and exterior accents, and is available with only the CVT transmission. Lastly, the SL includes notable upgrades such as 15-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, a Bluetooth phone system, plus USB and Apple iPod connectivity with an upgraded audio system. The SL is also available with the CVT transmission only.

Nissan's U.S. division says the 2012 Versa will start at a manufacturer's suggested retail price (MSRP) of $10,990 USD, whereas the Canadian model will start closer to the current 2011 Versa Sedan's entry price of $12,898, plus $1,397 for destination charges. The new Versa will be sold throughout North America starting this summer.

"Compact cars are getting a lot of attention lately due to rising fuel costs and concerns about the environment. Yet many buyers are disappointed in what they find – vehicles rife with compromise," said Vice President and General Manager of Nissan Division, Nissan North American, Inc. Al Castignetti. "This new Versa Sedan, a 'clean sheet' ground-up design, takes small cars in a whole new direction – proving that you don't have to sacrifice style for affordability, interior roominess for a smaller footprint, or drivability for high mpg."
©(Copyright Canadian Auto Press)

Topics: Sedan, Nissan, 2012, Versa, $10,000 - $19,999, Subcompact,

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