2011 New York Auto ShowJust the Facts:
- The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan debuted on Wednesday at the 2011 New York Auto Show, still hanging on to its title of cheapest car in America despite a price hike.
- There will be only one engine choice for the 2012 Versa: a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine.
- The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan goes on sale this summer. A Versa hatchback model will "follow at some stage," Nissan told Inside Line.
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan will start at $11,750, including a $760 destination charge. The 2011 Nissan Versa sedan started at $10,750, including destination. The 2012 Versa sedan goes on sale this summer. A Versa hatchback model will "follow at some stage," Nissan told Inside Line.
When asked by Inside Line if Nissan was determined to retain the cheapest car in America title with the 2012 Versa sedan, David P. Reuter, Nissan Americas vice president of corporate communications, replied in an e-mailed message: "We're committed to having the most car for the money title."
Earlier, Hyundai told Inside Line it was walking away from the fight over such a title with its redesigned Accent.
The 2012 Nissan Versa sedan limits the options for buyers in terms of engines. Gone is the 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine. Instead, the 2012 Versa sedan can only be ordered with a second-generation 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower. Transmission choices are a five-speed manual transmission or a continuously variable transmission (CVT). Nissan said fuel economy is estimated at 30 mpg city and 37 mpg highway with the CVT-equipped Versa sedan.
By dumping the 1.8-liter-engine Versa sedan, Nissan deletes a more expensive model from the lineup. The 2011 Versa 1.8 S started at $14,860, including a $760 destination charge. The automaker also got rid of a less fuel-efficient model. The EPA said the 2011 Versa with a 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine returns 28 mpg in city driving and 34 mpg on the highway.
Nissan said the 2012 Versa sedan uses the new front-wheel-drive global "V" platform and weighs around 150 pounds less than the previous "B" platform. It still rides on the same 102.4-inch wheelbase, but the new model is 1.2 inches lower in height and slightly shorter in overall length. Nissan said the biggest gain comes in trunk length.
Nissan said it was going for a more "sculpted" look with the Versa sedan redesign. Exterior cues include body-color front and rear fascias and an optional chrome-accented grille.
Standard equipment on the 2012 Versa includes electric power steering and antilock brakes.
The Versa sedan will be offered in three models: Versa Sedan 1.6 S, Versa Sedan 1.6 SV and Versa Sedan 1.6 SL.
Edmunds.com says: The 2012 Nissan Versa is the cheapest of the small cars to invade the 2011 New York Auto Show. — Anita Lienert, Correspondent