The Nissan Versa is offered in hatchback and sedan body styles and is an all-new product for the nameplate in 2007. It competes in the fast-growing Compact Basic segment that will see new entries from virtually every manufacturer, import and domestic. The hatchback went on sale in the summer of 2006, and the sedan followed in late 2006. The Versa sells for around $12,000.
Now that the average price of a new vehicle is more than $20,000 and gas prices continue to remain high, buyers are looking for low-priced, fuel-efficient alternatives. Manufacturers are responding in force with entry-level hatchbacks and sedans, and Nissan's new Versa fits the bill well. It has been placed down-market from the Sentra in terms of price and equipment, but offers buyers the fuel economy they're looking for, with an estimated combined 38 mpg when equipped with the Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT). The CVT provides infinite gear ratios, so there's no shift feel. The benefit is continuous acceleration that makes the Versa's 120-hp and 125 pounds-ft. of torque 1.8L four-cylinder feel more powerful than the specifications would suggest. There will be two other transmissions available with this powerplant.
The Versa is built on Nissan's "B" platform, and was named for its focus on "versatile space." The Versa is also sold in Mexico, China, and Japan, where small cars are more popular due to lack of parking space and traffic congestion. The Versa's claim to fame is its spacious cabin for both front and rear passengers, as well as a generous cargo area. The interior is more than six feet in length (front to back). Nissan claims the front seats in the Versa are as large as those in its Maxima sedan. And just because a vehicle is small doesn't mean buyers must suffer from a lack of amenities. Nissan says the Versa offers a long list of standard and available features, including a Bluetooth hands-free phone system, satellite radio, and a Rockford Fosgate subwoofer for the audio system. Outside, the Versa features large taillamps, short front and rear overhangs, a long roofline, and the signature Nissan grille for brand identification.
The Nissan Versa competes in the Compact Basic segment, which consists of nine models. Buyers in this segment look for fuel economy, reliability, and low maintenance costs, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2006 Avoider StudySM and the Escaped Shopper Study.SM
The top sellers in the segment during calendar year 2006, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report,SM were the Toyota Yaris (70,308 units sold), Chevrolet Aveo (58,244), and Hyundai Accent (34,735). The Nissan Versa sold 22,044 units in 2006 in its first year on the market. Other models offered in the Compact Basic segment include the Scion xA, Kia Rio, Honda Fit, and Suzuki Aerio and Reno.
|1.8S (M6)||6 speed manual||$12,550||122-hp / 1.8L 4-cyl||30/34|
|1.8SL (M6)||6 speed manual||$14,550||122-hp / 1.8L 4-cyl||30/34|