As fuel prices are rising again, Nissan’s new 2012 Versa sedan is expected to benefit from the attention that consumers will be giving small cars. Just like the previous model of the Versa sedan, the new model boasts of offering a good value as it has a starting price of only $10,990. But Nissan wants its entry-level model to surpass its rivals. The 2012 Versa will get navigation with a five-inch touch screen, satellite radio, Bluetooth, and an iPod/USB interface. In addition, Nissan made it more efficient by switching to a new front-wheel-drive global "V" platform.
The new chassis is 150 pounds lighter than the previous "B" platform of the outgoing car even if they have the same 102.4-inch wheelbase. This is due to a 20% reduction in components used. The wheelbase dimension is the same but the interior was redesigned to have more rear legroom that is bigger than some of its luxury models like the BMW 5-series, the Lexus LS 460, and the Mercedes-Benz E-class. Nissan said that its designers made revisions to even the tiniest details, such as in the trunk, hinge size and the sidewalls’ shape, so that the space can be maximized.
When it comes to the powertrain, Nissan made major changes to the 1.6-liter I4, which now comes with two streamlined injectors per cylinder and twin continuously variable valve timing to raise efficiency. As a result, the new Versa has an output of 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. Consumers can choose from either a five-speed manual or a continuously variable transmission. For the manual, the fuel economy ratings are estimated at 27/36 mpg city/highway. Meanwhile, the CVT has ratings of 30/37 mpg city/highway.