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Posts Tagged ‘Nissan Versa’

Small Car Shoot-Out Heats Up with Updated Toyota Yaris

Subcompact hatchback gets a “new attitude.”

by on Jul.24, 2014

The 2015 Toyota Yaris goes for a more aggressive design to compete in a crowded segment.

There’s a big battle underway in the small car market, and Toyota has rearmed with a new version of the Yaris subcompact.

Coming to market in both three- and five-door hatchback versions, the 2015 Toyota Yaris is the Japanese giant’s newest model to opt for a more aggressive design than Toyota has traditionally been known for, the maker declaring the hatchbacks now have “a new attitude.”

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They’ll need it considering the increasing competition in the small car market from the likes of the recently restyled Nissan Versa and Honda Fit, never mind the domestic small cars that have begun gaining traction in a market long controlled by the Japanese, such as the Chevrolet Sonic and Ford Fiesta.

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Feds Investigating Nissan Versas, Dodge Rams

More than 600,000 cars subject to latest NHTSA query.

by on Jun.30, 2014

NHTSA is investigating 360,000 Nissan Versas from 2012-2014 for unintended acceleration issues.

Federal safety regulators continue to pressure automakers as they announced two separate investigations involving more than 600,000 Nissan Versas and Dodge Rams.

In the case of the Versa, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) is reviewing complaints that an interior trim panel is causing unintended acceleration. The query impacts 360,000 Versa, Versa sedans and Versa Notes from 2012 to 2014.

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According to the four complaints, the trim piece catches the edge of a driver’s shoe, trapping the foot and interfering with the ability to use the brakes. Nissan officials said the maker will cooperate with the investigation. (more…)

Nissan Versa Gets a Familiar New Look

2015 sedan’s facelift puts it in line with sedan siblings.

by on Apr.15, 2014

The 2015 Nissan Versa takes on the familiar styling of the rest of Nissan's sedan line-up.

The Nissan Versa sedan received a makeover for the 2015 model year and now the company’s starter vehicle looks like the rest of the line-up. The automaker said Versa’s new “‘Nissan family’ front-end styling adds a more substantial visual presence.”

“Versa Sedan is the entry point for the dynamic Nissan sedan lineup, attracting many first-time new car buyers to the brand,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc., in a statement.

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“It’s critical that we keep Versa’s look and feel fresh and its value equation high, with a rewarding driving and ownership experience.” (more…)

Nissan Sounds New Note with Sporty Versa SR

Maker expands variants for subcompact model.

by on Feb.07, 2014

Nissan introduced its new sporty Versa Note SR hoping to appeal to younger buyers.

Nissan sounded a new note when it redesigned its small hatchback for the 2014 model-year and now hopes young buyers will like the sound even more when its launches the sporty new Versa Note SR model for 2015.

The long-moribund subcompact segment has been flooded with all-new and updated products in recent years, and makers like Nissan have come to recognize that buyers – especially first-time Millennials – are no longer willing to settle for boring, stripped-down econoboxes.

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New models, such as the Nissan Versa Note – and competitors like the Ford Fiesta and new Honda Fit – are putting significantly more emphasis on styling, while also loading up with more features, improving performance and boosting mileage. (more…)

Nissan Versa Note Reveals New Direction for Subcompact Hatchback

Maker pitching new design, higher mileage, added features.

by on Jan.15, 2013

Nissan debuts the new hatchback version of the Versa at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show.

The Nissan Versa Note, which goes on sale at Nissan dealers in the United States in summer 2013, will offer a new look and several key innovations for buyers searching for an entry-level hatchback.

The subcompact segment in which the new Versa Note competes has become one of the most competitive in the industry and also one of the most robust as both young buyers looking for their first new vehicle and older buyers start to downsize. In addition, buyers sensitive to the price of fuel are also moving into the segment and Nissan has tried to capitalize on the trends by offering more utility in an affordable package.

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The little hatchback debuting at the North American International Auto Show boasts a new design direction — with a steeply sloped windshield and sculpted body panels — and features new technology for the entry segment, including the “Around View” Monitor, which fulfills Nissan’s broad effort to deliver “innovation” to all product segment.

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Kia Rio Wins Subcompact Sedan Shoot-Out

But Consumer Reports slams Toyota Yaris.

by on Mar.22, 2012

Strong praise for the Kia Rio from Consumer Reports.

Don’t call the new Kia Rio sedan a “penalty box.”  There was a time when that might have applied to subcompact sedans in general – and Korean-made products in particular – but a shoot-out among domestic and import small cars suggests the best of the subcompact segment deliver more than just a cheap price tag.

The Rio EX, in particular, made a strong impression on the folks at Consumer Reports, the non-profit publication rating the Korean subcompact best in an otherwise impressive class of sedans.  The Rio hatchback didn’t score quite as well, but still landed in the top three among a field that also includes the Honda Fit and Nissan Versa.

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Notably, CR some harsh and unexpected pot shots at the Toyota entry into the growing – and increasingly competitive – subcompact segment , suggesting the Japanese giant’s Yaris hatchback  “continues to underwhelm.”  Once dominant in the small car market, Toyota has been losing ground of late, and many industry analysts believe its decline is only tangentially related to last year’s Japanese earthquake and tsunami.

The challenge is keeping up with a segment that has improved dramatically in recent years.

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First Look: Nissan Invitation Concept

Geneva preview for sleek B-segment hatchback.

by on Feb.06, 2012

The Nissan Invitaton will debut in Geneva next month.

When Nissan said it was extending an invitation for the upcoming Geneva Motor Show we didn’t initially realize it had a double meaning.

Along with 10,000 other journalists, we’re on the list to attend the maker’s upcoming preview at PALExpo, where it will unveil the Nissan Invitation Concept, a slick little B-segment hatchback that likely provides a hint of where it’s going with its future subcompact 5-door family.

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Could this provide a hint of the next-generation hatchback version of the Versa – after the launch of the more sedate Versa sedan last year – or perhaps something entirely new?  A spokesman would only quote the official line: “Nissan will debut more than 20 new or redesigned models in the Americas in the next 24 months, with many exciting details to be provided in the coming months. Stay tuned.”

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Spy Shots: 2013 Nissan Altima

Fifth-generation sedan due late in 2012.

by on Dec.28, 2011

The 2013 Nissan Altima undergoing testing on Michigan roads. Credit: Jim Dunne, Car Spy.

We’ve been hearing lots, in recent months, about the problems faced by the “Japanese” as a result of the huge earthquake and tsunami that struck the country’s northeast coast last March.  While it’s true the industry was briefly sidelined, and while Toyota and Honda have struggled until recently due to production shortages, Japan’s number two automaker was quickly back in action and, if anything, the Nissan Altima sedan has been doing better than ever in recent months.

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That’s all the more impressive considering the current model isn’t exactly the newest offering in the hotly competitive midsize segment.  But Nissan has plans to build on the Altima’s current momentum with an all-new version that’s due to market a little less than a year from now carrying a 2013 designation.

Legendary spy photographer Jim Dunne captured this image of the next-gen, 2013 Nissan Altima out and about in the Detroit suburbs wearing minimal camouflage as it was put through some testing.

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Hatchbacks are Hot at Ford

Evos Concept suggests more coming, product chief Kuzak hints.

by on Sep.06, 2011

The face -- and backend -- of the future for Ford? The Evos Concept suggests even more hatchbacks are in the pipeline.

Hatchbacks are hot at Ford Motor Co. and the maker’s new Evos Concept – which officially debuts at the Frankfurt Motor Show next week – suggests that even more 3- and 5-door models are in the works, according to the maker’s head of global product planning.

Long considered unacceptable to U.S. motorists, hatchbacks are gaining ground fast with younger buyers and influencing even older motorists to take another look.  That convinced Ford to go with a 5-door design for the Evos Concept which introduces a new look that “will become increasingly familiar” to the company’s customers around the world,” said product czar Derrick Kuzak.

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“The (hatchback) body style is becoming increasingly popular worldwide and especially in North America,” Kuzak told TheDetroitBureau.com, in sharp contrast with years past.

Where hatchbacks were offered on past-generation Ford products sold in the U.S., said the product chief, they accounted for perhaps 20% of total sales.  Now, Kuzak noted, “It’s just the opposite,” hatchbacks generating 60 to 70% of demand for models like the 2012 Ford Focus and 2011 Ford Fiesta.

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A Hatchback Comeback?

No longer just econoboxes.

by on Jul.20, 2011

Redefining the hatchback, the new Audi A7

When Chicago’s Dee Brustein graduated college earlier this year, her parents chipped in to help her buy a new Ford Fiesta.  The one they had in mind was a sedan.  Dee, with her degree in engineering, wanted something that was both more practical and hip.  So she opted for the 5-door hatchback.

“They just couldn’t understand,” laughs the 22-year-old.  “They’re Boomers, and to them, hatchbacks aren’t cool.  But I think it looks nicer and it has a lot more room and that will help me because I figure I may wind up moving a few times as I start my career.”

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Hatchback or sedan?  That’s a debate a lot of folks are having these days, and not just on the consumer side.  Ford officials acknowledge they were originally unsure about offering a five-door body style when they introduced their first subcompact into the U.S. market in decades.  But so far, it’s proven unexpectedly popular, accounting for about half of all the Fiestas sold in the U.S. – and hatchbacks make up 41% of the sales for the larger, newly-redesigned Ford Focus.

Ford is anything but unique.

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