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First Drive: 2012 Nissan Versa

by on Jul.13, 2011

Nissan comes up with a complete remake of the Versa sedan for 2012.

With a starting price of just $10,990, the 2012 remake of the Nissan Versa sedan will clearly catch the attention of those on a tight budget.  And in this economy, there are a lot of folks who qualify.  Stealing a march on its Korean rivals, the Japanese maker’s smallest 4-door actually comes in significantly cheaper than comparably equipped offerings from Hyundai and Kia.

Anyone familiar with the Nissan Versa nameplate knows that has long been a big selling point – but a low cost often has its price, the prior generation requiring buyers to accept significant sacrifices in terms of room, performance and creature comforts.

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The good news is that the all-new 2012 Nissan Versa sedan no longer demands such concessions.  Based on the Japanese maker’s new global V platform, the latest iteration proves unexpectedly roomy, far better equipped and is a lot more fun to drive.  It also gets significantly better fuel economy, though it does not meet the magic 40 mpg highway target that some key competitors are unabashedly promoting at every opportunity.

There will be two Versas for 2012, buyers need note.  The hatchback, which has traditional accounted for almost two-thirds of Nissan’s subcompact sales, won’t get a re-make for another year.  The big news for the upcoming model-year is the redesign of the sedan.