By on March 23, 2011

Like much of the automotive media, we were under the impression that Nissan was replacing its Versa/Tiida with the new Nissan Sunny model that recently debuted in China. The first cracks in that theory started to appear when we saw an updated Versa with a 1.6 DIG Turbo badge on its intact rear hatch. Now, thanks to, we have our first look at the rest of the new Versa. The new model keeps the Versa’s big-box appeal, while updating the look for a more sleek, modern aesthetic. It’s a restrained, conservative look, but then the current Versa dominates its segment despite its downright dowdy styling. As long as this new model keeps the Versa’s giant interior space (it’s a B-Segment car with EPA midsize-rated interior volume), its updated styling (and the option of the Juke’s delightful little direct-injected turbo engine) should keep the Versa at the top of its segment.

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23 Comments on “What’s Wrong With This Picture: Risk A-Versa Edition...”

  • avatar

    I like this. It kills any desire I have for the Juke- more room, lower centre of gravity and better looks.
    And I never believed that the Sunny could effectively replace the Versa.

  • avatar

    If the price range holds, it still looks to be one of the most practical true four seater hatches on the market.
    By the way, those alloy rims look quite spiffy.

  • avatar

    Is the car actually lower than the present Versa, or is it an optical illusion created by the car succumbing to Disappearing Greenhouse Syndrome?
    From what I can see it looks sharp, but it does appear the belt line has been hiked up a bit.

  • avatar

    The Juke continues to grow on me, but that’s a niche vehicle for more daring types. A good chunk of Versa buyers want a roomy, comfortable appliance, and this next Versa should continue to deliver.

    It’s interesting how Toyota is able to dominate with the Camry and Corolla, but in this segment, Nissan beats Toyota at their own game (and everyone else for that matter). It isn’t even a contest at this point. A Yaris is a rare sight (the five-door, even rarer), but the Versa is ubiquitous.

    Automakers who make B-segment cars with no room inside won’t sell a lot of them, period. It’s why the Fiesta won’t dethrone the Versa, and neither will the new Rio, Accent, or Sonic, if they get too cute with the rooflines.

  • avatar

    Looks good. Like the color too, so sick of silver and grey.

  • avatar

    My first impression upon seeing the Versa photo is that it reminds me of a more serious Mazda3.

  • avatar

    Maybe it’s just the camera angle, but it looks like they grafted on an Altima nose but forgot to reduce it to the correct 7/8 scale.    Still a big improvement, though.

  • avatar

    +1 CraigSu.

    Mazda3 for sure, also a dead ringer for the lustable (for those who’s heart aches for a hatch/hybrid/livable interior) Lexus CT 200h.

    Didn’t like the headlights on the Z, still don’t like them here though.

    All in all, prolly won’t be that bad (i.e. driveable).

  • avatar

    Agree this looks good, add the Juke’s turbo and you’ve got a really fun car I bet. Ditch the last two doors and things would get even more entertaining.
    Also to mjz point – when will the sea of silver / grey cars end? Along with black and white its just so BORING. However I’m guilty as charged: we own a white(ish) car, a silver truck (ease of cleaning) but offset it with a blue car. My next car will hopefully be orange, but I refuse to get silver, white or black.

  • avatar

    I don’t see the improvement, unless you want to imagine you’re driving a swoopy sports car. I’ve rented two Versa hatches, and the sloping roof reduced the utility of the hatch opening. This version makes the opening even less useful, especially to someone over 5’9″, and makes the rear window useless.  Maybe the utility of the hatch makes the dowdy version sell well. I can’t really applaud the front end treatment either, since it doesn’t result in any more room under the hood. It’s just more “pedestrian friendly”.  You can accomplish that with a loud horn that scares ’em back on the sidewalk where they belong.
    It’s obvious that sloping rear styling is winning out over utility and just daring the gov’ment to mandate backup cameras, while existing standards for pedestrians are already producing a sameness in the front. Once the backup cameras are mandatory, the hatch will be reduced to the size of a trunk lid.  Somebody’s idea of “stylish” is ruining an economical two box utility vehicle.

    • 0 avatar

      Once backup cameras are mandatory I can see the Kammback making a comeback.  I would welcome that change but would prefer that cameras not be involved.

  • avatar

    Much improved, kind of reminds me of the new Lexus hybrid whats-it.

  • avatar

    Looks good – although, I wonder when the trend for ginormous headlights will finally be over.  I mean those have got to be a fortune to replace, right?  That might be more palatable in other segments…

  • avatar

    Hey, I think it’s pretty sharp. As OldandSlow said, if the price sticks, Nissan might have a winner on their hands. I wonder if the turbo will be available with a manual transmission.

  • avatar

    I just can’t believe that Vince Burlapp is still around.

  • avatar

    I’ve sat in the new Accent had around the same rear legroom as the present Versa. New Accent is larger than the present and more Mazda 3ish in style.

    Lets hope the Nissan engineers improve the Versa handling and don’t carry over the mysterious front end/steering clunk. And Nissan lets get 21stC and have all-wheel disc brakes standard on your small cars per Ford & Hyundai.

  • avatar

    leading?  Versa?  I am shocked, I hated it.  Engine sound, suspension, steering, all of it.  1995 Sentra was a sweet car though.

  • avatar
    John R

    If Nissan can offer a Juke engine option in this thing with 17-inch alloys then the Sentra SE-R can hit the bricks.

  • avatar
    Vance Torino

    Ooo, I hope they keep the strangely soft, squishy seats and the vaguely French handling characteristics…
    I drove a rented Versa to Key West from Columbus, O. (shout out to homeboy Baruth!)
    So luxurious compared to the cinderblock-on-the-floor seats in my old Civic…

  • avatar

    So what is the speculation on when this will arrive in showrooms here in the US of A?
    Same question re: the new Accent someone mentioned up above?

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