New Nissan Versa: Sunny, With A Chance Of Hatchbacks

Edward Niedermeyer
by Edward Niedermeyer
new nissan versa sunny with a chance of hatchbacks

We’ve been wondering whether Nissan would be bringing both a sedan version of its new Versa (sold abroad as the Nissan Sunny) and a hatchback version (sold abroad as the Tiida) to the US market, and now we know: The “Sunny” sedan will be sold here as the Versa sedan starting this summer as a 2012 model, while a hatchback version (possibly different than the Chinese version we’ve seen) is still a good year out.

Pricing will remain on the low end, with abase MSRP of $10,990, though interior volume is down slightly, from 94.7/17.8 (passenger/luggage) to 90/14.8 and its platform is 150 lbs lighter than its predecessor. The new 1.6 engine makes 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm, returning 37/33 MPG with CVT, 27/36 with manual. And here’s the strange part: though Nissan refers to the Versa as a “compact,” a new Sentra is still planned for sometime in the next 18 months. Between a new Micra, the Versa sedan and hatches and a new Sentra to boot (not to mention the compact Leaf EV), Nissan seems to be going all-in on small cars.

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  • Banger Banger on Apr 21, 2011

    This sedan version looks somewhat better than the current Versa sedan on sale in North America. Still frumpy, however. And it loses some of that legendary interior space? Bad move, IMO. Like others have said, this is what sold a lot of Versas. Maybe it's Nissan trying to clear a space for a future Sentra redesign that will make it the crossover segment-buster the Versa used to be (compact outside, midsize inside), though that's a lot of wishful thinking for Sentra fans and Nissan alike, if I'm honest. I don't think foisting sedans on a public that clearly wants hatchbacks is a good idea, either. Maybe they're hoping (but why?) that people will buy more sedans if they release the updated sedan first and delay release of the hatch. Does the hatch cost more to build or something? I mean, this is exactly what enthusiasts talk about but seldom do ("make it in a hatch, and I'll buy it!") Why would you try to push those avid fans of your hatchback Versa into a sedan instead, only to have them possibly disappointed with the whole affair? Application of the Juke's 1.6 would be interesting, even without the turbo, but that engine probably would not looked upon so fondly by folks who had the first-gen Versa base engine, which was also a 1.6. They'd need to do some good marketing to make it clear this is a new (and much better) engine.

  • Sector 5 Sector 5 on Apr 22, 2011

    Back again for more ewwwwll, dowdy little frump of a car. Can you see the driver enthusiast going for this? Ugly door mirrors with all that black plastic and that cheapo interior seems to lack a comfy centre armrest. A sound ladies commuter/grocery go getter that won't see a Golf owner trading anytime soon. Still this little dowdy will doubtless prove very reliable, run for years without needing significant parts and won't burn a hole in the pocket.

  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.