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2012 Nissan Versa: Dirt-Cheap Compact Unveiled At 2011 NY Auto Show


Nissan looks to stick to its bragging point as offering the least-expensive compact car in the market with the introduction of the 2012 Nissan Versa at the 2011 New York Auto Show. How cheap is it? Some call it dirt-cheap, and at just $10,990, that descriptor seems accurate.

The new front-wheel drive global V-platform (where V stands for “versatile”) five-passenger Versa will be available in three models: 1.6 S, 1.6 SV, and 1.6 SL. Sales begin this summer.

2012 Nissan Versa sedan launch, New York Auto Show, April 2011

2012 Nissan Versa sedan launch, New York Auto Show, April 2011

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Under the hood is a tiny 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine making 109 horsepower and 107 pounds-feet of torque. That may seem small, but it is 5 mpg over the 2011 model. Nissan says this is good for an estimated 33 mpg city, 37 mpg highway and 33 mpg combined fuel economy with next-generation Xtronic CVT transmission (27/36/30 with five-speed manual gearbox).

The automaker says the new Versa will be the first Nissan in the U.S. to carry the PUREDRIVE designation. PUREDRIVE is for vehicles utilizing Nissan’s most advanced technologies to promote eco-friendly driving and lower CO2 emissions.

Standard equipment includes electric power steering, power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes, anti-lock braking system (ABS) with electronic brake force distribution, full complement of airbags, vehicle dynamic control, traction control, and tire pressure monitoring system.

Other available features include Bluetooth, navigation system with five-inch touch-screen display, satellite radio, iPod/USB interface, trip computer, speed-sensing auto door locks, steering wheel-mounted audio controls, power windows with driver’s one-touch down, and remote trunk opener.

The automaker says the new 2012 Versa retains the 107.4-inch wheelbase and 66.7-inch width of the previous model but is 1.2 inches lower (59.6 inches) and 0.6 inches shorter in overall length (175.4 inches). Interior volume is 90.0 cubic feet and there’s 14.8 cubic feet of volume in the trunk. Nissan says the new Versa has more rear legroom than some mid-size sedans – including luxury cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E-Class, BMW 5-Series and Lexus LS460.

The 2012 Nissan Versa may not capture any awards in the stunning design department, but the four-door compact certainly will attract price-conscious shoppers looking for an inexpensive second or commuter car for the family or a safe and economical third car for the teen driver in the household.

Read more coverage on the introduction of the 2012 Nissan Versa direct from the floor of the 2011 New York Auto Show in MotorAuthority.

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