The Nissan Versa enters its fifth year of production on a roll. Along with an extensive slate of exterior, interior and content enhancements last year, the stylish and roomy Versa Sedan and Hatchback added an impressive list of 2010 awards -- including being named a Consumers Digest "Best Buy" for the fourth straight year*, as well as being chosen as a Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) Top Safety Pick**. The 2010 Versa was also named a "Top 10 Least Expensive Vehicles to Own" by ForbesAutos.com***.
For 2011, Versa returns essentially unchanged -- once again delivering an exceptional combination of value, fuel economy, roominess, an impressive array of available technology and fun-to-drive performance. The enhancements for 2011 include a new 6-disc CD player for the Sedan 1.8 S and the addition of Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) for the Versa Sedan 1.6 (except 1.6 Base).
"While Versa has again been noted for its value, safety and low cost of ownership, it is equally impressive in terms of pure driving pleasure -- offering outstanding performance, roominess, style and quality," said Al Castignetti, vice president and general manager, Nissan Division, Nissan North America, Inc. "With its wide range of models and available features such as navigation, Nissan Intelligent Key and Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, Versa is not your typical entry-level vehicle. It?s a great choice for buyers looking for big enjoyment in a compact package."
The front-wheel drive Versa again features one of the highest standard horsepower/torque ratings (Versa 1.8 models) and one of the largest interiors in the entry-level segment. Versa also offers one of the lowest priced new vehicle models available in the United States, the high-value Versa Sedan 1.6 Base with a 107-horsepower 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine and 5-speed manual transmission.
The Versa Sedan 1.6 is also available with additional standard features and a 4-speed automatic transmission.
The 2011 Versa Hatchback and Sedan 1.8 S and 1.8 SL models are equipped with a 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine. Versa Sedan 1.8 S models are offered with a choice of 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmissions. The Sedan 1.8 SL is offered only with the 4-speed automatic, while the Hatchback 1.8 SL is available exclusively with Nissan's advanced Xtronic CVT transmission.
Two Distinctive Body Styles, Two Engine Choices
The 2011 Nissan Versa is available in 5-door Hatchback and 4-door Sedan body configurations. Versa's crisp, youthful body forms and long rooflines suggest both the roominess inside and Versa's performance capabilities.
The exterior of the Versa Hatchback and Sedan, with their long 102.4-inch wheelbases and short front and rear overhangs, feature a dynamic look and attention to detail, as seen in the large halogen headlights, signature Nissan grille and large taillights. The Versa exteriors also feature body-color front and rear bumpers and body-color dual remote-controlled outside mirrors (except 1.6). Versa has a coefficient of drag of 0.31.
Versa Hatchback 1.8 SL models add a higher level of performance styling with a roof-mounted rear spoiler, lower body side sill extensions, unique front and rear fascia and fog lights.
The 2011 Versa is available in 10 exterior colors: Red Alert, Metallic Blue, Blue Onyx, Espresso Black, Brilliant Silver, Magnetic Gray, Super Black, Red Brick, Fresh Powder and Arctic Blue.
Along with two body styles, the 2011 Versa offers a choice of two engines -- the 1.6-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan 1.6 Base, Sedan 1.6) or more powerful 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine (Sedan 1.8 S, Sedan 1.8 SL, Hatchback 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 SL).
Horsepower and torque ratings are 107 horsepower/111 lb-ft and 122 horsepower/127 lb-ft for the 1.6-liter and 1.8-liter engines respectively. Both engines combine responsive power with excellent fuel economy.
Four transmissions are offered -- a 5-speed manual (Sedan 1.6 Base), 6-speed manual (Sedan 1.6, Sedan 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 S), an electronically controlled 4-speed automatic with overdrive (optional Sedan 1.6, Sedan, 1.8 S, Hatchback 1.8 S), and Xtronic CVT transmission (Hatchback 1.8 SL only).
Fuel economy for the Versa Sedan 1.6 is rated at 26 mpg City/34 mpg Highway (equipped with the 5-speed manual transmission). Nissan Versas equipped with the 122-horsepower 1.8-liter DOHC 4-cylinder engine are rated at 28 mpg City/34 mpg Highway with the Continuously Variable Transmission; 24 mpg City/32 mpg highway with the 4-speed automatic transmission; and 26 mpg City/31 mpg Highway with the 6-speed manual transmission.
All 2011 Versas are equipped with an independent MacPherson strut front suspension and torsion beam rear suspension, with front and rear stabilizer bars. Other standard equipment includes Electric Power Steering and power-assisted front disc/rear drum brakes. An Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake force Distribution (EBD) and Brake Assist (BA) is now standard on all Versa 1.8 S, 1.8 SL and 1.6 models, except the 1.6 Base model (optional).
Versa 1.6 models come with 14-inch wheels and P185/65R14 Bridgestone all-season tires, while Versa 1.8 S models feature 15-inch wheels and P185/65HR15 Continental all-season tires. Versa 1.8 SL models offer standard 6-spoke 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels. Optional 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels with Continental P195/55R16 all-season tires are offered on Hatchback 1.8 SL models to complement the sport-styled exterior.
A Comfortable, Flexible Interior
In Versa, Nissan's design and engineering teams found a way to fit a large interior in a compact car. Interior length, front to back, is more than six feet. Both the Versa Hatchback and Versa Sedan have large cargo areas, ideal for owners with highly active lives.
Versa Hatchback models feature a 60/40 split fold-down rear bench that allows for a wider spectrum of passenger/cargo space combinations (also available on Versa Sedan 1.8 SL).
Along with a spacious cabin, Versa offers a clean, simple, high quality interior design and excellent craftsmanship. Comfort is a priority for all passengers. The wide, laterally oriented instrument panel underscores Versa's width, while the low center console flows freely toward the rear, giving a sense of the interior's length. Versa gauges feature an attractive "dimensional" appearance and white illumination. Interior illumination is a welcoming reddish orange color.
Both Sedan and Hatchback designs also integrate convenient storage solutions, including in the center console, glove compartment, front doors and an in-dash storage compartment.
The 2011 Versa comes with a long list of available technology, including available Nissan Intelligent Key, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription required, sold separately) and navigation system with XM NavTraffic Real-Time Traffic Information (XM subscription required, sold separately).
Standard Safety Features
Versa has received the highest ratings in the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) front-, side- and rear-impact evaluations, thanks in part to safety features including the Nissan Advanced Air Bag System (AABS) (includes dual-stage front supplemental air bags and front seat side-impact supplemental air bags for chest protection), and standard roof-mounted curtain side-impact air bags for front and rear outboard occupant head protection.
Additional safety features include standard LATCH (Lower Anchors and Tethers for CHildren) system, child safety rear door locks, child seat upper tether anchors, front seat Active Head Restraints and standard Tire Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS). Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) standard on 1.8 SL (optional for 1.8 S).
Models, Options and Manufacturing
The economical 2011 Versa 1.6, with one of the lowest available Manufacturers' Suggested Retail Prices (MSRP), offers a long list of standard features and equipment, including six air bags.
Versa 1.8 S models add upgraded interior cloth and trim, 120-watt AM/FM/CD audio system with auxiliary audio input jack, chrome decklid finisher, ABS and more. Versa SL models include aluminum-alloy wheels, woven cloth seats, front center armrest with soft pad, 60/40 split fold-down rear seats, Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC), Interface System for iPod and much more.
Available options packages include the Power Plus Package with power windows and door locks, remote keyless entry, cruise control and more; the Convenience Package, with Nissan Intelligent Key, Bluetooth Hands-free Phone System, leather-wrapped steering wheel and steering wheel-mounted audio control; and the Premium Package (Hatchback only), which adds 16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels to the contents of the Convenience Package. Other packages include the Navi/Sat Radio Package with navigation system and XM Satellite Radio (XM subscription required, sold separately); the Power Moonroof Package (Hatchback only), ABS (1.8 S) and VDC (1.8 S).
Versa is manufactured at Nissan's Aguascalientes, Mexico assembly plant that also builds Nissan Sentra models for the United States market.
* The 2010 Nissan Versa is winner of a Consumer Digest Best Buy Award.
** 2009 Top Safety Pick Award applies to 2010 model year. For more information, see www.iihs.org.
*** ForbesAutos.com, April 28, 2008.