Last summer, a redesigned 2012 Nissan Versa sedan launched on the automaker’s new global V-platform, but the next generation of the Versa hatchback has yet to be introduced. That will likely change during the next year or so, as Nissan recently unveiled the Japan- and Europe-bound Note subcompact, saying that the car has design cues that are also planned for the future Versa hatchback.
Like the 2012 Versa sedan, both the new Nissan Note and Versa hatchback will be built on the lighter, more versatile V-platform. Meanwhile, styling on the new Note that could make its way onto the Versa hatchback includes a swooping side character line called the Squash Line, as well as an instrument panel design that resembles the look of ripples in sand. Though the upcoming Versa hatchback could mirror much of the aerodynamic exterior of the Note, it is expected to get its own unique features designed specifically for the North and South American markets.
“From the look of things, the new Versa hatchback will have modern styling that belies its price tag, as well as a spacious feel that is missing in most subcompacts,” said Jeff Rosen, general manager of Rosen Nissan Milwaukee, a Wisconsin Nissan dealer. “We also expect it to feature intuitive new technology that would usually be reserved for pricier segments.”
Even with a redesign for the Versa hatchback on the way, Nissan continues to upgrade the nameplate’s new sedan model. When it goes on sale this fall, the 2013 Versa sedan will be capable of achieving 40 mpg on the highway, thanks to the availability of a new continuously variable transmission. Buyers will now also be able to opt for a backup camera should they need assistance with tight city parking spots.
Those upcoming changes to the Versa sedan will supplement the existing updates that came as part of the car’s 2012-model-year redesign, updates which included a more spacious and refined interior. With its V-platform using 20-percent fewer parts and cutting 150 pounds from the prior model’s underpinnings, the latest Nissan Versa sedan also produces a much smoother and more fuel-efficient ride.
Through the first half of 2012, the Nissan Versa sedan and hatchback sold more than any other subcompact, moving 60,919 units in the United States. With a share of more than 22 percent in its segment, the Versa easily topped competitors like the Honda Fit, Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta.
“The Versa has sold so well because it brings unexpected levels of comfort while still delivering on the things that are expected in a subcompact, like fuel efficiency and practicality,” added Rosen. “Those characteristics are only going to become more pronounced with the new tweaks to the sedan and the next-generation hatchback in the works.”