Introducing the 2012 Nissan Versa

Unconventionally conventional

Interior

Cabin tech

1.6-liter engine

Pure Drive

Fuel economy

Where's the hatchback?

Spacious

Pricing

Nissan chairman Carlos Tavares presented the 2012 Nissan Versa at the 2011 New York auto show.

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Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Nissan's new Versa is the latest in a line of what the automaker refers to as "unconventional vehicles." Compared to the likes of the Juke and the Cube, the Versa looks pretty conventional to our eyes.

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Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
Inside, the Versa sports a dashboard that resembles a toned-down version of the pod styling of the Nissan Cube's cabin.

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Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
The next Versa will be available with navigation with traffic, satellite radio, USB and iPod integration, and Bluetooth connectivity. We hope that Bluetooth and USB will be standard, but we're fairly sure they'll be additional cost options.

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Under the sedan's hood lives a version of Nissan's 1.6-liter four-cylinder, outputting 109 horsepower and sending 107 pound-feet of torque through a CVT and to the front wheels.

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The 2012 Versa will also be the first vehicle in Nissan's line to wear the new Pure Drive badge, which designates vehicles that place an emphasis on eco-friendly driving and low emissions.

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With its new engine and a net weight savings of 150 pounds over the previous generation, Nissan estimates that its Versa will return 30 mpg in the city and 37 mpg on the highway. That's up 5 mpg from last year but falls just short of the magic 40 mpg mark that most automakers in this segment seem to be aiming for.

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Only the sedan variant was shown, but we expect to see a Versa-badged version of Nissan's Tiida hatchback soon.

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Nissan has gone to much effort to increase the size of the Versa without growing out of its class. The automaker now claims that the Versa boasts more legroom than a BMW 5-series.

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The 2012 Versa 1.6 S will start at $10,990 when it goes on sale later this year.

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Caption by / Photo by Sarah Tew/CNET
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