Well, this is innovative! Very rarely can an auto show launch be synced with the availability of the actual road cars.
The rare exception is when deposits are taken by executives — and even then, usually only in cases where the public floods the auto show stands with checks in hand. Even these cash buyers have to wait months to actually take delivery.
And even in the deposit or cash-sale scenario, it is exceptionally rare. The Citroen DS in 1955. The Ford Mustang in Queens, New York at the World’s Fair 50 years ago exactly. A few Ferrari and Lamborghini models.
But Nissan will break the deadlock with its new budget sedan prince: the Versa Sedan. It debuts and goes on sale to the public the same day, April 16th.
Will there be a mad rush on dealer lots, girls pulling their hair out and screaming like The Beatles just walked on stage?
Probably not. But significant improvements all the same. For those who consciously block cars like this from their mind, the Versa Note debuted as a 2014 model year, but the humdrum sedan version soldiered on without the latest refresh.
The Versa starts at a barely-fathomable $12,000 — with a large-car interior that is a far cry from the Chevy Spark or other poverty-spec models typically shunted at unwilling buyers in this segment.
Four trims are offered, but most will be smart to upgrade to the Xtronic CVT, which is an upgrade versus the cost-leader four-speed auto and five-speed manual.
So you want big-car space, new-car warranty and fresh tech from a compact sedan? Act fast: the supplies are sure to grow slim by the end of the day on April 16th at Nissan dealers nationwide.
If so, don’t fret: more are en route for the 17th of April — and every day after that — where the Versa will re-stake its claim as the lowest-price car in America.
NISSAN ANNOUNCES NEW 2015 VERSA SEDAN, SET FOR DEBUT AT NEW YORK INTERNATIONAL AUTO SHOW ON APRIL 16TH
Features updated exterior appearance with “Nissan family” front end styling for a more substantial presence
Interior enhancements deliver a refined, more contemporary appearance; Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System now standard on all models
New content added to S, S Plus and SV grades, revised SL Tech Package features NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps
Goes on sale April 16th with the lowest starting MSRP* in the United States** of $11,990 USD
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Nissan today revealed photography and details of the new 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan, the best-selling vehicle for four years in a row*** in the highly competitive sub-compact segment. The 2015 Versa Sedan makes its debut next Wednesday, April 16th at the New York International Auto Show – the same day it arrives at Nissan dealers nationwide. The enhancements for the 2015 model year include new front and rear fascias, a range of interior refinements, and new grade level and packaging content.
“Versa Sedan is the entry point for the dynamic Nissan sedan lineup, attracting many first-time new car buyers to the brand,” said Pierre Loing, vice president, Product Planning, Nissan North America, Inc. “It’s critical that we keep Versa’s look and feel fresh and its value equation high, with a rewarding driving and ownership experience.”
Most prominent of the changes is the bold new front end treatment anchored by larger headlights, a more substantial looking fascia and standard chrome plating on the grille – all of which strengthen the family ties of the Versa Sedan with the Nissan stable mates – Sentra, Altima and Maxima.
The list of exterior upgrades also includes a new fog light finisher design, new side mirror designs for SV and SL trim levels (with integrated turn signals for SL), and a more dynamic rear fascia design. A new, Versa Sedan-exclusive 15-inch V-spoke aluminum-alloy wheel design is also available with SV models.
Versa Sedan again offers five-passenger practicality with a high degree of comfort and refinement. Interior enhancements for the 2015 model year include a new center stack shape, which is similar to that found on the sporty Versa Note, a revised meter display with white LED display (previously orange illumination color) and a new, more substantial, steering wheel with standard audio and Bluetooth® Hands-free Phone System controls.
Versa Sedan S and S Plus grades feature a wide AM/FM/CD audio system with standard auxiliary-in and Radio Data System (RDS), standard assist grips, a passenger-side vanity mirror and new seat fabric. “Like the exterior changes, the interior refinements provide a more substantial, higher quality look and feel,” added Loing.
All 2015 Versa Sedans continue to provide a roomy interior volume of 90.2 cubic feet, with more rear legroom than many mid-size sedans. Trunk volume measures 14.9 cubic feet. A 60/40-split fold-down rear seat is standard on SV and SL models for even greater cargo versatility.
The NissanConnectSM with Navigation and Mobile Apps system, which is offered as part of the SL Technology Package, includes a 5.8-inch color touch-screen display, Nissan Voice Recognition for audio and navigation, SiriusXM Traffic and SiriusXM Travel Link (SiriusXM subscription required, sold separately).
The 2015 Versa Sedan utilizes Nissan’s global lightweight “V” platform and is powered by a 1.6-liter HR16DE 4-cylinder engine rated at 109 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 107 lb-ft of torque at 4,400 rpm. The 1.6-liter engine is matched with a choice of three transmissions – a 5-speed manual transmission or 4-speed automatic (S models only), or a next-generation Xtronic transmission with D-mode step shift programming.
Fuel economy for the 2015 Versa Sedan is rated at 31 mpg city, 40 mpg highway and 35 mpg combined with the Xtronic transmission. Versa Sedan models equipped with the 5-speed manual offers 27 mpg city, 36 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined, while the 4-speed automatic-equipped models are rated at 26 mpg city, 35 mpg highway and 30 mpg combined.
The 2015 Nissan Versa Sedan is available in four well-equipped models – Versa Sedan S (offered in 5MT and 4AT versions), Versa Sedan S Plus (Xtronic only), Versa Sedan SV (Xtronic only) and Versa Sedan SL (Xtronic only).
Tom Burkart is the founder and managing editor of Car-Revs-Daily.com, an innovative and rapidly-expanding automotive news magazine.
He holds a Journalism JBA degree from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Tom currently resides in Charleston, South Carolina with his two amazing dogs, Drake and Tank.
Mr. Burkart is available for all questions and concerns by email Tom(at)car-revs-daily.com.