It's not very often that we find ourselves talking about Nissan's entry-point vehicle, the compact Versa, but the current generation, while a bit spartan for a tech car, is well-made and inexpensive. It's also due for replacement.
Late last year, Nissan released a sketch illustrating the design direction for the Versa's next iteration, and now Car and Driver reports on a hunch that the recently revealed Nissan Sunny sedan is our best bet for what to expect from a 2012 Versa, which Car and Driver expects to be announced at this year's New York auto show.
That was all speculation until earlier this week, when spy shots of the Nissan Tiida hatchback--which is what the Versa is called in some markets--were leaked to the Internet preceding the car's Shanghai auto show reveal. Rear badging visible in one of the shots indicates that the Tiida is packing a turbocharged and direct-injected 1.6-liter engine. If you read our Nissan Juke review, that configuration and displacement should sound familiar. Expect the North American Versa to feature a similar mill--sans turbo, of course--sending power to the front wheels via Nissan's small continuously variable transmission.
Between the Sunny sedan and the Tiida hatch's striking resemblance to Nissan's Versa sketch, as well as what we know about Nissan's current engine offerings, we now have a good idea of what we should expect to see when the next Versa makes its bow. The question now is, will we see it at the New York auto show in two weeks? All signs point to yes. Stay tuned.