This is the new, third-generation (N18) Nissan Versa sedan, which has been unveiled at the Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival ahead of its appearance at the New York International Auto Show (NYIAS). What you’re looking at here is likely the basis for the next-generation Almera, and it certainly holds a lot of promise.
The Versa/Almera is built on the Renault-Nissan Alliance’s Common Modular Family (CMF-B), which Nissan refers to as the V platform that is also found in the fifth-generation Micra/March.
The sedan also adopts some design cues from the hatchback, most notably the boomerang-shaped headlamps, which meet up with the brand’s signature V-motion grille. Other highlights at the front include rectangular-shaped fog lamps tucked into the corners of the apron, while bold creases can be seen originating from the grille and leading into the B-pillars.
In profile, the design of the Versa/Almera is a bit more subdued compared to the Micra/March. The character lines are not as outlandish, and the position of the rear door handles is more conventional. Similarly, the kick-up C-pillars aren’t as high by comparison, but they are blacked out to create a “floating roof” look.
Around back, boomerangs continue to be a form of inspiration, as the Altima-inspired design of the taillight clusters appear to indicate. Their new shape also differs from vertically-aligned units used on the outgoing Versa/Almera. Elsewhere, the squared-off boot aperture should help with practicality.
Like the exterior, the interior of the new Versa/Almera has been given a substantial overhaul, one that is more aligned to the Kicks crossover. Nissan refers to this dashboard layout as the “Gliding Wing,” and this design element is also found in the latest Maxima and Altima.
At the centre point of the dash is where you’ll find the touchscreen infotainment system, which comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support. Just above that are a pair of air vents slimmer in profile than before, while simpler climate control switchgear takes its place below, replacing the dial setup of old. For a link to the outgoing Versa/Almera, look no further than the circular vents at the corners.
In the driver’s seat, there’s a new steering wheel design that is similar to what you’ll find in the Kicks and Leaf. Both models also appear to lend the half-and-half instrument cluster, with an analogue dial on the right, while a multi-info digital display takes the left spot.
Equipment-wise, Nissan says its new B-segment sedan comes with features such as keyless entry and engine start, automatic climate control, heated front seats, and more importantly, Nissan Safety Shield 360.
The last item is a suite of safety and driver assist systems that include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist. Additional features such Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control are also available.
As for engines, Nissan is listing just one at the moment – a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol unit with 122 hp and 154 Nm of torque – with a choice of a five-speed manual or Xtronic CVT.