Versa hatchback veers from sedan
NASHVILLE -- Nissan Motor Co. will move the Versa hatchback a step further from the sedan version early next year when the subcompact is rolled out.
The company revealed last week that the upcoming hatchback will borrow styling from the redesigned Note subcompact that just went on sale in Japan.
That will distance the Versa hatchback more from the sedan, which Nissan began shipping to U.S. retailers last year.
The sedan's styling is based on the Nissan Sunny, which sells in China and other Asian markets.
Although the Versa hatchback and sedan share the same name in the United States, Nissan pitches them to different consumers. The sedan has been marketed as the industry's least expensive car. Its 2012 base price is $11,770, including shipping. Except for the Chinese version, it is sold mainly in the United States and Latin America.
Like the Japanese Note, the U.S. Versa hatchback will be somewhat more upscale. The current version has a base price of $15,450, including shipping, and ranges to more than $19,000.
Japan's new Note has more advanced technology features, such as the Around View Monitor, which displays a 360-degree image of the car to help with parking. The U.S. Versa hatchback will not have the same features. The sedan and hatchback are based on Nissan's flexible global small-car V platform. Both are built for the United States in Mexico.
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