2012 Nissan Versa at 2011 New York Auto Show

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  • Competes with: Toyota Yaris, Kia Rio, Hyundai Accent
  • Looks like: A boring economy car, but what do you want for $11,000?
  • Drivetrain: 109-hp, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual or CVT
  • Hits dealerships: Summer 2011

It does look like the $10,000 new car is going away, but Nissan’s new Versa sedan will still start with a 1 and 0. Starting at $10,990 with a manual transmission and manual windows, the 2012 Versa is $1,000 more than the 2011, but it’s also significantly larger inside and packs a large trunk for a car this size. A hatchback version wasn’t revealed.

More Coverage of the 2011 New York Auto Show

The engine gets dual injection and an EPA-estimated 30/37 mpg city/highway with the continuously variable automatic transmission. Only the base model 1.6S comes standard with a five-speed manual. That’s rated at 27/36 mpg.

The 90 cubic feet of interior space fits between Toyota’s Yaris sedan at 87 cubic feet and the larger Corolla compact at 92 cubic feet. The Versa’s 14.8-cubic-foot trunk is simply huge for this class. It’s increased 1 cubic foot from the 2011 Versa sedan; the Yaris’ trunk comes in at 12.9 cubic feet and the Corolla at 12.3 cubic feet.

The practicality and low price will get people in the Versa, but if they want creature comforts like a CVT and power windows, they’ll have to move up to the 1.6 SV. It also comes with cruise control, which is an option on the S. We are posting the rest of the trim-level and option features directly from the manufacturer below, along with more images.

Trim Level Breakdown
2012 Versa sedan 1.6 S (offered in five-speed manual transmission and CVT versions), Versa sedan 1.6 SV (CVT only) and Versa sedan 1.6 SL (CVT only).

Along with the 1.6 S model’s many standard features, the 1.6 SV adds cruise control, Fine Vision instrumentation, chrome grille accents, body-colored power side mirrors, upgraded cloth seats, power windows and more.

Versa sedan 1.6 SL models add 15-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, fog lights, variable intermittent wipers, chrome interior door handles, 60/40-split backseat, Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, USB/iPod connectivity, upgraded audio system, door-linked map lights and more.

Just three options packages are offered: the Cruise Control Package (1.6 S CVT only) and the SV Convenience Package (1.6 SV only) with Bluetooth connectivity, steering-wheel-mounted audio controls, upgraded audio, iPod control, map lights and front passenger vanity mirror. The SL Tech Package (1.6 SL only) adds the Nissan Navigation System with XM NavTraffic (XM subscription required, sold separately) and 5-inch color touch-screen display and XM Satellite Radio.

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Former managing editor David Thomas has a thing for wagons and owns a 2010 Subaru Outback and a 2005 Volkswagen Passat wagon. Email David Thomas

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