2021 Nissan Versa First Drive: Risky Bet or Calculated Move?
The last few years, you all certainly know by now, have seen automakers largely abandon car segments. Ford of course led the way, axing all but one of its cars, but GM, Toyota, Chrysler, Buick and Honda, to name just those, have all left one or more sedan/coupe categories.
Yet there are those hanging on, even doubling down on their commitment to the genre. Like Nissan, the current portfolio of which includes its share of sedans. In a nutshell, the company is hoping to benefit from the relative lack of competition in these segments. The calculation is intriguing and understandable, I’d say even brilliant and bold. If this were a poker game, I’d call Nissan’s strategy ‘all in”.
That’s great, but when you push all your chips to the centre of the table, eventually you have to show your hand. Are you going to lay down four aces or have you been bluffing with a pair of sevens? That’s what we’re wanting to see in regards to the Nissan Versa.
A comeback of sorts
The first Versa appeared for the 2007 model-year, and it actually caused a sensation at the time, greatly raising the level of luxury in the sub-compact segment. It even overshadowed the Sentra, which had been renewed but poorly at the same time. In 2011, Nissan redesigned the Sentra, bringing it back to a simpler format. The sedan didn't last long here in Canada, but the hatchback variant, the Versa Note, made a humble niche for itself on the market.