It may not seem like much, but the single extra mile per gallon that Nissan plans to extract from its Versa subcompact will surely be appreciated by its purchasers. After all, every little bit of fuel savings helps when buyers are shopping for small cars, often with the specific intent on downsizing and saving gas. So, since the Versa is down a bit when compared to its closest rivals, the Honda Fit and Toyota Yaris, Nissan decided it needed to do something to stay in the hotly contested race, upping its 2009 figures to 27 mpg city and 33 highway. How did they do it? Apparently, the automaker re-tuned the continuously variable transmission in the Versa. A CVT has no traditional gears and it relies on computer software to change its ratios, so the automaker was able to reprogram its innards for an extra mile per gallon.

Infiniti, which is Nissan's upmarket division, will bestow its G-Class model (18 mpg city/26 highway) with a new seven speed automatic to replace the previous six speed unit. That change is expected to yield two additional miles per gallon on the highway, one in the city. Apparently, Infiniti buyers don't care as much about its efficiency in Nissan's eyes, but the new auto unit is likely to improve performance a bit as well. Sounds like a win-win scenario.

[Source: Automotive News - sub. req'd]

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