New York 2011: Nissan says subcompact buyers aren't looking for styling, sportiness

2012 Nissan Versa – Click above for high-res image gallery

After Nissan unveiled its redesigned 2012 Versa sedan at the New York Auto Show yesterday, coverage was almost unanimous in declaring it, at best, inconspicuous. David Reuter, Nissan's VP of Corporate Communications, tells Autoblog that's fine:
"The Fiesta may have been getting the press, this is what was selling. We were up 20 percent last year. Our competitors have gone for sporty and styling, but that's not what these buyers want. Subcompact buyers want a dependable, roomy car with good fuel economy, and they want the features and specs to feel they spent a lot more on a car than they did."
The formula, inconspicuous as it might be, has worked: Nissan moved 99,705 Versa sedans and hatchbacks in 2010, running away from everything else in the class – next were the Honda Fit with 54,354, the Hyundai Accent with 51,975, and the Chevrolet Aveo with 48,623 units sold. Say what you will about the looks, with a segment-leading 103 cubic feet of room in the 2012 Versa and more standard features at a competitive price point, the momentum will likely continue.

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