Fort Lauderdale, Florida - Nissan’s Micra hatchback transformed from bland to bold in its latest generation, and now it’s the turn of its sedan counterpart.

Nissan has pulled the covers off its new-generation Versa sedan, and given that the previous version was identical to the Almera in all but name, it’s highly likely that the car you see here will also become the new Almera. We are currently awaiting confirmation from Nissan South Africa on whether there are any local plans for the new sedan.

"This third-generation Versa design is all about the proportion and stance, to the point where we expect people to look at it and say, ‘Wow, is that a Versa?'" says program design director Giovanny Arroba.

"The wheels are pushed out, there's an imposing grille presence, everything about it says lower, wider, longer."

The new Versa closely resembles the new Clio-based Micra hatch that it's based on, both inside and out, and not only does it look a whole lot more dramatic than its predecessor, it also makes strides in technology, safety and refinement, Nissan claims.

Driver assist features include Nissan’s Safety Shield 360 system, with front, side and rear monitoring, as well as Intelligent Cruise Control, Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist.

One area where it doesn’t make strides in under the bonnet, where the Versa comes with a 1.6-litre normally aspirated petrol engine (for the US market), which produces 91kW. It is mated to either an Xtronic CVT gearbox or a five-speed manual.

IOL Motoring