Detroit 2013: Nissan’s Crossover Concept Resonates With Us

Nissan’s big debut at the 2013 North American International Auto Show was either its revolutionary new technology that pipes in a scent known as “Thé Vert Oriental,”  which is supposed to smell like green tea during the harvest or the Resonance concept vehicle.

Leading up to the show, we thought the scent would be the clear winner. Just before the press conference began, a visible cloud of Thé Vert Oriental descended from the top of the Nissan stand over Nissan Division VP Al Castignetti. Unfortunately the scent of freshly harvested green tea wasn’t able to overpower the scent of new tires and sweaty journalists squeezed in for a first look at the Resonance concept. That doesn’t bode particularly well for the scent Nissan hopes becomes the brand’s signature smell. It did bode well for the Resonance concept, though.

When the cover came off the Resonance concept, we completely forgot about the green tea. Although the Resonance’s exterior is pretty wild – particularly the 22-inch wheels with carbon fiber accents – we were most impressed by the interior. Gorgeous details and high-quality materials abound in the cabin. Sure, the futuristic center stack looks holographic and too wild for production, but the rest of the interior would suit the next Murano quite nicely.

Although the Resonance concept stole the show for Nissan, the Versa Note hatchback that shared the stage, if not the spotlight, with it is far more important. Nissan’s Versa hatch finally gets an upgrade to newer looks and much better in-car technology along with its slightly different name. Although the base car’s $14,780 sticker is intriguing, higher-spec Versa Notes using Nissan’s Around View Monitor and navigation system will appeal to the growing number of buyers who want a smaller car without giving up luxury touches.

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