Small cars typically offer big value and the 2020 Nissan Versa is an excellent example of such a model. Redesigned for 2020, the Versa is Nissan’s smallest car, a subcompact five-passenger sedan.
One of the big changes for the year is that the previously available Versa Note hatchback is no longer available. Instead, Nissan offers the 2020 Versa as a sedan only in S, SV, and SR trims. Prices range from $14,730 to $18,240, plus a $925 destination charge.
Highlights of the all-new 2020 Versa:
1. Launch of the third generation. The Versa name continues for yet another generation, this one marking its third. Previous generations included a hatchback, named the Versa Note, beginning in the second generation. This is the first time the hatchback isn’t offered with the sedan, but we’re not surprised as the Kicks crossover largely fills that spot, although at a significantly higher price point.
2. Modern look and feel. Previously, the Versa held the position as the cheapest car in America and it showed. This time around, Nissan decided to relinquish that title, as it poured additional resources into improving its smallest car. And it shows. The exterior aligns with the rest of Nissan’s sedan lineup, with a modern and clean design that’s shared with the compact Sentra, midsize Altima, and the flagship Maxima. Inside, the cabin features full power accessories and push-button start, beginning with the base model.
3. One engine choice; an improved one at that. Every 2020 Versa comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. That’s a noteworthy improvement over the 109 hp/107 lb.-ft. torque rating of the 2019 version. The base “S” model works with a 5-speed manual gearbox or customers may upgrade to the continuously variable transmission (CVT) available elsewhere. The Versa moves at a leisurely pace, but customers are rewarded with a stellar 32/40/35 mpg city/highway/combined rating for the CVT model.
4. Improved safety features. Safety is on the minds of new car buyers and the Versa does not disappoint. Besides the requisite rearview camera, the base S model includes frontal collision warning with automatic emergency braking, rear automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and automatic headlights. Blind-spot warning comes with the middle SV trim. Adaptive cruise control is bundled with heated front seats to form a Convenience Package ($300), which is available only with the top-trim SR edition. In fact, it is the only package offering available across the Versa line.
5. Standard and optional tech equipment. All models come with four speakers, a 7-inch touch-screen display, Siri Eyes Free, Bluetooth, and three USB ports. Available features include Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone compatibility, and satellite radio.
6. Spacious cabin, roomy trunk. Now back to the cabin. Thanks to a slightly larger footprint, the Versa’s cabin is more spacious than before. You can fit four with ease or five in a pinch. Beginning with the SV trim, you’ll find a 60/40 split fold-down rear seat with access to the trunk. Its 15 cubic-foot trunk is very large for the segment, matching what many midsize sedans offer.
A well-equipped Versa will cost under $20,000, and that’s a strong price point for first-time car shoppers. Not everyone wants a crossover, thus the 2020 Versa makes a compelling argument for a car. Its fresh style, an updated powertrain, modern interior, and advanced safety features make it one worth considering.
2020 Nissan Versa Specifications
|Price Range||$14,730 to $18,240|
|Standard Engine||1.6-liter, I4|
|Horsepower||122 @ 6,300 RPM|
|Torque (lb.-ft.)||114 @ 4,000 RPM|
|Transmission||5-speed manual or CVT|
|Curb Weight (pounds)||2,599 to 2,729|
|Height (inches)||57.3 to 57.7|
|Head room (f,r…inches)||39.5; 36.3|
|Leg room (f,r…inches)||44.5; 31.0|
|Shoulder room (f,r…inches)||53.1; 53.6|
|Hip room (f,r…inches)||50.9; 50.1|
|Storage (cubic feet)||14.7 to 15.0|
|Gross vehicle weight (pounds)||3,461 to 3,605|
|Fuel Tank (gallons)||10.8|
|EPA Fuel MPG (city/highway/combined)||27/35/30(5MT); 32/40/35(Xtronic)|
|Manufacturing Plant||Aguascalientes, Mexico|
Data compiled by Tom Keegan. Specifications supplied by the manufacturer.
See Also — The Nissan Kicks Gets a Big “V” for Value
Photo copyright Nissan Motors.