The 2020 Nissan Versa gets an all-new design with a longer, wider, and lowered stance giving the compact sedan a contemporary look. The powertrain has also been updated to a 1.6L inline 4 pushing 122 horses, which is 5 more ponies than the previous year.
Aside from the design, the new Versa now features some segment-exclusive features like Rear Emergency Braking, standard Cruise mode( adaptive cruise control still seems amiss). All these upgrades have pushed the base price of the compact sedan by a couple of thousand dollars. Thus, taking away the tag of being the most inexpensive sedan in the market. The base S trim costs MSRP of $14,750 and it comes with a manual transmission. If it’s upgraded to CVT it will cost the buyer approximately $16,400.
Trims & Features
There are three trims on offer: S, SV & SR. The higher trims get the CVT transmission as standard while the base S trim gets manual as a standard offering. Let’s take a look at the various features among the trims.
The 2020 Nissan Versa 1.6 S trim offers a few segment-exclusive features like automated Emergency Braking and Pedestrian Detection, Lane Assist, Cruise control, and Hill Start assist. Thus, adding the missing pieces to the sedan making it worthy of the 2020 model year. The S trim gets manual transmission as standard. It also gets smaller 15” steel rims wrapped in continental all-season tires. The seats are clad in cloth with 6-way adjustability available to the driver along with a tilt and telescopic steering column for better comfort.
The mid-trim level – 2020 Nissan Versa 1.6 SV offers all the features available on the base trim and adds some additional practicality like Blind Spot assist. The wheels available on this trim are 16” gloss gray alloys that complement the exterior of the sedan. Infotainment is upgraded to support Android Auto and Apple Car Play along with active voice recognition. Heated rearview mirrors with body colors can be spotted on the exteriors along with body-colored door handles.
The highest trim level – 2020 Nissan Versa 1.6 SR is loaded with a plethora of features to justify the higher price tag. The wheel size is increased to 17” five-spoke alloys for better styling. It also deploys a spoiler in the rear for better looks. This trim also gets fog lamps for better safety along with DRLs that improve visibility. The gear knob and steering wheel are wrapped in leather to add to a premium feel. The cloth fabric on the seats is upgraded to a premium cloth seat trim. This trim adds 4-way adjustability to the passenger seats.
Has the engine and performance in 2020 Versa improved?
Although Nissan claims that they have tried to make the CVT transmission better and more efficient, the transmission still struggles during gear shifts. The Versa is a smart and efficient vehicle and nothing more should be expected out of it. All the power is transferred to the front wheels of the car making it more fuel-efficient.
On the freeways, it does struggle with overtaking maneuvers. Anyone driving this car will have to plan overtakes ahead of time for better execution as the power seems to be amiss. The 1.6L inline 4 is the same as the one that Nissan has used in Kicks and other entry-level vehicles which pushes 122 horses and 114 lb. Ft. of torque.
How fuel-efficient is the 2020 Nissan Versa?
Fuel efficiency is one of the strongest suits of the Versa. It offers a staggering 32 miles to the gallon in the city which does save the owner some money along with reducing trips to the fuel station. The highways are where the frugal engine is most at home delivering 40 miles to the gallon and a combined fuel efficiency of 35 miles which is more than most of its competitors in the market.
The base manual trim loses a few pointers here as it offers city MPG figures of 27 miles and goes up to 35 miles on the highway which is very low compared to the CVT. The CVT delivers outstanding range on a full tank with a range of 432 miles on the highway! This little engine does its job of being efficient rather well.
How comfortable is it on the inside?
The interior has received a major update starting with the brand-new infotainment system. Both Android Auto and Apple Car play are available but in the SV and SR trim. These practical elements are missing on the base S trim.
The seats in the front are comfortable and provide good support, the driver has 6-way adjustable seats and a tilt/telescopic steering wheel allowing them to find the best driving positions. The SR trim adds a 4-way adjustable seat to the passenger as well.
The rear has a long bench that seats 3 passengers, however, the middle but is considerably reducing the comfort for the passenger seated in the middle. The rear seats offer a 60/40 split-folding ratio which increases the utility space within the vehicle.
Speaking of utility, the trunk offers 14.7 cubic feet of storage space which is possibly the best in its class. Every door has an individual bottle storage compartment which can store a large bottle easily. The glove box and the armrest offer more storage spaces for personal belongings.
The infomation sytem has been upgraded to keep up with the times and is now better than ever. The base trim does miss out on a few things, but the 3 USB ports available are standard on all the trims. The rear passengers get 2 USB ports in the rear just behind the armrest. The user interface of the infotainment system is rather easy to get acquainted with.
How is the design and styling of the exteriors?
Nissan has applied its chrome V-motion grille in the front which goes a long way into improving the previous boxy and edgy design style of the Versa, the overall styling does remind us of the Nissan Altima. The Versa looks much more premium due to the very same association with its sibling and the contemporary design might pass for a higher-priced vehicle.
The rear too gets new taillights and a diffuser which improves the looks of the car. The floating roof merges the rear windshield with the mirrors adding more pizzazz and contemporary design style to the vehicle.
As we move higher up the trims the Versa begins to get even more appealing. With better wheels and spoiler in the SR trim, the car’s character does not remain like that of an entry-level compact sedan. Now all that remains is to see is how well the market receives the Versa.
How safe is the Versa?
With a lot of upgrades going into the sedan, Nissan has stuffed various safety features into it. Lane assist, Cruise Control, Hill Climb Assist, ABS, Automatic Emergency, and rear braking along with pedestrian detection are a few features that are standard across all trims.
The air-bags in the Versa have been increased and are standard as well
- Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with driver and passenger dual-stage supplemental airbags
- Seat-mounted driver and front passenger side-impact supplemental airbags
- Seat-mounted rear-passenger side-impact supplemental airbags
- Driver and front-passenger knee airbags
- Roof-mounted curtain side-impact supplemental airbags for front and rear-seat outboard occupant head protection
Nissan’s warranty and maintenance coverage are not as extensive as some of its other rivals but it isn’t half as bad either. The company offers the following warranties on its compact sedan.
- 3 years or 36,000 miles of limited warranty
- 5 years or 60,000 miles of powertrain warranty
- No complimentary scheduled maintenance
Is the 2020 Nissan Versa a good bargain?
All facts considered; the Nissan Versa is a steal at the price point it is currently offered in. There are a lot of segment-exclusive features bundled into this compact sedan. It offers the best MPG figures in its segment and offers practicality like no other! The new Versa is a breed of the refreshed Nissan language and it does stand out when compared to its peers.