The 2020 Nissan Versa is all-new this year offering a fresh take on the economical small sedan. Despite the growing number of SUVs and crossovers on the market, there’s still a need for traditional sedans.
If you’re only using your vehicle as a commuter car or if you don’t have a family to haul everywhere, then there’s no reason to pay for something big. The Nissan Versa targets those who don’t need all that space and it does so with a surprisingly solid range of features for its price.
Power comes from 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. This is paired to either a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. We know you’re thinking that’s not a heck of a lot of horsepower, and you’re right. The Versa, however, is not a huge car so it doesn’t need a massive amount of horsepower.
We were surprised by just how responsive the Versa is when you get it out on the open road. Hit the gas to merge onto the highway and it easily gets up to speed without feeling like it’s working too hard. Engine noise is muted and even the transmission is admirably quiet. The responsive engine and quiet ride are exceptional for a car in this price range.
Pricing is a large part of the Versa’s appeal. It starts at $14,730 equipped with the manual transmission or $16,400 with the automatic. Standard features include acoustic laminated windshield glass, power-adjustable outside mirrors, power doors and locks, and cruise control. There’s also push button start and a USB port.
Standard infotainment includes a 7.0-inch color touchscreen with AM/FM, four speakers, Bluetooth audio, and Siri Eyes Free. On the safety front, there’s standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, and rear automatic braking. That’s a solid offering of safety and convenience features on a car that starts at under $15,000.
Take a walk up the trim range and the SV comes in at $17,640 while the top SR is priced at $18,240. Both feature an automatic transmission, heated sideview mirrors, intelligent driver alert, rear door alert, blind spot warning, and rear cross-traffic alert. They also get an audio upgrade with Apple CarPlay, Android Audio, and Sirius XM. The SR only adds a 6-speaker audio system and heated front seats.
The interior is comfortable with room for five, although the rear seats are best for only two adults. Leg room gets tight if you push the front seats back, but this is a car for those who don’t plan on carrying a full load of passengers every day. It’s more suited to someone driving to work solo, college kids looking for that first new car, or couples who are just starting out.
The Versa’s fuel economy makes it easy on your wallet with an EPA-estimated 32 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 35 mpg combined. Although the cost of entry is less for the manual, it will cost you more in fuel with an EPA-estimated 27 mpg in the city, 35 mpg on the highway, and 30 mpg combined.
The 2020 Nissan Versa offers a compelling combination of features at a price that can’t be beat. Attractive styling inside and out along with good fuel economy make it a great choice for those on a tight budget who still want to enjoy the ride.