Your first car probably wasn’t something expensive. Maybe it was a hand-me-down from an older sibling or your parents. Maybe it was a used beater that barely got you where you needed to go. Maybe you were lucky and it was brand new. Most people have to wait a bit before they get their first new car. When that time arrives, Nissan is hoping the all-new Versa will be a top pick.
Entry-level cars often get a bad rap. They don’t come with power everything, genuine wood trims, leather everywhere, and the fanciest of amenities. They’re not flashy and powerful, nor are they the kinds of cars people hope to own when that elusive “someday” arrives. Instead, they’re the cars people buy right now, which makes the Versa deserving of far more credit.
The all-new 2020 Nissan Versa made its debut at the Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. That might seem like an odd choice rather than an auto show or some grand glitzy affair, but the younger set that attends big music festivals is exactly who Nissan hopes will buy the Versa.
This is an entry level sedan that still has plenty of appeal and doesn’t look staid or boring. It’s longer, lower, and wider with a design adapted from the Maxima and all-new Altima. It’s an attractive car on the outside and well-equipped on the inside.
There’s a standard 7-inch infotainment touchscreen, which is hard to find in even base models of far pricier cars. It’s open and airy with an uncluttered dash so its compact dimensions feel larger. There’s standard remote keyless entry, push button start and power windows with available heated front seats, automatic climate control, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto.
The Versa doesn’t skimp on safety with standard automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, and high beam assist across the three-trim lineup. Blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, intelligent driver alertness, and cruise control are available.
Power comes from a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque paired to either a 5-speed manual or a continuously variable automatic transmission. Although fuel economy numbers are not yet available, expect this modest engine to offer numbers that are very budget-friendly.
It’s a complete package that lets buyers searching for their first new car drive away with something they can enjoy driving. The all-new 2020 Nissan Versa is set to arrive in dealerships at the end of the summer.