The Nissan Versa enters the model year still fresh from a dramatic redesign in 2020. Today's Versa is light years ahead of the previous two generations in terms of refinement and features. The subcompact sedan is no longer the cheapest car on the market, but it still completes in the lowest price class, and does so by offering buyers a lot of car for the money.
The Versa borrows styling elements from Nissan's larger sedans, including a V-shaped grille, chiseled haunches, and a subtle rear spoiler. Rear seat room has always been a strong point, only more so with the current design. Five can travel in legitimate comfort, and the trunk holds a very respectable 14.7 cubic feet.
Inside, buyers will find a 7-inch touchscreen, three USB ports, and push-button start. The mid-level SV and SR come with satellite radio, voice controls, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility. For a taste of luxury, the SR offers premium cloth upholstery and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.
The carryover 1.6-liter four cylinder engine was updated in 2020 to reduce emissions and enhance fuel economy and performance. Output remains at 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. The base S model starts out with a five-speed manual transmission, although most buyers go for the available continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is standard on the other trims. The CVT-equipped Versa achieves an EPA-estimated 32 miles per gallon city, 40 mpg highway, and 35 combined. With the manual, the estimates slip to 27/35/30 mpg (city/highway/combined).
The Nissan Safety Shield 360 safety system continues as standard. All models possess front and rear automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, and automatic high beams. The mid-level SV and the line-topping SR also get a driver alertness monitor and a rear seat reminder. Adaptive cruise control remains exclusive to the SR. It's rare to find this level of standard driver assistance features in this segment, and even in vehicles a price class above. Whereas the previous-generation Versa thrived on its rock-bottom price, the current Versa excels in overall value.
The current Versa receives an overall safety rating of Good from IIHS.