2020 Nissan Versa Gets A Big Upgrade

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Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - April 15, 2019

The Nissan Versa has always had two things going for it: one is its subcompact size, the other being its incredibly low price tag that consistently made it the cheapest car in America. For consumers looking for cheap transportation to get around, the Versa has always been a popular choice. Things, though, are radically changing for the 2020 Nissan Versa, as Nissan's most affordable vehicle is getting a major overhaul.

The all-new 2020 Versa debuted at Rock the Ocean's Tortuga Music Festival and looks nothing like the outdated, bland, and emotionless model that we're all familiar with. With the recent discontinuation of the Versa Note, it clearly looks like Nissan spent a lot of time ensuring that the Versa sedan is more competitive than ever in the subcompact segment.

Here's what we know from the vehicle's debut. The new Versa shares a similar front-end design to Nissan's larger sedan offerings, including the Altima and the Maxima. Nissan's iconic V-shaped grille is prominently displayed, while the overall look of the car is more much more appealing. It's all due to the wheelbase, which has been stretched, and the Versa's more rakish footprint that's wider, longer, and lower than before.

The old Versa felt and looked cheap on the inside, which is something the automaker has also improved upon. Borrowing the same design as the tiny Nissan Kicks, the new Versa ditches the lackluster look of the old model and now comes with nicer materials and more interior space. There's more technology on the inside, too, as a 7-inch touchscreen is now standard, while things like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, heated front seats, automatic climate control, push-button start, and keyless entry are available.

In fact, if there's one specific area where the new Versa wipes the floor with the old one, it's driver-assist tech. The 2020 Versa comes with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear automatic braking, and high beam assist as standard. Nissan Safety Shield 360, which adds blind spot warning, rear cross traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control, is available.

2020 Nissan Versa

Another area where the new Versa outclasses the outgoing model is in the powertrain department. There's a more powerful 1.6-liter inline-four under the hood that pushes out 122 horsepower and 115 pound-feet of torque. Those are decent improvements over the current 1.6-liter engine, which makes 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a continuously variable transmission is also offered.

The most important tidbit of information that's still up in the air is the new Versa's pricing. An entry-level Versa currently starts at $13,355 (with destination), which makes it the most affordable new car in the U.S. With all of the updates, we'd be surprised to see if Nissan managed to keep pricing in the same ballpark. Nissan really has gone to town on the Versa, and all of these changes will surely drive the vehicle's price up. Just how far up remains to be seen.

Learn more about the Versa »

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter | Website

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