Toyota Yaris vs. Nissan Versa

By

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 - February 24, 2020

With crossovers and SUVs continuing to be popular, fewer consumers are looking at smaller, subcompact cars. Still, for those that want something small, efficient, and easy to drive, automakers have recently come out with updated or all-new options in the segment.

The Nissan Versa has been fully redesigned for the 2020 model year. The model that was once known for being one of the most affordable cars on the market has grown up to be a well-rounded option that no longer has to rely on an affordable price tag as its main selling point.

The Toyota Yaris, on the other hand, sees a new hatchback body style enter its lineup for 2020. The change may not be as pronounced as the Versa’s, but the Yaris has always been one of the most affordable and athletic offerings in the segment.

Is the Yaris’ athleticism enough to make it the better choice over the Versa? That’s what we aim to answer below.

See a side-by-side comparison of the Yaris & Versa »

What the Yaris Gets Right

Toyota now offers the Yaris in two body styles: sedan and hatchback. The Versa is only available as a sedan. With the hatchback body style, the Yaris is the more versatile choice, as it brings much more cargo space and a cargo area that’s easier to use. While the Yaris sedan has 13.5 cubic feet of cargo space, the Yaris Hatchback increases that figure to 15.8 cubic feet of cargo space. The Versa has 14.7 cubic feet of cargo space.

Both the Yaris and Versa come well equipped at their base trims, but Toyota has one thing that Nissan’s option is missing: smartphone compatibility. Even the base Yaris comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, both of which are missing from the Versa’s base trim. You have to step up to the midrange Versa SV to get smartphone compatibility, and that trim is quite a lot more than the base S model.

What the Versa Gets Right

The Versa takes the lead when it comes to pricing. It starts at $15,625 including destination, while the Yaris is slightly more expensive at $16,605. Consumers on a budget will appreciate the nearly $1,000 difference between the two.

While the Yaris, thanks to bones from Mazda, is much more enjoyable to drive than the Versa, the latter comes with a more powerful engine. The Versa is equipped with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 122 horsepower. The Yaris’ 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine is rated at up to 106 hp. Despite the extra power, both models have the same combined fuel rating of 35 miles per gallon at their best, according to the EPA.

Both the Yaris and Versa come with a decent amount of safety features as standard, but the Versa has a more impressive list, especially considering its more affordable price tag. The Versa includes lane departure warning automatic high beams, pedestrian detection, forward collision warning, and forward and reverse automatic emergency braking. The Versa can also be fitted with blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, and adaptive cruise control.

Want a Hatchback?

If you’re looking to get a hatchback, the Yaris is the only option of the two. With subcompact cars already having tiny footprints, a hatchback body style helps. Beyond that, if you absolutely want to stick with a base trim, the Yaris is a better choice as it comes with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Our Verdict: Nissan Versa

Subcompact cars are all about affordability, value, and features. In those three areas, the Nissan Versa excels over the Toyota Yaris. The full redesign has seen the Versa go from being one of the most affordable cars on the market to being one of the most value-packed models available today.

Take a closer look at the Toyota Yaris »

Take a closer look at the Nissan Versa»

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, 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

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