2020 Nissan Versa

2020 MODEL
$14,730 - $18,240
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2020 Nissan Versa Complete In-depth Review & Buying Guide

Updated on: July 21, 2020
Aaron Smith's image

Aaron Smith

Automotive Journalist

If you have to ask, “Which is the cheapest car currently on sale in America?”, this is it – the 2020 Nissan Versa sedan. It has a starting price of $14,730 including destination and unexpectedly offers an exceptionally roomy interior for the segment along with a cavernous boot.

That said, cost-cutting measures are obvious and if that concerns you, remember that the slightly pricier Toyota Yaris offers better interior and far more engaging driving experience. If you can get a hatchback, the Honda Fit is nearly unbeatable with a slightly higher asking price. Still, the Versa offers new car warranty (3-years, 36,000 miles) for old car price.

 

See detailed review »

Pros

Accommodating seats

Cavernous trunk

Affordable price

Feature laden variants

Cons

Lousy acceleration

Cramped second row

What's New?

Completely redesigned exterior and interior for the year 2020


Features

vehicle bio

base price

$14730

bodystyle

4dr Sedan

passenger capacity

5

drivetrain

FWD

engine type

displacement

98 cu.in.

horsepower

122 hp @ 6300 rpm

torque

114 lbs.-ft. @ 4000 rpm

transmission

5-Speed Manual

chassis

frame type

Unibody

suspension front

Independent front strut suspension

suspension rear

Semi-independent rear torsion beam suspension

brake rotors (f/r)

44114

dimensions

wheelbase

103.1 in.

length

60.2 in.

width

68.5 in.

height

57.3 in.

curb weight

2599 lbs.

ground clearance

6.8 in.

capacity

passenger volume

88.9 cu ft.

cargo volume

14.7 cu ft.

towing capacity

13000 lbs.

payload capacity

862 lbs.

performance

zero to 60 mph

9.7 sec.

standing ¼-mile

17.4 sec.

fuel economy

city/combined/highway

31/39/34 mpg

highway range

421.2 mi.

warranty

basic warranty

3 yr./ 36000 mi.

drivetrain warranty

5 yr./ 60000 mi.

corrosion warranty

5 yr. /unlimited

roadside assistance

3 yr. / 36000 mi.


Pictures & Videos

Exterior
Interior
Videos
2020 Nissan Versa Interior video
2020 Nissan Versa Review video

Styles

2020 Nissan Versa in Aspen White Pearl color 2020 Nissan Versa in Brilliant Silver Metallic color 2020 Nissan Versa in Electric Blue Metallic color 2020 Nissan Versa in Gun Metallic color 2020 Nissan Versa in Super Black color
Aspen White Pearl

Vehicle images are guides only and may not reflect the model's exact specifications/features– exact specifications/features should be confirmed with the seller.

Ratings

Features

4.5

Fuel Economy

6.0

Interior

7.6

Exterior

4.5

Safety

3.0

4.8

OVERALL RATING

Trims and Configurations

MSRP


2020 Nissan Versa S

S

power
122 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
34 combined

$14,730 - $16,400


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl 5M) Starting at $14,730 MSRP (31/34/39) 122 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
5-Speed Manual front wheel drive 5
S 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $16,400 MSRP (31/34/39) 122 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

2020 Nissan Versa SV

SV

power
122 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
34 combined

$17,640


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SV 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $17,640 MSRP (31/34/39) 122 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

2020 Nissan Versa SR

SR

power
122 hp @ 6300 rpm
fuel
Regular unleaded
mpg
34 combined

$18,240


Style Prices MPG Engine Transmission Drivetrain Seats Colors
SR 4dr Sedan (1.6L 4cyl CVT) Starting at $18,240 MSRP (31/34/39) 122 hp @ 6300 rpm, 1.6 L, Inline 4, regular unleaded
1-speed cvt front wheel drive 5

Expert Review

4.8

Overall Rating


A 109 hp 1.6L naturally aspirated I4 powers all the Versa but there are two available transmissions. While the base Versa S gets a 5-speed manual transmission, higher trims get much more efficient (with 31 mpg city and 39 mpg highway EPA rating) but significantly costlier CVT. The Versa still offers adequate performance for the commute or occasional freeway jaunt and has a comfortable cabin.

The biggest advantage of the Versa is its modest price and enhanced practicality. In other words, it's a capacious car that will easily fit your family. Another attraction would be the enormous boot space, which gives it an edge over the competition. Speaking of competition, the car leaps head-on with cars like Toyota Yaris, Ford Fiesta, and Kia Rio.

2020 Nissan Versa Front View
2020 Nissan Versa Rear View

4.5/10
Features

 
 

6.0/10
Fuel Economy

 

7.6/10
Interior

 

4.5/10
Exterior

 

3.0/10
Safety

 
 
 

2020 Nissan Versa Features

4.5/10

Nissan Versa Note is offered in three trim levels: S, SV, and SR. All trims share the same 1.6L 4-Cylinder engine but there is a choice of transmission on some trim levels. The base S trim is offered with either the 5-speed manual which is standard and a CVT is optional. The base trim is equipped with only the bare minimum features. It gets a 7-inch touchscreen and Bluetooth connectivity as standard.

If you are looking to buy a new car with a warranty while spending the really less. The base S trim fits the bill. The mid-spec SV trim brings in cloth upholstery, power windows and cruise control for an additional expense of $1000.

Trim

S

SV

 SR

MSRP 

$14,730

$17,640

$18,240

Key features

Automatic emergency braking

Blindspot warning

Nissan intelligent key with remote engine start

 

Cruise control

Rear automatic braking

Rearview monitor

 

Hill-start assist

Halogen projector headlights

LED Headlights

 

Tilt/telescoping steering column

Sun visors with vanity mirror and extensions

Heated exterior mirrors

 

6-way manual adjustable driver’s seat

4-way manually adjustable front passenger seat

Leather-wrapped steering wheel

 

7-inch touchscreen display

Nissan Connect

Three USB ports

We Recommend

While the higher trims offer plenty of desirable amenities, it’s important to not get carried away as prices of higher trims are awfully close to much better products. Stick with the base and you will still get absolutely essential features like air conditioning.

2020 Nissan Versa Engine and Performance

It’s okay to be worried about the performance considering the price of the Versa. However, the Versa is adept at the job of transporting people and their luggage comfortably within the city. Even on interstate trips, you will find the power to be sufficient for a decent cruise speed and the cushy suspension will impress on bad roads. However, don’t expect anything remotely exciting.

The sedan gets a 1.6L inline-4 engine developing 109 hp and 107 lb-ft of torque. Its power output is adequate for most people and freeway overtakes can be executed with little planning. In the base trim, the engine is mated to a 5-speed manual.

2020 Nissan Versa, power and performance is never a prime concern

However, the manual transmission slaps a significant fuel efficiency penalty and does little to impart fun on a commute. The optional CVT is effortless and produces excellent fuel economy too. But again, the CVT comes at a cost and robs the value proposition of the Versa.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

MSRP

$14,730

$14,260

$15,195

$15,600

Engine

1.6-liter I-4 regular

1.6-liter I-4 regular

1.6-liter I-4

1.5-liter I-4 regular

Transmission

5-speed manual w/OD

5-speed manual w/OD

6-speed manual w/OD

6-speed manual w/OD

Horsepower

122 hp @ 6,300 rpm

120 hp @ 6,350 rpm

120 hp @ 6,300 rpm

106 hp @ 6,00 rpm

Torque

114 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

112 lb.-ft. @ 5,000 rpm

113 lb.-ft. @ 4,500 rpm

103 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm

There is nothing glamorous about the competition as well. The maximum power is generated by the Nissan Versa only. The Ford Fiesta follows with its 106 hp power to take down the Nissan Versa and the Toyota Yaris.

Acceleration

The Versa is built to a price and 0-60 mph figures are the last thing Nissan engineers care about in this sedan. That said, 0-69 mph time of 9.7 seconds is not especially bad among the compact cars here. The fastest car compared here is the Hyundai Accent and it can do 0-60 mph in 7.5 seconds.

Also, the Versa gets loud and noisy as you push it to squeeze more torque. The gloomy 17.4 second of the quarter-mile run confirms the fact.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

0-60 MPH

9.7

9.5

7.5

9.6

Quarter mile

17.4

17.2

16.0

17.4

Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15k mi/yr)

5.9

5.9

5.3

5.2

You will surely find better numbers in the realm of power and acceleration in the competition. The Versa noticeably lags in both 0 to 60 mph and the quarter-mile run but walks beside some rivals.

Braking Performance 

Like every other bit, the brakes of the Versa are built to a price. The sedan gets basic drum brakes on the rear wheels and the pedal response does not inspire much confidence. Still, it can stop from 60 mph in a respectable 131 feet.

2020 Nissan Versa to come to a halt are ventilated disc brakes

The Versa shows a similar grey performance in the braking dynamics. The peddle might be soggy but the 2599 pounds of curb weight is expected to deliver the same as the competition.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

Brake Front (in.)

10.0

7.9

11.0

7.9

Brake Rear (in.)

8.0

7.9

N/A

7.9

Curb weight (lbs.)

2599

2578

2502

2385

60-0 MPH (ft)

131

121

128

120

In terms of breaking the best in the lot is the Toyota Yaris with its stopping distance of 120 ft. The Ford Fiesta and the Hyundai Accent took a few more feet to stop. 

Ride and Handling

Nissan Versa has one thing that impresses in the ride and handling department – the cushy suspension. The soft suspension tuning helps it to absorb road imperfection with aplomb and gives the occupants in the large cabin a pleasant ride. Unfortunately, the soft suspension eliminates any scope of driving enjoyment. There is a steamship body roll through corners and the steering never inspires any confidence at high speeds.

However, within the city, the light steering and tight turning radius make the car pleasantly manageable. The Versa's humdrum handling is not that compelling but will generate a sense of drive comfort. The engine gets loud and noisy on higher RPMs which makes it irritating at high speeds. The sedan surely is a smooth city ride even on rough pavements but will never match the sharper handling of the Ford Fiesta and Toyota Yaris.

2020 Nissan Versa Fuel Economy

6.0/10

In the class of affordable cars fuel economy always takes the center stage and the Versa doesn't disappoint. It delivers what it was designed for, both the manual and CVT trims are efficient like other cars in the class. The manual transmission delivers 32 mpg of city and 40 mpg of highway mileage, on the other hand, the CVT enhances the fuel economy with its 31 mpg city and 39 mpg of highway mileage.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

MPG (city)

32

27

29

30

MPG (highway)

40

35

39

39

MPG (combined)

35

30

33

34

Fuel tank capacity (gallons)

10.8

12.4

11.9

11.6

Range (city/highway) (miles)

345.6/432

335/434

345/464

348/452

Though the Versa is competitive there are cars that perform better. Other cars bring out similar numbers and end the sense of competition.

2020 Nissan Versa Interior

7.6/10

The Nissan Versa interior has one thing in abundance – space. However, it is built to a price and hence compromises are obvious in terms of build quality. Also, basic equipment like the power window and split rear seats are only available in the top Versa SV trim. That said, the cabin is surprisingly silent and that combines with the spaciousness and cushy suspension to give you a comfortable experience.

It boasts one of the most spacious interiors among subcompact cars. While the front seats match the competition in terms of legroom and headroom, the rear seats beat them outright with a massive 37-inch legroom. This means two 6-footers can comfortably sit behind one another.

2020 Nissan Versa’s Front seats

However, the height-adjustable driver’s seat is only available in the top Versa SV trim. The steering wheel does not telescope either making finding a good driving position difficult. The Cruise control is available from Sentra S Plus onwards.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

Passenger capacity

5

5

5

5

Front (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

39.5/53.1/44.5

39.1/52.7/43.6

38.9/54.2/42.1

38.2/53.1/41.9

Second (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (In.)

36.3/53.6/31.0

37.1/49.0/31.2

37.3/53.7/33.5

36.8/50.0/34.4

While the Versa is capacious the competition propels on similar numbers. A budget buyer can accommodate 5 people easily on any of these cars.

The Nissan Versa offers a modest list of interior features. Some of these features are mentioned below:

  • 7" touch-screen display
  • 4-way manual driver's seat
  • 60/40 Split fold-down rear seats
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Silver accents on dash and vent rings

Infotainment System

At first, the reduced price might seem like a savvy deal but when you reach the cabin, the empty spaces on the dash will painfully hit you. The base trim comes standard with the ancient push-button stereo and a miniature screen. Only the upper trim shoppers will encounter the necessary features like Auxiliary input and Bluetooth.

2020 Nissan Versa Infotainment Display

To enjoy some upmarket infotainment you need to spend a little bit more to land the special edition package with a larger 5.0-inch infotainment screen, Bluetooth, navigation and more. 

  • Siri eyes-free
  • Google Assistant voice recognition
  • AM/FM audio system
  • Bluetooth streaming audio
  • Apple CarPlay
  • Android Auto
  • Nissan Connect

Cargo Capacity

The Nissan Versa might not be the most beautiful car in the class but it gets practicality covered. It has a decent boot opening, enough to swallow big quantities of luggage. The 14.7 cubic feet of cargo volume is the best in the class right now. 

The 2020 Versa manages to free up more space on the inside

You can extend this space with the 60/40-split of rear folding seats on the SV and SL trim. This suggests the new Nissan Versa is promptly extra roomy, not just for the inhabitants but also for their belongings.

Models

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

Cargo Volume (cu.-ft)

14.7

12.8

13.7

13.5

The cargo volume available on the Nissan Versa is best in the lot right now. The Toyota Yaris comes second in practicality and cargo space with its 13.5 cubic feet followed by the Hyundai Accent and Ford Fiesta.

2020 nissan versa front seat
2020 nissan versa dashboard
2020 nissan versa steering
2020 nissan versa instrumental cluster
2020 nissan versa center console

2020 Nissan Versa Exterior

4.5/10

It's not athletic and is built around the idea of a family car, the car measures 177.4 inches in length and 68.7 inches in width. The height of the Versa is recorded at 59.6 inches. It might not be the best but it's the largest in the entry-level sedans today.

The 2020 Nissan Versa might look at many different things to different people

Moreover, large rear doors ensure getting in and out is easy and installing child-seat won’t be a chore either. While all the lower trims get black door handles, the  SV and SV special edition sport chrome finish door handle. Versa SV special edition is also the only Versa to get fog lamps.

Model

Nissan Versa

Ford Fiesta

Hyundai Accent

Toyota Yaris

Curb Weight (lbs.)

2599

2578

2502

2385

Length (in.)

177.0

173.5

172.6

171.2

Width (in.)

68.5

67.8

68.1

66.7

Height (in.)

57.3

58.1

57.1

58.5

Ground Clearance (in.)

6.8

4.7

5.5

5.5

Wheelbase (in.)

103.1

98.0

101.6

101.2

Track Width (in.) F/R

59.8/60.2

57.7/57.7

59.3/59.5

58.9/58.5

The 2020 Nissan Versa is not only the heaviest of the lot but also has the longest wheelbase, and is also the longest in general overall.

 Exterior Features

The exciting new styling elements of the redesigned 2020 Nissan Versa include:

  • LED headlights with LED signature
  • Dark chrome grille
  • Body-color door handles
  • Body-color rear spoiler
  • Carbon-fiber look rear diffuser
2020 Nissan versa front view
2020 Nissan versa front view
2020 Nissan versa rear view
2020 Nissan versa side view
2020 Nissan versa taillight

2020 Nissan Versa Safety

3.0/10

The Nissan Versa is one of the rare cars that do not provide any driver assistance systems. Although the Versa has demerits, it does come with a peace-of-mind of new car warranty
(3-years/36,000 miles) for a used car price.

Safety Features

  • Nissan Advanced Air Bag System with supplemental front airbags with seat-belt and occupant-classification sensors
  • Driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side-impact supplemental air bags
  • Zone Body construction with front and rear crumple zones
  • Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS)
  • Airbags, dual-stage, frontal, driver and right-front passenger includes Passenger Sensing System
  • Door locks, rear child security
  • Pipe-style steel side-door guard beams
  • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for Children), for child safety seats
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

2020 Nissan Versa Competition

Nissan Versa vs. Ford Fiesta

When you pit the Fiesta and Versa against each other you will find fiesta the more powerful, efficient and good looking car. Also, you will get more features and a little more safety by going with the Fiesta. The extra thousand dollars will truly bring you more value. So, Fiesta is clearly the better car.

2020 Ford Fiesta

Nissan Versa vs Toyota Yaris

Toyota Yaris is essentially a rebadged Mazda and owing to that, it will entertain you on the commute and has superbly built interiors that look far more upscale than the Versa. However, Yaris iA has tight rear seats and its trunk is also not as spacious as the Versa. More importantly, the Yaris iA brings more quality and driving engagement for a price while Versa offers a low cost of ownership.

2020 Toyota Yaris Sedan

So, clearly, the extra money you put on the Yaris is just for the extra interior features which make it a better deal.

2020 Nissan Versa Final Verdict

Despite being the most affordable car currently on sale, the Nissan Versa offers exceptionally roomy interior and trunk. This combine with cushioned suspension and excellent sound deadening to make the Versa a truly comfortable family car. However, the efficient CVT should have been available at a lower price (if that’s possible at all with current technology).

Also, you have to deal with the subpar build quality and this Nissan has no excitement on offer either. You do have the option of getting a better equipped used car at this price. However, if the uncertainties of owning a used car make you anxious, the Nissan Versa has the unmatched peace-of-mind of a new car with a new car warranty.

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