The 2020 Nissan Versa is completely redesigned and offers an exceptional value in the subcompact segment. There’s a lot of tech and value in the new Versa, and on the SR trim, we tested you can get intelligent cruise control, must-have safety features and cool exterior lighting.
This is what we learned while driving the 2020 Nissan Versa SR for a week as our daily driver. We’re testing this just like we drive our own cars to the store, to dinner and on the highway. With all-new looks, it reminds us of a baby Maxima in a good way. It’s also
Starting at just $15,655 for the base model and our loaner was the very well equipped 2020 Nissan Versa SR with the convenience package, center armrest, electronics package, and lighting package which lists for $21,490 including destination.
If you are shopping for an affordable small car, the Versa needs to be at the top of your list. It packs in all the boxes for this segment and while the Honda Fit is an alternative you should explore more, ultimately the Versa is going to be the best fit for many shoppers.
Driving the 2020 Nissan Versa
The 2020 Nissan Versa packs in a slightly more powerful engine and it’s very good at filling the role of getting you where you need to go. While not sporty, it accelerates quick enough that you can get into traffic or onto the highway easily.
Under the hood is a 1.6L four-cylinder engine with a continuously variable transmission that simulates gear shifts. This is a competent system that works well. The new Versa handles well with an emphasis on comfort, without feeling floaty. You will hear potholes and bumps in the road, but overall the suspension does a good job of absorbing these.
The bottom line is that the 2020 Versa isn’t going to fill a sporty driving need, but it does offer enough pep, decent handling and good driving experience for an affordable subcompact car.
The Versa is rated for 32 mpg in the city and 40 mpg on the highway. That’s easy to achieve, so you’re getting a fuel efficient car as well.
2020 Nissan Versa Interior & Style
Along with the new exterior styling, the 2020 Versa interior looks and feels nicer than on the old model. There’s a decent amount of room in the front seats and the orange accent stitching on the SR off the look that is complete with faux carbon fiber. The build quality is good and we recommend the center armrest with storage upgrade.
The seats are comfortable, though not overly cushy. If you’re sharing the car, keep in mind that all the adjustments are manual, so you will need to spend a little more time.
While the front section is more spacious, the extra room needs to come from somewhere. In this case, it’s the back seat. Both legroom and headroom aren’t great in the back, but it is manageable for adults on short trips if the front passengers accommodate.
The trunk is quite large at 15 cubic ft, so you can easily haul groceries, golf clubs and other gear that you may need to carry.
Technology & Safety
Nissan splurges on technology in the 2020 Versa with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support in the SV trim and above. Simply plug your phone in and you’ll get the latest version of this handy software to send messages, play music, get navigation and access to calls and your voice assistant. This works very well and the 7-inch touch screen is easy to see. We really appreciated this feature, which elevates the in-car experience significantly.
The Bluetooth connection works well and calls sound good through it or when plugged in to use the services above. The system also comes with Sirius XM, and the SR offers a six-speaker setup. It sounds good, but it’s not going to blow you away. There is a USB port up front and 12V port as well as two USB ports in the back seat.
Other nice touches are the automatic climate control, proximity keyless entry and the absolutely cool external ground lighting option that lights up around the car when you unlock or open a door. It’s a $690 option that includes ambient lighting inside the car, but it’s a good splurge.
Nissan adds in a great selection of driver safety and convenience features, though you do need to go up the trim level to the SR to get LED headlights. On all trim levels, you get automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, high beam assist, rear automatic braking, and high beam assist. On the SV and SR, you get blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert.
We recommend the $300 Convenience Package to add adaptive cruise control, which is an excellent upgrade and provides a ton of value on long trips. This package also includes heated front seats.