This all-new third-generation Nissan Versa for the 2020 model year helps to embrace the driver with an aerodynamic styling and a fuel efficiency that are ready to impress.
But even before you get behind the wheel, you are spell-bound by the Monarch Orange exterior. The color reminds me of a west Texas sunset. Beautiful, even mystical in its colorful appearance.
For one trip out of town I left my Versa in the remote parking lot at Dallas Ft. Worth Airport, and on my return flight home I could spot my brightly colored Versa on the landing approach.
The goodness in the Versa have been refreshed with an exciting design, more technology, and superb safety features.
This entry-level sedan has an adequately long and wide dimensions for its class, allowing for a roomy interior. Its comfort and a reasonable price have not been lost to versatility and safety.
Available Nissan Safety Shield 360 puts forth Nissan Intelligent Mobility that assists through all-around safety monitoring and intervention technologies. These include Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning, High Beam Assist, Blind Spot Warning, and Rear Cross-Traffic Alert. Other available technology includes Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Riding on the safety foundation is the comfort and convenience layer featuring leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, Nissan Intelligent Key, and Automatic Climate Control.
The beautiful stitched leather dashboard and premium cloth seats best reflect the Versa’s character. While I would like to have a longer arm rest for my not-so-long arms, there is excellent leg and head rooms front and back, with front seat travelers enjoying wide seating. There is a need for more small item storage in the front and larger gauges for easier readout. The key fob was a little difficult for me to read also, as I kept getting lock and unlock confused.
The advanced 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine is mated to the gearless Xtronic CVT. This system maximizes efficiency and performance as it whispers through the acceleration. I was astonished at the torque for such a small engine, yet you can still get up to 39 mpg highway. The factual numbers are 122 max horsepower at 6,600 rpm and 114 lb.-ft. of peak torque at 4,400 rpm.
Versa handles robustly, holds splendidly on the curve, and offers heart-felt acceleration on the straightaways.
The 60/40 split fold-down rear seat gives you flexibility for carrying people and cargo. The huge pass-through means tall and wide items are always welcome along for the ride. The Versa has great visibility for every occupant, and the Lane Departure Warning technology is the driver’s best friend.
This is an excellent “starter car,” with the MSRP starting at $18,240 for the top-of-line SR with Xtronic CVT. Thus allowing ownership for a reasonable amount of money, while providing a safe, comfortable, and fun vehicle to drive.
3-year/36,000-mile limited vehicle coverage
5-year/60,000-mile limited powertrain coverage
3-year/36,000-mile Nissan Roadside Assistance
Durhl Caussey writes a car column read around the world. He may be reached at this paper or [email protected]