By on August 2, 2019

2020 Nissan Versa

Nissan has announced pricing for the 2020 Versa, and the increase should mean that it’s no longer the cheapest car one can buy in America.

That doesn’t mean, however, that the price jump moves the car out of the “cheap” category.

Cheap in the low-cost sense, not the quality sense. More on that later — I just drove the car, but I cannot comment on it publicly until next week, due to embargo.

The cheapest car for sale 2020 title cannot be bestowed on any given econobox just yet, as it appears not all of the Versa’s competitors have released pricing for 2020 as of this moment.

If you head over to Nissan’s consumer Web site, you will see that the base price on a 2019 Versa starts at under $13,000, before fees. That price has jumped to $14,730 for a stick-shift (#savethemanuals) Versa S. Want a continuously-variable automatic transmission? That’s gonna be $16,400. Pop for the SV mid-level trim, and it’s $17,640, while the top-line SR checks in at $18,240.

2020 Nissan Versa

None of those prices include the $895 destination fee. You can only get a stick if you stick with the base S trim.

The redesigned Versa offers things such as a suite of driver-aid/safety tech, fog lamps, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, heated front seats, automatic climate control, Bluetooth, LED headlamps, 17-inch wheels, remote keyless entry, and push-button start.

A Convenience Package available for the SR includes heated front seats and smart cruise control.

There’s just one engine available — a 1.6-liter four-banger pushing out 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque.

Contributor and Ace of Base guru Matthew Guy did some digging and found that Mitsubishi is pricing the base 2020 Mirage at $13,995. That may be a $200 increase from this year, but it is now cheaper than a Versa. So even if the Mirage doesn’t end up being the cheapest car on the market in 2020, the Versa will have relinquished that dubious title, at least.

We’ll have full review of the updated Versa next week.

[Images © 2019 Tim Healey/TTAC]

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40 Comments on “2020 Nissan Versa Pricing – No Longer Cheapest, Still Cheap...”


  • avatar
    Hummer

    That’s actually a pretty big jump, though getting the Manual is an easier choice than ever, even if the prices for CVT and Manual were reversed the manual is the clear answer here. Seems Nissan is trying to scratch more money from every corner of the box.

    Granted having two less competitors to fight against certainly makes it easier to jack up prices.

  • avatar
    -Nate

    So ;

    Is it still a penalty box ? .

    -Nate

  • avatar
    jh26036

    Big price jumps, the Toyota Yaris is a more compelling package at slightly more dollarbucks.

  • avatar
    tylanner

    If used car sales were banned this would have a market….

  • avatar
    theflyersfan

    And this is what frustrates me about Nissan – the snail’s pace of engine and technological innovation that has plagued the company for the past 20 years. (Except the GT-R, but you can’t compare a $100,000+ car to the rest of the lineup.)

    In 1996, a redesigned Nissan Sentra, roughly the same size with this Versa, came with a 1.6L inline 4. It made 115hp and (I believe) 110lb-ft of torque. In mixed driving, with an automatic, I averaged 34-36 mpg (my second new Nissan – needed something easy on fuel after college) and easily hit 40 on the highway. It had the proper safety and emissions equipment required at the time and was considered a safe, reliable, but a bit boring car.

    Fast forward 24 model years. The Versa, roughly the same size, also has a 1.6L inline 4 that makes 9 more horsepower a touch more torque and doesn’t have any meaningful gains in efficiency. It might pollute a little less, but even in 1996, cars were getting pretty clean. The Versa has the necessary new tech to compete, but under the hood, it is very, very ordinary and even behind the times.

    It’s like Nissan sticking with the VQ-series V6 for so long. The Versa should have a NA engine pumping out at least 140hp and easily getting 40mpg by now given the size, transmission, and technology available. But it’s like Nissan has been stuck in this rut for 25 years and that’s what frustrates me.

    Love the flat bottomed steering wheel…in a Versa. Let’s go racin’!!!

    And am I the only one that sees Mater from Cars when I see a new Nissan front end?

    • 0 avatar
      Maymar

      You’re neglecting improvements in safety, and comparing apples to oranges with fuel economy. Unless you’ve put a Versa through the exact same driving as you did with your Sentra, there’s too many variables for your anecdotal fuel economy to count for much (EPA quotes 24/33mpg for that Sentra, vs 31/39 for a previous gen Versa. Plus, despite almost 25 years of inflation, didn’t your Sentra sell for about the same $14k as a new base Versa (which should have similar equipment)?

      I think Nissan gets a lot of things wrong, but not perpetually chasing cutting edge technology on one of the cheapest new cars available isn’t one of them.

      • 0 avatar
        theflyersfan

        I totally get what you’re saying – maybe I wasn’t as clear as I wanted to be with my post.
        I’m wondering why, after 25 years, Nissan can’t get a little more out of their small engines. Honda, with engines just as small and without turbochargers (pre 1.5L w/turbo) was able to get between 130-150 hp out of an engine that’s similarly sized and get excellent fuel economy. I understand that the attitude could be that “hey, it’s going in the cheapest cars…who cares?” and that’s not the way to build loyalty or a happy buyer knowing that a better car could be had for the same or just a few dollars more per month (like the Fit).
        Yes, cars are heavier, more tech laden, and more emissions-controlled than ever and comparing fuel economy today to 25 years ago isn’t fair. (Those adjusted EPA numbers for that Sentra seem very low compared to what I got and I wan’t that easy on it!!!) But I look at the advancements that other small engines have made, with and without turbocharging, compared to what Nissan still uses in the Versa and Sentra, and it looks like a case of doing the bare minimum to get by.
        That’s the point I was trying to make – it’s a new redesign and it was a chance to modernize everything, not stick with the status quo.

        • 0 avatar
          quaquaqua

          You’re right, I’m always shocked at the performance numbers regarding Nissan’s engines across the board, they look like 20 year old numbers in most cases. And then when they claim they’ve done something insanely revolutionary, like that variable compression turbo, it utterly fails in the real world to deliver on any of their promises. Considering Nissan is a full-line automaker, they mess up both the major things (powertrains) and the details (cost-cutting interiors) and the general experience (neither sporty or comfortable ride/handling) far too often. I’m always baffled anyone buys these cars. But man they come with a lot of cash on the hood. Call it the Grand Caravan effect, I suppose.

          • 0 avatar
            gtem

            The small but noticeable gap between Nissan’s naturally aspirated mills and most others has been their reluctance in adopting direct injection. Also consider that the SAE horsepower rating system has been revised since that Sentra you’re quoting got 115hp out of its GA16 mill, same for EPA figures.

            So there’s no real mystery, and I personally dont’ feel offended in the least that on paper nissan is 15hp or whatever the latest DI competitor.

        • 0 avatar
          Maymar

          I get that, sort of, but it’s less a matter of “who cares” and moreso seeing merit in keeping some really cheap, simple options on the market. I don’t buy into all the turbocharging paranoia, but to speak to your Honda 1.5T example, they have proven to have more issues than the naturally aspirated engines they replace. I’m taking a bit of a leap here, but I’m assuming most subcompacts get sold to buyers who buyers who’re paid hourly rather than salaried, buyers who maybe don’t have the most flexible employment, or budgets to accept unplanned repairs once the car is out of warranty, people who just need transportation to get them to work. I drive something similarly low-powered and slow, and as much as I’d like more power, I have no trouble keeping up with normal traffic, so ramping up the power wouldn’t necessarily do much good. Better fuel economy would be more helpful, but given how real world fuel economy with turbos can be a bit of a mixed bag depending on driver’s style, I’m not going to judge too much if the naturally aspirated version is decent enough on gas.

          Admittedly, this all falls down when Nissan pairs simple, older engines to CVTs, which have proven to have the sort of issues I laud the engines for avoiding (although I think moreso when paired with larger displacement engines). You do also sort of have a point about the N/A 1.5 Honda uses in the Fit, but again, they use it in a more expensive car, and it’s more top-end power as opposed to the lower-end grunt people use in real world commuting (it has less torque, with a peak at higher RPMs).

          • 0 avatar
            sgeffe

            I had a Versa SV as a rental a couple weeks back. Not completely mediocre, but only just a step or two above. The plus is the good visibility and reasonably airy greenhouse. The downside is that the car hits the proverbial brick wall at around 4,000rpm during a freeway merge, where the engine is screaming, but the lack of faster forward motion is disconcerting! Probably, the CVT is to blame for that!

            It’s reasonably decent transportation, nothing more!

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            @Maymar :

            ? What freeway speed was this ? .

            4,000 RPM sounds a bit buzzy .

            TIA,

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            kjs

            @Nate, in the 2018 Sentra rental car I had a few months back, it would rev up to 5000rpm and lose steam at around 55mph trying to merge onto the freeway. It sounded and felt awful.

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            THANK YOU ! .

            This is the sort of information I want .

            Was this a CVT ? .

            So far as I can tell no GearHeads ever like CVT’s and they’re not reliable .

            TIA,

            -Nate

          • 0 avatar
            kjs

            @Nate, it was a CVT. The car only had 7,000 miles, and I drove it 900 miles while I had it. I’m not sure whether the high-revving and poor acceleration is inherent to CVTs in general, or a result of a poor design by Nissan, but I would never willingly drive a Sentra from that generation again, and I can’t imagine anyone preferring Nissan’s CVT over a regular automatic tranny. I later discovered that Car and Driver’s review of the 2016 Sentra featured all of the complaints I had about the 2018 Rentra: https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a15101173/2016-nissan-sentra-automatic-test-review/

          • 0 avatar
            -Nate

            Uh, oh ~

            My step grand daughter is 25 +/- and drives her 2013 (?) Nissan Sentra with a serious leadfoot .

            I hope it doesn’t have a CVT in it ! .

            Her Father is a nice guy but doesn’t keep much of an eye on it nor her ~ I discovered she’s driving on bald tires with a doughnut spare, went and bought some good junkyard tires and a standard 16″ factory wheel, mounted them up and told her pops the park brake didn’t work and needed adjusting, I never heard back .

            -Nate

  • avatar
    Mackie

    Well it’s a lot better looking, that’s for sure.

  • avatar
    TMA1

    Honestly, just having a dashpad that’s a contrasting color from the rest of the interior earns some respect from me. I’m sure it would have been cheaper to go with something all black.

    Had a Versa as a rental last year in California. Lots of space in front, back, and the trunk. Not a sporty car at all, but I still liked it better than the miserable DCT Focus I had this year. This new version looks even better.

    • 0 avatar
      -Nate

      THANK YOU for this thumbnail review .

      -Nate

    • 0 avatar
      sgeffe

      I can’t remember if the lower dash in the SV rental I had a couple weeks back had that contrasting piece.

      The center stack arrangement is a little unique, but it works without resorting to the iPod-on-the-dash look, with HVAC vents which are too low. (It also manages to avoid the awkward look of the center vents in the Civic.)

  • avatar
    R Henry

    “top-line SR checks in at $18,240”

    I know the SR will likely trade around $17,000…but…:

    My neighbor just picked up a brand new 2019 Chrysler 300 “ace of base” for $19k after incentives. That is a heckuva lot more car for the money.

    Yes…apples and zucchinis…but still….!

    • 0 avatar
      Hydromatic

      Nice to see some people still buying their cars by the pound.

      • 0 avatar
        R Henry

        That boat is rated 30 mpg highway, and my neighbor is achieving that number. It might be an old platform, but 30 mpg highway remains respectable in my book.

    • 0 avatar
      ajla

      I’d certainly buy a $19k 300 Touring over a $17K Versa SR.
      However, some people are more comfortable driving a 2ft shorter vehicle or don’t trust FCA products (although I’m not convinced Nissan is a big improvement).

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        I still see a few new leftover 2017 Chrysler 200’s in the $17-20k range. Some even equipped with the Pentastar.
        Not a bad deal for someone who wants something just above a near penalty box subcompact.

        • 0 avatar
          gtem

          “2017 Chrysler 200’s in the $17-20k range. Some even equipped with the Pentastar.”

          Hardly a compelling package, if and only if it had the V6, then maybe. But on Chrysler’s own lot I’d rather get the more durable/fool-proof 300 for better long term parts support. Looking outside, you can buy a brand new Camry LE for $20k so a discontinued cramped 200 with a noisy “Tigershark” 4cyl is hardly a deal IMO.

        • 0 avatar
          dividebytube

          Co-worker has a 2016 (?) 200S with the Pentastar 3.6L and AWD. He’s been to the shop two times for AWD issues, and was just in for a cam sensor that went bad.

          It’s not a bad car at all – I’ve only ridden not driven – but the NVH seems higher in level than my Mustang, which isn’t exactly luxury quiet. And going over bumps in the 200 makes for a higher frequency thump than my car.

          But a budget-level 300 might be perfect for my wife’s next car; if only I could convince her that owning our first Chrysler would be okay!

    • 0 avatar
      TMA1

      I checked the configurator on that 300. Base Touring model, 8 free exterior colors, 2 interior colors, $26,715 including freight and cash back. Not bad, but I think it could happen for less. $19K is a great price though.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      I’m skeptical that $19k was the full purchase price. Are you sure he wasn’t telling you the price after trade-in?

      I’d expect to pay $23-$24k for that car. Still not a bad deal if you’re OK with bad city fuel economy and FCA quality.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    The Versa is a fine way to get a surprising amount of space and decent reliability for no money.

    At its price, even this higher price, it doesn’t need to be more. Honestly it’s a much better value than the Sentra positioned immediately above it.

  • avatar

    GM has never produced a small car as good as the Versa.

  • avatar
    Jeff S

    No thank you for any Nissan with the CVT transmission at any price. Any savings you get buying a Nissan is more than spent on a replacement transmission.

  • avatar
    Johnster

    I see a lot of these on these on the roads where I live. They are much more common than Sentras and they seem about as common as Chevy Spectrums, Kia Rios and Hyundai Accents. OTOH, I see fewer Toyota Yarises, Ford Fiestas and Mitsubishi Lancers on the roads. Decidely “meh,” but probably O.K. for basic transportation.


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