Nissan introduces 2020 Versa sedan

The re-invented Versa is more stylish than its predecessor.

Although the 2019 New York auto show opens its doors next week, Nissan chose to introduce the next-generation Versa sedan during the Tortuga Music Festival taking place this weekend in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

Designers made the 2020 Versa considerably more stylish than the outgoing model. Its front end borrows styling cues like angular headlights and a big, U-shaped insert in the grille from other recent additions to the Nissan family, like the Kicks and the second-generation Leaf. Black trim on the C-pillar reduces visual mass, while horizontal taillights emphasize the sedan's width. To us, the new Versa looks a lot less dowdy than its predecessor.

Nissan explained it put an emphasis on technology when designing the Versa. It comes standard with automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, and high beam assist. Other driving aids -- including adaptive cruise control -- are offered at an extra cost.

The driver faces a three-spoke steering wheel and, on upmarket versions, an instrument cluster with an analog speedometer and a digital tachometer. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are available.

Power for the Versa comes from a naturally-aspirated, 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. It spins the front wheels through a five-speed manual transmission, though a continuously variable transmission (CVT) is offered at an extra cost.

The 2020 Nissan Versa will go on sale in the summer of 2019. Pricing information hasn't been released yet. While the sedan is getting a new lease on life, the Versa Note hatchback isn't as lucky. It will leave the Nissan portfolio after the 2019 model year and the firm confirmed it won't replace the model in the United States.

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