Most manufacturers introduce new products to the public at auto shows; Nissan decided to introduce the incoming 2020 Versa at a music festival.
The Japanese company chose Rock the Ocean’s Tortuga Music Festival in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to unveil its all-new sub-compact, right in the middle of a performance by country music star Kane Brown. The reason: the car is popular with Gen X, Millennials and multicultural customers, so the first look reached the car’s demographic.
“First impressions are exceptionally important, which is why we are thrilled to introduce the all-new 2020 Versa directly to our customers in such a memorable way,” said Claudia Marquez, Nissan North America’s vice president of sales operations. "The Versa is our first impression into the Nissan family. I believe that when customers see this beautiful new car and all the amazing technology that comes with it for the price, they will be part of the Nissan family for life."
Naturally the biggest question for the incoming sedan is that those first-time buyers seem to be choosing crossover utilities over sedans and hatchbacks, so although the current car may be popular, that may not be the case for much longer.
“As other nameplates exit the field, we see a real opportunity to build our segment-leading market share and nurture this crucial group of new-car buyers,” counters Marquez. “More importantly, the new dramatic Nissan Versa design and jam-packed list of features will ensure that customers feel confident they made no compromises in that first purchase.”
Also befitting the young demographic, the all-new Versa is high on technology, including Nissan Safety Shield 360, providing standard front, side and rear safety monitoring and intervention technologies such as Automatic Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Automatic Braking, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist. Also available are Blind Spot Warning, Rear Cross Traffic Alert, Intelligent Driver Alertness and Intelligent Cruise Control.
Versa is the third sedan created under Nissan’s “Emotional Geometry” design language (following Maxima and Altima), featuring the same V-motion grille, boomerang head and tail lamps, kick-up C-pillars and floating roof. Dimensionally, the new Versa is lower, wider and longer than the car it replaces.
“This third-generation Versa design is all about the proportion and stance, to the point where we expect people to look at it and say, ‘Wow, is that a Versa?'" said Giovanny Arroba, program design director at the Nissan Global Design Center. “The wheels are pushed out, there's an imposing grille presence, everything about it says lower, wider, longer."
Versa also follows Maxima and Altima in its “Gliding Wing” instrument panel, the centrepiece of an up-level interior that is more open, with harmonious materials and colours, contributing elegance to a car that more tailored and mature than what buyers expect in this segment.
Interior tech standards include push-button start, power windows and remote keyless entry. Heated front seats, climate control, and Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are also available.
Power comes from the next-gen 1.6-litre 4-cylinder engine that sends 122 hp and 114 lb-ft of torque to the front wheels via a 5-speed manual or Xtronic continuously variable automatic. The 2020 Nissan Versa goes on sale in summer 2019.