New for 2020, the second-generation Versa represents a giant leap forward for this small sedan. The clean-sheet design is longer and wider and there’s more space between the front and rear wheels. A lower and sleeker roofline comes at the expense of reduced rear-seat headroom that was the previous Versa’s strong suit. Trunk space has also decreased slightly. The interior has better-quality hard- and soft-touch materials as well as seat coverings. The dashboard controls and attendant analog gauges are straightforward and the standard flat-bottom steering wheel is a nice touch. A 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine produces 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque (the previous Versa 1.6 made 109/107). A five-speed manual transmission is standard, but only with the base S trim. A new continuously variable automatic (CVT) is available in the S, but is standard with the SV and SR models. The Versa’s vast array of dynamic-safety tech — such as emergency braking and active cruise control — is standard in the SV and SR. Since the Versa Note hatchback is gone for 2020, it now falls upon the Versa sedan to carry the torch.

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