2020 Nissan Versa Vs. 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

By Justin Cupler | September 23rd, 2019

The all-new 2020 Nissan Versa and the youthful 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan flipped the subcompact sedan segment on its ear with stunning looks and decked-out cabins. Which of these tiny people haulers is the best for our Bradenton area shoppers’ individual needs? Continue reading to find out.

Exterior

The 2019 Toyota Yaris continues with its Mazda2-based design with mild Toyota tweaks. While its base design is all-Mazda, this is far from a bad thing, as it gives this compact sedan a sporty look that’s uncommon in the segment. This allows it to stand out in a crowd and age well since it is in just its third model year.

 

The 2020 Nissan Versa is all-new and brings in a mature look that includes a swoopier silhouette, the signature Nissan V-motion grille, a “floating” roof, and a longer and wider body. So, while the Toyota Yaris Sedan delivers a uniquely sporty look for the class, the Nissan Versa delivers a sophisticated look that will appeal to older buyers who may not like the wilder styling the Yaris and others in this class boast.

 

Inside, the Toyota Yaris and Nissan Versa are both well-equipped as subcompact, entry-level sedans, but their exteriors remain relatively simple. Both models come standard with standard 15-inch steel wheels and hubcaps and halogen headlights, but the Yaris gets a leg up with its color-keyed door handles and mirrors to the Versa’s standard black mirrors and door handles. As you move up the trim levels, things even out with available alloy wheels, LED headlights, and more in both models.

 

In terms of sizing, the Nissan Versa was already among the larger subcompact sedans on the market, but the all-new 2020 Versa is now longer and wider, and it rides on a longer wheelbase. This larger footprint widens the sizing gaps between it and the Yaris Sedan to 5.8 inches in length, 1.8 inches in width, and 1.9 inches in its wheelbase. No surprise, the 2020 Versa is also significantly heavier than the Yaris.

 

With a smaller body, the Yaris Sedan may be the better buy for shoppers who travel in heavy city traffic or park in tight public parking garages.

 

Measurement Nissan Versa Toyota Yaris Sedan Difference
Length 177 inches 171.2 inches +5.8 inches
Width 68.5 inches 66.7 inches +1.8 inches
Height 57.3 to 57.7 inches 58.5 inches -1.2 to -0.8 inches
Wheelbase 103.1 inches 101.2 inches +1.9 inches
Ground Clearance 6.8 inches 5.5 inches +1.3 inches
Curb weight 2,599 to 2,729 pounds 2,385 to 2,482 pounds +177 to +344 pounds

 

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

  •       Sporty design
  •       Smaller and easier to zip around
  •       Lighter and nimbler

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa

  •       Surprisingly upscale looks
  •       Sleek shape
  •       Newest take in the subcompact segment

Interior

Inside, the 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan and 2020 Nissan Versa take on sportier attitudes. The 2020 Versa includes unexpected touches like a flat-bottom steering wheel, available contrast stitching throughout, rounded HVAC vents, and more. The 2019 Yaris Sedan’s Mazda2-based cabin offers similar levels of sportiness with its rounded air vents, dashtop infotainment screen, thick three-spoke steering wheel, and sport bucket seats.

 

In roominess, the larger Versa focuses on the front seats with an extra 1.3 inches of headroom and 2.6 inches of legroom relative to the Yaris Sedan. In the rear seats, though, the Yaris Sedan crushes the Versa with 3.4 inches of extra legroom, though it does give up 3.6 inches of rear shoulder room to the Versa.

 

In its trunk, the 2020 Versa can tote up to 15 cubes of cargo, which beats the Yaris by up to 1.5 cubic feet.

 

The 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan and 2020 Nissan Versa both feature well-equipped cabins for subcompact sedans, as their standard features include 7-inch infotainment screens, Bluetooth audio streaming, multiple USB ports, power door locks and windows, four-speaker audio systems, and more. When you step into the midrange Versa SV, it starts to separate itself with standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which aren’t available at all in the Toyota Yaris Sedan.

 

The 2020 Nissan Versa also delivers outstanding safety in its base trim with standard be-safe technology like automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane-departure warning, automatic high-beam headlights, a rearview camera, automatic rear braking, and hill-start assist. Move into the SV trim, and the Versa also gains blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert. The Yaris offers only standard low-speed automatic emergency braking as a standard feature.

 

Measurement Nissan Versa Toyota Yaris Sedan Difference
Front headroom 39.5 inches 38.2 inches +1.3 inches
Front legroom 44.5 inches 41.9 inches +2.6 inches
Front shoulder room 53.1 inches 53.1inches
Front hip room 50.9 inches
Rear headroom 36.3 inches 36.8 inches -0.5 inches
Rear legroom 31 inches 34.4 inches -3.4 inches
Rear shoulder room 53.6 inches 50 inches +3.6 inches
Rear hip room 50.1 inches
Cargo room 14.7 to 15 cubic feet 13.49 cubic feet +1.21 to +1.51 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

  •       Tons more rear legroom
  •       Dashtop screen adds a premium touch

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa

  •       Loads more front-seat room
  •       Larger trunk
  •       Superior seat comfort
  •       All the safety equipment you need comes standard

Performance

Outside of a select few models, the compact class and performance mix as well as oil and water, and the Nissan Versa and Toyota Yaris Sedan are examples of that incompatibility. What they do show off is excellent fuel economy and drivability on tight city streets.

 

The 2019 Toyota Yaris comes standard with a 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 106 horsepower and 103 pound-feet of torque. This power heads through a standard six-speed manual transmission or an optional six-speed automatic. Power heads to the front wheels for a 9.1-second 0-to-60 time.

 

The 2020 Nissan Versa’s standard 1.6-liter four-pot engine cranks out 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque and ships it to the front wheels via a standard five-speed manual transmission or an optional continuously variable transmission. Sixty mph passes in just over nine seconds, making it just as slow as the Yaris.

The Yaris shows a slight glimmer of hope in performance with its sporty Mazda underpinnings that deliver strong cornering performance. The Yaris’ lower curb weight plays a big role in this enhanced handling too.

 

Where these four-cylinder-powered subcompact sedans shine is inn fuel economy, as the Yaris and Versa get up to 32 mpg city, 40 mpg highway, and 35 mpg combined with their respective automatic transmissions.  

 

Nissan Versa Toyota Yaris Sedan Difference
Engine 1.6-liter 4-cyl 1.5-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 122 hp at 6,300 rpm 106 hp at 6,000 rpm +16 hp
Torque 114 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm 103 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm +11 lb-ft
Standard transmission 5-spd manual 6-spd manual
Optional transmission CVT 6-spd automatic
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 9.2 sec. (est.) 9.1 seconds +0.1 seconds
MPG City 27 to 32 mpg 30 to 32 mpg -5 to +2 mpg
MPG Highway 35 to 40 mpg 39 to 40 mpg -5 to +1 mpg
MPG Combined 30 to 35 mpg 34 to 35 mpg -5 to +1 mpg

 

Advantage: 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

  •       Zippier handling
  •       Lighter and nimbler
  •       Traditional automatic transmission

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa

  •       More standard power
  •       Smoother ride

Pricing and Features

The 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan has three trim levels – L, LE, and XLE – and their starting prices range from $15,600 to $18,700.

There are three trim levels in the 2020 Nissan Versa lineup: S, SV, and SR. Their starting prices range from $14,730 to $17,640.

2019 Toyota Yaris Key Features and Pricing by Trim

L: $15,600

  •       1.5-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Six-speed manual transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Sport-tuned electronic power steering
  •       Front disc and rear drum brakes
  •       Halogen headlights
  •       Daytime running lights
  •       Gloss-black mesh grille
  •       Color-keyed side-view mirrors
  •       Color-keyed door handles
  •       15-inch styled-steel wheels
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Chrome-tipped exhaust
  •       Color-keyed roof-mounted shark-fin antenna
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Cloth seating
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       Sport bucket front seats
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Metallic interior trim
  •       Chrome interior door handles
  •       Power door locks
  •       Remote keyless entry with keyless ignition
  •       Power windows with driver-side one-touch up/down
  •       Illuminated vanity mirrors
  •       Digital clock
  •       7-inch touchscreen infotainment center
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM/SiriusXM/ HD Radio audio syste,
  •       Two USB 2.0 ports
  •       Voice recognition
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Low-speed automatic emergency braking
  •       Brake assist

LE: $16,600

  •       All L features, plus
  •       Fog lights
  •       Mirror-integrated LED turn signals
  •       Rear spoiler
  •       16-inch dark-gray split-spoke alloy wheels
  •       Smart touch-to-unlock sensors on the front doors and trunk

XLE: $18,700

  •       All LE features, plus
  •       Six-speed automatic transmission
  •       LED headlights with auto-on/off
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Rain-sensing wipers
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Leatherette upholstery
  •       “Normal” and “Sport” driving modes
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel

2020 Nissan Versa Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S: $14,730

  •       1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Five-speed manual transmission
  •       Front disc and rear drum brakes
  •       Brake assist
  •       Electric parking brake
  •       15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Halogen headlights with auto-on/off
  •       Chrome grille
  •       Power mirrors
  •       Black outside mirrors
  •       Black door handles
  •       Carbon-fiber-look rear diffuser
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Power windows with driver’s one-touch up/down
  •       Power door locks
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       Cloth seating
  •       Matte-carbon-fiber-look door trim
  •       7-inch color touchscreen
  •       Siri Eyes Free
  •       Google Assistant
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Nissan voice recognition
  •       Hands-free text messaging
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  •       Three USB ports
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Cruise control
  •       Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Rear automatic braking
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Nissan vehicle immobilizer

SV: $16,400

  •       All S features, plus
  •       Xtronic CVT
  •       16-inch aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       Body-color, heated mirrors with integrated LED turn signals
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Rear-door alert
  •       Driver’s seat armrest
  •       Premium cloth upholstery
  •       PRIMA-TEX-appointed dash trim
  •       Chrome interior door handles
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seats
  •       Advanced Drive-Assist display
  •       NissanConnect 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       SiriusXM
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert
  •       Intelligent driver alertness

SR: $17,640

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       17-inch split-five-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       LED headlights
  •       LED signature daytime running lights
  •       Fog lights
  •       Dark-chrome grille
  •       Black-painted outside mirrors
  •       Body-color rear spoiler
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Touch-to-lock/unlock door handles
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       Remote ignition
  •       Sport cloth seat trim
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system

Who Should Buy the 2019 Toyota Yaris Sedan

The Toyota Yaris Sedan is a great car for younger buyers who want a sportier look and improved handling, and are willing to give up some ride quality to achieve this.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Nissan Versa

The Nissan Versa is the better all-around family subcompact sedan. Sure, it gives up a little in rear-seat legroom, but its array of standard safety tech and other desirable features make it the better overall buy for our growing Saginaw area families.

 

Head down to Nissan of Bradenton serving the Sarasota and St. Petersburg areas today to see what the all-new 2020 Nissan Versa can offer you. Whether you need a commuter car to get to work in Bradenton, a carpool ride to get the kids to school in Sarasota, or a weekend cruiser for trips to Grandma’s house in St. Petersburg, the 2020 Nissan Versa can handle it all. Can’t make it to our showroom for a test drive today? You can navigate to our online inventory page, choose a few in-stock 2020 Versa models that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive at your convenience.