Nissan Canada seemed to be abandoning the small-car segment with the elimination of the Versa Note and Micra after the 2019 and 2020 model years, respectively. As it turns out, the company will replace both with the next-generation Versa sedan, which is already on sale in the U.S.
Back in February at the Toronto Auto Show, we were told that customers would see it in showrooms starting in late summer. If you’re in the market for a subcompact car that’s big on style, safety and efficiency, here are five things you need to know about the 2021 Nissan Versa…
- Also: Nissan Versa Sedan is Back in Canada for 2021
- Also: Nissan Versa Note to be Axed from North American Lineup
The dynamic lines of the new Versa and its various design elements are largely inspired by Nissan’s other sedans, mostly the redesigned 2020 Sentra, but also the Altima and Maxima. Behold the V-motion grille, boomerang-shaped headlamps and taillamps, “kick-up” C-pillars and floating roof. The new model is lower, wider and longer while retaining the Versa's roomy interior and allowing 425 litres of trunk space.
More Refined Cabin
Speaking of the interior, Nissan designers created a modern product that’s more refined than its predecessor. Contrasting inserts and stitches are available to jazz up the layout. The dashboard and controls are similar to those in the Sentra, although the seven-inch centre touchscreen is integrated differently. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both supported in case you’re not too fond of the brand’s infotainment system.
The Nissan Safety Shield 360 is available on the new Versa. Standard safety features include Intelligent Emergency Braking with Pedestrian Detection, Rear Intelligent Emergency Braking, Lane Departure Warning and High Beam Assist. Select models also feature Blind Spot Warning and Rear Cross traffic Alert.
Same Engine as Kicks
Sharing its platform and powertrain with the Kicks crossover, which comes in FWD configuration only, the 2021 Nissan Versa uses a 1.6-litre four-cylinder engine that generates 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque paired with a five-speed manual transmission (not available on the Kicks) or a CVT called Xtronic.
Efficiency Trumps Performance
The new Versa is not the most powerful car in its class. However, it ranks among the thriftiest at the pump. While fuel consumption ratings for Canada have yet to be announced, you should know that the U.S.-spec model achieves the equivalent of 7.4 L/100 km in the city and 5.9 L/100 km on the highway.