Econobox no more - Nissan Versa/Almera gets a shot in the arm with bold new look
Nissan has made good on their promise. A week ago, they said that they will be revealing the all-new 2020 Versa/Almera. Well, wait no more as they have pulled off the covers, revealing a major overhaul and redesign.
Dubbed the Versa in North America, Nissan has ditched the bug-eyed, rounded shape of the current model. The new-generation compact sedan now apes its much bigger stablemate, the Altima. Slim, upswept headlights and the signature ‘V-Motion’ grill dominates the front end. Speaking of which, high-specification variants are available with LED headlights, as well as fog lights. Meanwhile, the short hood echoes that of the hatchback it’s based on, the Micra/March.
Even the sides get a major overhaul. There’s a more rakish roofline as it slopes more towards the rear. A section of the rear pillar is blacked out, giving it a ‘floating roof’ look which seems to be in vogue in new car designs lately. Giving the small sedan a wider looking stance are more defined fenders, gaining flares on each corner. There’s also an interesting character line which runs through the doors, sweeping upwards towards the rear.
As for the rear, the upright taillights have been replaced in favor of a slim, wraparound design. The trunk lid is also more upright than before, and there’s also a bigger trunk opening. Last but not least are the alloy wheels, which are similar in design to the Altima in top-spec guises. It is possible that base models will stick to steel rims with plastic covers.
The new interior is as dramatically different as the exterior. Most notable is the view from the driver’s side. The D-shaped steering wheel is now in tune with Nissan’s current look, and the instrument cluster has more digital readouts. Also noteworthy is the center stack with a wider, trapezoidal touchscreen audio system, while the air-conditioning controls have been simplified and take up less space. If there’s anything linking the 2020 Versa/Almera to the soon to be outgoing model, that would be the round air-con vents on each of the corners.
It is worth pointing out that the current Versa/Almera has one of the biggest cargo capacities in its class. With that, it will be interesting to see if the all-new model matches, or even surpasses it.
Last but not least, the engine specifications. There’s only one for now and that’s a 1.6-liter mill making 122 PS and 154 Nm of torque. It can then be paired to either a five-speed manual or an 'enhanced' Xtronic continuously variable transmission. Do note that the figures listed is for the North American Market, and will vary from region to region. Whatever the spec may be, the wait for its local debut begins now. That’s if Nissan Philippines Inc. decides to bring it in here and whether the Almera badge would actually be retained.