Is the new Nissan logo and a more comprehensive spec sheet enough to save dwindling sales for the sedan?
The refreshed 2023 Nissan Versa will make its public debut this coming weekend at the Miami Auto Show. The third-generation Versa debuted in 2020 and remains the cheapest model Nissan sells in America. The refresh brings a new front end and more features available on all of its three trims; welcome improvements for a vehicle that consistently ranks high compared to its subcompact competitors in terms of value and comfort.
On the surface, the most obvious change to the vehicle is its new face. Nissan tweaked the front fascia, giving the grille a sleeker, more modern appearance. It's a new take on the company's V-Motion grille, and the vehicle wears it well. Nissan also updated the headlights and updated the badging to the new Nissan logo. The SV and SR trims can also be had with a new Gray Sky Pearl exterior paint color.
Other changes include a revised interior and the features available on the different trims. The trims (S, SV, and SR) carry over from last year, but the S trim now receives an optional S Plus package that equips Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, 16-inch wheels, and a split folding rear seat for greater practicality.
The SV trim rides on the 16-inch alloys as standard but gets a center console with an armrest and a wireless phone charging pad for the new year. Also new is the Chambray interior color scheme.
Several of those features apply to the top-spec SR trim, including the center console armrest. Additionally, the range-topper gets an eight-inch touchscreen, adaptive cruise control, automatic climate control, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and NissanConnect Services for the 2023 model year.
All of the models come with a host of safety features as standard. Automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, lane departure warning, rear automatic braking, and high beam assist are standard on every model under the Nissan Safety Shield 360 banner. Additionally, blind spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert are included only on the SV trim.
The 122-horsepower 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine carries over unchanged. It won't break any speed records, but the car more than makes up for it with a 35 mpg combined gas mileage average when paired with the CVT gearbox. This option is standard on the SV and SR but optional on the S, which ships with a five-speed manual as standard.
Sales of the Versa have been on a downward trend for years, but they reached dismal lows in the first and second quarters of 2022. Fast forward to today, and Nissan has only moved 9,335 so far this year compared to 50,569 units sold during the same period in 2021. There are plenty of reasons why this could be, but as the car soldiers on, Nissan's hoping this refresh will help a few more people give its smallest car a second look.
Pricing for the facelifted model has not yet been confirmed but will likely be revealed by year-end. We don't anticipate a vast increase, as Nissan will likely want to retain the Versa's title of cheapest four-door sedan in America.