5 Reasons Why the 2020 Nissan Versa is Better than the GT-R NISMO

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Written by Chad Kirchner | September 3, 2019
5 Reasons Why the 2020 Nissan Versa is Better than the GT-R NISMO

The newly-updated-for-2020 Nissan Versa is no longer the least expensive new car on sale in the United States, but it does retain the title of least expensive new Nissan. On the other end of the spectrum, the 2020 Nissan GT-R NISMO is the most expensive Nissan in the company’s lineup, and the most expensive GT-R to date. You’d think there aren’t any similarities between the two cars, and you’d also likely assume that the GT-R is a better car in every way. You’d be wrong.

Here are five ways the new Nissan Versa is a better car than the NISMO GT-R.

1. The 2020 Versa has better safety technology

On a recent drive program for the Versa in Nashville, Nissan representatives touted its standard and optional safety features. Standard is autonomous emergency braking, which works while driving forward, plus while backing up. Blind spot monitoring and adaptive cruise control are features once reserved for premium offerings. It’ll even warn you if you’re starting to venture out of your lane.

The Nissan GT-R does none of that. It does have a backup camera, but that’s also required by law on all new vehicles.

2. The 2020 Versa is more fuel efficient

The Versa is powered by a 1.6-liter four-cylinder making 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. Power is sent to the front wheels by either a CVT automatic or, on base models, 5-speed manual transmission. The GT-R is automatic only.

The EPA fuel economy ratings for the Versa for the automatic are 32 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, or 35 mpg combined. The GT-R? 16, 22 and 18, respectively.

3. The 2020 Versa is a bit cheaper

The starting price for a 2020 Nissan Versa is $15,625 with the manual transmission and delivery. That’s $196,810 LESS than the $212,435 asking price for the GT-R NISMO. You could have 13 Versas for the price of one of the GT-Rs. Why go race on the race track with your GT-R when you can start an entire spec racing series of Versas?

4. The 2020 Versa has more rear-seat room

Carrying passengers is often required by an automobile, and the GT-R can carry people in the back if necessary. It’s a 2+2 configuration, and the heavily bolstered rear seats will grip your passengers for the ride of their life. Assuming, of course, that they can fit back there.

There is 26.4-inches of rear seat legroom in the GT-R. The Versa? A much more human-friendly 31 inches.

5. The 2020 Versa has better in-cabin tech

The GT-R’s infotainment was recently updated to include support for Apple CarPlay. Plus, the system sources graphics from Polyphony Digital (the folks who do the Gran Turismo game series) for the performance displays. But the infotainment in the higher-end Versa is better.

The new Versa has a partially-digital instrument cluster that shows a variety of information. The center stack screen is higher resolution and supports Android Auto in addition to Apple CarPlay.

Of course, in reality, it’s silly to compare the two cars. The Versa is a family-hauler or someone’s first car, while the GT-R NISMO is designed to be blisteringly quick. And don’t worry, it is blisteringly quick. But there aren’t too many automakers out there that have one car that is so affordable, and another so expensive under the same badge. Both, however, are excellent for the right buyer.

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