Nissan is overhauling its smallest sedan.
The 2020 Nissan Versa was set to be unveiled at a Florida music festival on Friday and instead of giving the family car a gentle refresh, the Japanese automobile manufacturer opted for a total redesign.
The restyled family car is lower, wider and longer than its predecessor, and its roomier build has updated safety features and new technology.
Nissan is hoping to breathe new life into the Versa amid slumping sales for small cars. Versa sales plunged 29 percent in 2018 to 75,809 vehicles.
“The new dramatic Nissan Versa design and jam packed list of features will ensure that customers feel confident they made no compromises in that first purchase,” said Claudia Marquez, vice president of sales operations, Nissan North America, in a statement.
“When customers see this beautiful new car and all the amazing technology that comes with it for the price, they will be part of the Nissan family for life.”
The automaker says the Versa’s new build is all about the proportion and stance.
“The wheels are pushed out, there’s an imposing grille presence,
everything about it says lower, wider, longer,” said Giovanny Arroba, program design director at Nissan. “We expect people to look at it and say, ‘Wow, is that a Versa?’”
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The car is home to a suite of six advanced active safety and driver-assist technologies, including front, side and rear sensing tech that monitors the traffic flow to make sure you are at a safe distance from other vehicles and pedestrians.
Standard safety features include automatic emergency braking. Optional features include intelligent driver alertness, which analyzes a driver’s steering behavior for signs of fatigue.
The restyled car is the latest in the makeover of Nissan’s complete sedan lineup. The flagship Maxima got an upgrade in late 2018. That same year Nissan overhauled its popular mid-size Altima.
The next generation powertrain in the Versa stays largely the same: The 1.6-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine gets 122 horsepower and 114 pounds-feet of torque.
Color options include metallic blue, orange Metallic and what the company calls “Scarlet Ember Tintcoat” aka red.
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No price has been revealed for the new sedan, but Nissan says the price will be competitive in the segment. The 2019 version starts at $12,360.
Follow USA TODAY reporter Dalvin Brown on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown
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