2020 Chevrolet Cruze Sedan Vs. 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan

By Justin Cupler | September 4th, 2020

Subcompact sedans may not draw large crowds with their small footprints and relatively simple designs, but they have improved dramatically in recent years. Two leaders in this dramatic turnaround are the recently reworked 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan and the all-new 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan. Which is the better option for our Wheaton area shoppers? Continue reading to find out.  

Exterior

The Nissan Versa is all-new for 2020, bringing in a more distinguished look than before thanks to its bold V-motion grille, sleek hood, shapely front fascia, and swooping roofline. This more premium look follows in the footsteps of other recent Nissan redesigns, like the Altima.

 

The Versa is more than a good looker, as it also has a handful of unexpected standard features on the outside, including halogen projector headlights, a chrome grille, power mirrors, and a carbon-fiber-look rear diffuser. Moving further up the trim levels adds even more goodies, including LED headlights and alloy wheels.

 

 

The Chevy Cruze was once a wilder-styled vehicle with a bold front end that included rounded headlights and a backside with matching taillights. In 2017, it got a refresh that added new front and rear ends and eliminated the circular lighting pattern. It still boasts a sporty look, but it is a more refined and distinguished look that is more palatable for a wider range of buyers.

 

 

The 2020 Cruze starts about $3,000 more than the CVT-equipped Versa sedan, so there is more room for a handful of extra styling bits on the outside. These include LED daytime running lights, automatic on/off headlights, body-color mirrors and door handles, and variable-intermittent windshield wipers.

 

In terms of size, the Versa is 3.1 inches longer than the Cruze and 0.2 inches wider, making the Chevy a more manageable car in traffic and in tight parking garages. Oddly enough, the Cruze is up to 318 pounds heavier than the Versa, despite being so much smaller. A lot of this heft comes from the Cruze’s older platform.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Difference
Length 173.9 inches 177 inches -3.1 inches
Width 68.3 inches 68.5 inches -0.2 inches
Height 59.3 to 59.7 inches 57.3 to 57.7 inches +2.4 to +2 inches
Wheelbase 99.4 inches 103.1 inches -3.7 inches
Ground Clearance N/A 6.8
Curb weight 2,857 to 2,917 Pounds 2,599 to 2,729 pounds +128 to +318 pounds

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan

  •       Lighter and nimbler
  •       More upscale look
  •       Newest subcompact design

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan

  •       More compact body
  •       Sportier design
  •       More standard look-good bits

Interior

Inside, the 2020 Nissan Versa continues with its complete transformation that trickles down from the larger Maxima and Altima. While its base model can be a little on the simple side, it still looks great with its standard 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system, flat-bottom steering wheel, and sporty seats. Move into higher trims, and the Versa treats you to contrasting leatherette accents and tons of awesome tech.

 

The 2020 Versa comes with plenty of standard features, including power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down, power door locks, remote keyless entry, push-button ignition, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, matte carbon-fiber-look door trim, a 7-inch touchscreen, Siri Eyes-Free, Google Assistant voice recognition, hands-free text messaging, Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio, three USB ports, steering-wheel-mounted controls, and much more.

 

 

The 2020 Chevy Cruze’s cabin looks a lot like it did in earlier years, but it was ahead of its time then, which puts it about on pace with the Versa now. This is especially true with its two large touchscreen options. It does, however, lack any real contrast except in its seat design.

 

 

Where the 2020 Cruze shines is its standard tech features, as even its base infotainment system includes Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which plays right into the hands of its target market: younger buyers. On top of that, it also includes a 4G LTE hotspot keep your devices connected and a leather-wrapped steering wheel to help enhance its looks inside.

 

Depite being so much smaller, the Cruze has a more passenger room than the Versa, including an extra 3.6 inches of rear legroom and 1.5 inches of rear headroom. Sure, those are not impressive numbers overall, but they are for its class. This extra room does lead to the Cruze’s front seats having nearly 3 inches less legroom, but they are still plenty tolerable at 41.8 inches.

 

Measurement 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Difference
Front headroom 38.7 inches 39.5 inches +0.8 inches
Front legroom 41.8 inches 44.5 inches -2.7 inches
Front shoulder room 53.4 inches 53.1 inches +0.3 inches
Front hip room 51.4 inches 50.9 inches +0.5 inches
Rear headroom 37.8 inches 36.3 inches +1.5 inches
Rear legroom 34.6 inches 31 inches +3.6 inches
Rear shoulder room 53 inches 53.6 inches -0.6 inches
Rear hip room 51.6 inches 50.1 inches +0.5 inches
Cargo room 14.9 cubic feet 14.7 to 15 cubic feet -0.1 to +0.2 cubic feet

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan

  •       Sporty and refined cabin
  •       Flashy contrasting colors
  •       Flat-bottom steering wheel

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Cruze

  •       Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
  •       Standard in-car Wi-Fi
  •       Massive rear legroom for the class

Performance

The subcompact sedan segment is mostly about fuel economy, but the 2020 Chevy Cruze adds a little excitement with a 138-horsepower turbo 1.4-liter engine that helps sprint it to 60 mph in a quick-for-the-class 8.9 seconds. It does gobble up more fuel with ratings up to 6 mpg lower than the Versa, but there is a payoff at least.

 

The Versa’s 122-horsepower 1.6-liter engine gets it up to 60 mph in about 10 seconds, which is quite slow. But it makes up for its sloth-like acceleration with up to 40 mpg highway, which works great for those long Jacksonville area commutes.

 

 

 

2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Difference
Standard engine 1.4-liter turbo 4-cyl 1.6-liter 4-cyl
Horsepower 138 hp at 4,900 rpm 122 hp at 6,300 rpm +16 hp
Torque 148 lb-ft at 1,850 114 lb-ft at 4,000 rpm +34 lb-ft
Standard transmission 6-spd automatic 5-spd manual
Optional transmission CVT
Driveline FWD FWD
0-60 time 8.9 seconds 10 seconds (est) -1.1 seconds (est.)
MPG City 26 mpg 27 to 32 mpg -6 to -1 mpg
MPG Highway 34 mpg 35 to 40 mpg -6 to -1 mpg
MPG Combined 29 mpg 30 to 35 mpg -6 to -1 mpg

 

Advantage: 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan

  •       Incredible fuel economy
  •       Standard manual transmission for the traditionalists
  •       Smooth ride

Advantage: 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan

  •       Much quicker to 60 mph
  •       Slick performance upgrades at the dealer

Pricing and Features

The 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan has four trim levels to pick from S 5MT, S Xtronic, SV, and SR. Their starting prices range from $14,730 to $18,240, making it one of the cheaper subcompacts on the market.

There are just three trim levels in the 2020 Chevy Cruze lineup: LS, LT, and Premier. Their base prices range from $17,595 to $21,595.

2020 Nissan Versa Sedan Key Features and Pricing by Trim

S 5MT: $14,730

  •       1.6-liter four-cylinder engine
  •       Five-speed manual transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Anti-lock brakes
  •       Brake assist
  •       Electric power steering
  •       15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Automatic on/off headlights
  •       Halogen projector headlights
  •       Chrome grille
  •       Power mirrors
  •       Black door handles
  •       Black outside mirrors
  •       Carbon-fiber-look rear diffuser
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Power windows with driver’s side one-touch up/down
  •       Power door locks
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Push-button ignition
  •       Tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel
  •       Six-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Four-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       Cloth seating
  •       Matte carbon-fiber-look door trim
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Siri Eyes free
  •       Google Assistant voice recognition
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Nissan Voice recognition for audio
  •       Hands-free text messaging
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with streaming audio
  •       Three USB ports
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Cruise control
  •       Automatic emergency braking
  •       Lane-departure warning
  •       Automatic high-beam headlights
  •       Rearview camera
  •       Hill-start assist

S Xtronic: $16,400

  •       All S 5MT features, plus
  •       Continuously variable transmission
  •       60/40 split-folding rear seatbacks

SV: $17,640

  •       All S Xtronic features, plus
  •       16-inch aluminum alloy wheels
  •       Heated outside mirrors with LED turn signals
  •       Body-color outside mirrors
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Driver’s seat armrest
  •       Premium cloth seating
  •       PRIMA-TEX-appointed dash trim
  •       Chrome interior door handles
  •       Advanced Driver-Assist Display
  •       NissanConnect infotainment system
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       Android Auto
  •       SiriusXM
  •       Blind-spot monitoring
  •       Rear cross-traffic alert
  •       Driver awareness monitor
  •       Rear door alert

SR: $18,240

  •       All SV features, plus
  •       17-inch 5-spoke aluminum-alloy wheels
  •       LED headlights with LED signature daytime running lights
  •       Fog lights
  •       Dark-chrome grille
  •       Black-painted alloy wheels
  •       Body-color rear spoiler
  •       Automatic climate control
  •       Proximity key with push-button ignition
  •       Remote ignition
  •       Sport cloth seat trim
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob
  •       Six-speaker AM/FM audio system

2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan Key Features and Pricing by Trim

LS: $19,595

  •       1.4-liter turbocharged four-cylinder
  •       Six-speed automatic transmission
  •       Front-wheel drive
  •       Touring suspension
  •       Power steering
  •       Four-wheel anti-lock brakes
  •       15-inch steel wheels with hubcaps
  •       Projector-beam headlights
  •       LED daytime running lights
  •       Automatic on/off headlights
  •       Body-color manual mirrors
  •       Variable-intermittent windshield wipers
  •       Body-color door handles
  •       Chevrolet Infotainment 3 System
  •       7-inch touchscreen
  •       Bluetooth connectivity with audio streaming
  •       Android Auto
  •       Apple CarPlay
  •       4G LTE Wi-Fi
  •       Four-speaker AM/FM audio system
  •       Sport cloth seating
  •       Four-way manual driver’s seat
  •       Two-way manual passenger’s seat
  •       Driver’s seat armrest
  •       60/40 split-folding rear bench
  •       Front and rear floor mats
  •       Tilt steering wheel
  •       Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  •       Steering-wheel-mounted controls
  •       Outside temperature display
  •       Driver information center
  •       Manual windows
  •       Power door locks
  •       Remote keyless ignition
  •       Remote keyless entry
  •       Theft-deterrent system
  •       USB ports
  •       Air conditioning
  •       Satin-silver shift knob
  •       Chevrolet Connected Access capable
  •       Hill-start assist
  •       Rearview camera
  •       OnStar

LT: $19,495

  •       All LS features, plus
  •       15-inch aluminum wheels
  •       Body-color, heated, power mirrors
  •       Chrome beltline moldings
  •       Six-speaker audio system
  •       Cruise control
  •       Graphite silver metallic instrument panel
  •       Power windows
  •       SiriusXM
  •       Deluxe cloth seats

Premier: $21,595

  •       All LT features, plus
  •       Keyless ignition
  •       17-inch painted aluminum wheels
  •       Six-way power front seats
  •       Compass
  •       Enhanced driver information center
  •       Heated front seats
  •       Heated steering wheel
  •       Keyless open
  •       Leather-wrapped shift knob with satin silver and chrome accents
  •       Leather-wrapped three-spoke steering wheel
  •       Remote ignition
  •       Perforated leatherette seating

Who Should Buy the 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan

The 2020 Nissan Versa Sedan is a great buy for subcompact shoppers who want a more distinguished and refined look without paying through the nose. It boasts a super-low base price and has all the looks any shopper could want, but it lacks a bit in standard tech.

Who Should Buy the 2020 Chevy Cruze Sedan

The 2020 Chevy Cruze is an excellent option for buyers who can’t pull off a performance-car payment but also need a little pep in their daily commute. It won’t win many races with its 8.9-second 0-to-60 time, but it will beat nearly anything in its class. Also, buyers who plan to stuff adults or older children in the rear seats will appreciate the extra space the Cruze Sedan offers.

 

Is the 2020 Chevy Cruze the right subcompact sedan for you? Head down to Sunrise Chevrolet serving Wheaton, Lombard, and the surrounding areas to check out the 2020 Cruze Sedan and take it for a test drive. Can’t make it by today? Navigate to our online inventory page, pick a few in-stock 2020 Cruze models that suit your needs, and schedule a test drive around your busy life.

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