2020 Yaris vs 2020 Versa

2020 Toyota Yaris vs 2020 Nissan Versa

If you’re looking for a new vehicle but you’re on a budget, the subcompact economy class is an excellent category to look into. They are no-frills, fuel-efficient, affordable vehicles intended to get you from one place to another with as little fuss as possible.

Today, we’ll be comparing the 2020 Toyota Yaris L and the 2020 Nissan Versa S and see which Japanese economy car is worth your money.

2020 Toyota Yaris L


2020 Nissan Versa S




1.5L 4-cyl


1.6L 4-cyl

106 hp / 103 lb-ft

Horsepower / Torque

122 hp / 114 lb-ft

6-speed automatic







Fuel Economy



New Subcompact Sedan in Palatine, IL

Superior Driving Experience

We won’t pretend that the 2020 Yaris is a powerhouse that will knock your socks off. One look at the horsepower and torque and you’d see that that’s not the case. What the Yaris does have is responsive, pinpoint handling and a silky-smooth transmission. While the transmission isn’t going to make a 106-horsepower 1.5-liter four-cylinder engine feel like it has any more power, it will provide you with a reliable power curve and smooth riding experience. The Versa has a slightly more powerful engine, but a less refined CVT. This results in jerky acceleration, especially from a complete stop. When you step on the accelerator in the Versa, the CVT struggles to respond appropriately, completely squandering the extra performance it has. The Versa also feels simultaneously heavier whilst having floatier steering.

2020 Yaris cockpit showcase
2020 Yaris folding rear seats

More Comfortable Drive

While neither vehicle is a luxury experience, there are a few things that will make a daily commute in the Yaris more enjoyable. The seats have good lateral support, which keep you in place while turning or doing other maneuvers. The climate control is effective and quiet. While there is a fair bit of road noise, as is common with small, economy vehicles, there aren’t any vibrations or squeaks, a problem that usually plagues subcompact sedans. The Versa ride quality isn’t as good due to the seats getting a little too narrow at the shoulders. Also, the Versa communicates bumps in the road through feel and noise, making rough streets a chore to deal with.

2020 Yaris driving a forested backroad

Take the 2020 Toyota Yaris out for a test at Arlington Toyota in Palatine, IL.

Interested in a test drive?