These subcompact sedans are good options for affordable everyday transportation.
The previous-generation Nissan Versa was one of the most affordable cars in America, but it slipped behind its competition as it aged. The Versa got a long overdue update for 2020 — it’s much a more modern subcompact car, but it’s still extremely affordable. One of its closest competitors is the Hyundai Accent, which isn’t too far off on price and also offers big value in a small car.
Let’s take a look at what’s similar and what’s different about these small sedans and determine which is better.
Neither of these cars is big, but the Accent is the smaller of the two. The Versa is four inches longer and one inch wider than the Accent. The Versa’s actually on the bigger side of the subcompact segment. See the 2020 Nissan Versa modes for sale near you
The Versa is also one of the sharper-looking cars in this segment, borrowing design cues from bigger Nissan models like the Altima and the Murano. These cues include a bold V-motion grille, a floating C-pillar and character lines that make the Versa look kind of muscular. The Accent also speaks its respective brand’s design language. It’s a nice looking little car that’s styled a little more conservatively than the Nissan. See the 2020 Hyundai Accent modes for sale near you
The interior’s the same story as the exterior: the Hyundai is a bit basic but not bad, and the Nissan is a little more upscale. The Versa’s front seats are a bit more comfortable and supportive, but the Accent has a roomier back seat, despite being the smaller car. If you’re not planning on using the back seats often, the Versa is more comfortable. But if you’re shopping for a small family car, you might prefer the room the Accent provides.
Each car comes standard with cloth seats. There’s a nicer cloth available as an upgrade on the Versa. Optional features on each car include heated front seats, a 6-speaker audio system and automatic climate control. Neither car has much trunk space, but the Versa’s trunk is bigger.
The Accent and the Versa are pretty similar, mechanically. Each has but one engine option — a small 4-cylinder. Each car is only available in front-wheel drive, though each is available with either an automatic or a manual transmission — though the manual comes standard on the base trim and isn’t available in the higher trims.
2020 Nissan Versa Engine
1.6-liter inline four; 122 hp, 114 lb-ft of torque; 32 mpg city/40 mpg hwy (automatic), 27 mpg city/35 mpg hwy (manual)
2020 Hyundai Accent Engine
1.6-liter inline four; 120 hp, 113 lb-ft of torque; 33 mpg city/41 mpg hwy mpg (automatic), 29 mpg city/39 mpg hwy (manual)
These cars are very similar when it comes to performance and fuel economy. Equipped with a manual transmission, the Accent is significantly more efficient.
The Versa is more generous with standard and available technology than the Accent. Standard tech in the Versa includes a 7-in infotainment system, three USB ports, pedestrian detection, forward-collision warning, forward and reverse automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams. The Accent is light on standard tech — its basic package includes a 5-in infotainment system, one USB port and no modern driver assistance tech aside from a rearview camera, which is now mandatory on all new cars. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are optional upgrades in both cars.
Automatic emergency braking and forward-collision warning are available in the Accent, but there’s not much else in terms of safety tech. Additional safety tech features on the Versa include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, driver-alertness monitoring and rear seat reminder.
The Versa starts at a lower price point than the Accent, but the Accent is slightly more affordable if you want an automatic transmission. The Versa has a starting MSRP of $14,730, and the Accent starts at $15,195. If you’re upgrading to the automatic transmission, the Versa starts at $16,400, and the Accent at $16,295. Each has three trim levels, and the entry-level and midrange trims are similarly priced, but the top-end Versa SR is more affordable and better-equipped than the Accent Limited.
Aside from more accommodating back seats and slightly better fuel economy, the Accent doesn’t have much to offer over the Versa. The Nissan Versa has a more affordable starting price, a more modern and upscale interior and it’s significantly more technologically advanced than the Accent. The Accent isn’t a bad car, but the Versa is a better subcompact sedan for most drivers. Find a Nissan Versa for sale or Find a Hyundai Accent for sale