• Nov 6, 2008
Cheap, efficient transportation is highly desirable right now, and Nissan has stepped and delivered a super base Versa that will run you under 10 large. But what do you get for that rock-bottom MSRP? Well, you still get four wheels, four doors and six airbags, but things get thin from there. Nissan started with a one-two punch of crank windows and no air conditioning, making the economical sedan a bad choice south of the Mason Dixon line. A five-speed manual is standard fare, with automated cogs available for $1,000. Our friends over at Kicking Tires note that you also have to add A/C to the option box to get that slush box, and that'll run you a second $1,000. Nissan also saves coin by using cheap black plastic for the side mirrors and door handles, and the wheels have shrunk to 14 inches. Wait, where's the radio? Oh, there isn't one, at least not as standard equipment. Nissan provides the speakers and the wiring, but an aftermarket setup is required to hear anything other than road noise. Out the door pricing for a Versa with A/C and an automatic transmission will cost you at least $12,935 with destination. So much for being the cheapest car in the U.S.

[Source: Kicking Tires]


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  • 86 Comments
      • 6 Years Ago
      The American consumer's sense of entitlement is the main reason for personal bankruptcy. If you can only afford $10k, but 'must' have all the bells and whistles in a status-symbol $25k car (relatively speaking), then that car will suck your wallet dry for 5 years, or end up on the used car lot after 2 years.

      An el-cheapo car for el-cheapo money is how you do business at the bottom end of the market. At least this car is built by a solvent car company, and won't be in the repair shop like that TrailBlazer.
        • 6 Years Ago
        You've got to be kidding - look at Nissan's (lack of) quality ratings for the last five years.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Spending beyond ones means is of course a big factor. Also unexpected expenses (like medical bills). I think the economic reversal is probably the biggest factor right now though. Hourly workers can easily find that the income they counted on is now reduced greatly.
      • 6 Years Ago
      They should eliminate the 4 air bags and just keep the 2 front ones and make the car even cheaper...I don't see nothing wrong with cheap new transportation...
      kames1111
      • 3 Years Ago
      nissan ran the adds in calif. for versa 1.6 sedan standerd trans. at $9990 only one problem none were avalable in the state of calif. a lot of people are varry pissed off
      • 6 Years Ago
      Anybody ever notice it looks a lot like the first generation Toyota Prius from the side? I know because I own one, and I parked beside a white one at the mall. Looks so close.

      At any rate, who care about the radio, I would much rather put in my own than listen to the crappy Jap stereo's they put in there.

      I would rather put that money down on a 2005 Dodge Neon SXT, or 2005 Toyota Corolla LE that gets similar fuel economy and way better performance.
      • 6 Years Ago
      it really would be nice if more cars offered no radio and just a nicely molded double din slot for an aftermarket radio. Of course that would make people realize the $3000 they spent for the Nav checkbox was about $2000 too much for what you get.
      • 6 Years Ago
      I think this is a great idea. Some of us don't want our cars loaded up with power everything and just want basic transportation. I would like to see more automakers follow this route.

      Just 8 years ago, my Ford Focus didn't come standard with AC or power windows/locks. I did opt for AC and ABS as my only options.
      • 6 Years Ago
      My 2005 Lancer EVO RS came with crank windows, no power locks, and no radio. 'Course, it's probably a hell of a lot more fun to drive than a Versa, so you don't need all those extras to be entertained.
        • 6 Years Ago
        yeah but you can get three of these for one evo rs. Thats hardly a fair comparison.
        • 6 Years Ago
        Yeah but your monthly insurance probably cost more than a payment on a Versa 1.6.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Hey, sweet, I think the market always needs to have at least one cheapy-cheapy heat & keys model available. I'm impressed that they kept all 6 airbags, this could be a great car for someone in a very specific situation... (i.e. "I demand a brand-new car and only have $10k to spend. The thousands of quality used cars in my price range do not interest me because I have not thought very hard about this decision. Also I don't know how depreciation works.")
      • 6 Years Ago
      For everyone saying "buy used"...maybe some people want a NEW car, and are willing to sacrifice some creature comforts to know they own a brand new car. And yes, the only thing that is really needed is a radio, and that can be bought for under $100.

      Good for Nissan to offer America something NEW and affordable.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Why note come without a back seat? That would save a few bucks too. Carpet? Why bother, remember old trucks never came with it (just that rubber mat!)
      • 6 Years Ago
      Nissan sees a void in the market and is testing the waters to see how the market responds.
      I see nothing wrong with that. Sure you could buy more used car, but hundreds of thousands of new economy cars are sold each year because there's a market.
      The main volume sellers are usually middle trim option, not the high end and not the low end, but manufacturers usually sell enough of every trim level to justify their existence, and if not they do away with them. Time will tell how this performs sales-wise.
      • 6 Years Ago
      Based off edmunds True Cost of Ownership for an 09 Versa you'd lose 17% in the first year to depreciation... so this 10k car is worth 8200 after a year (assuming you dont get a single dent or any other sort of problem.)

      So I did a search on autotrader.com for a used car with under 15k miles for $8500 or less from 2005-2009. What you get are alot of Focuses, Spectras, Aveos, Cobalts... and alot of salvage titles or smashed up cars.

      I have to say for a non-enthusiast buyer looking for cheap reliable transportation thats under 3 years old this Versa does make sense, even if they have to add AC for $1000. Id rather drive a 1994 Miata or MR2 for that money though...
        • 6 Years Ago
        Every new car depreciates a bunch in the first year. Even the vaunted Lexus LS drops 17% in the first year. Of course, the depreciation on the LS would be enough to buy a new Versa with automatic and air, but the point is that used cars are always a better value. Always have been, always will be. Some people just feel that they have to have a new car for a variety of reasons. I love those people though, because without them there would be no used cars to buy.
        • 6 Years Ago
        That makes no sense. Why would someone considering this car compare it to a $8,500 used car and not a $10,000 used car?
        • 6 Years Ago
        I looked, and after 4 years it's only worth $4K, so I compared it to $4K cars...
        • 6 Years Ago
        @James

        You do have a point. My initial thinking was based on trying to save money at the point of initial purchase, and buying something based off what you'd lose in depreciation. But after I typed it I wish I had done a 10k search instead, def more relevant.

        @tekd

        Also a good point, trying to resell whats basically a transportation sell is gonna be an uphill battle on a car with none of the most basic amenities.
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