Call me a mini-minimalist but I like basic cars. Of course, to me, "basic" means at least adequate performance, good fuel economy, good handling, good quality, safety and decent looks. If there is a choice between a fancy nameplate and an extra $10,000 in my pocket, give me basic any day. That is why I am really interested in the Fit and the Versa, and the way they are described in Popular Mechanics.

The Honda Fit 4 door wagon, as reported, would meet all my requirements. It does it with 109 HP. It is a quality build. It gets near-hybrid fuel economy (33.3 MPG) with a price tag under $16,000. That is about as much as some accessory packages on a Cadillac Escalader or a Ford Extortion.

The Nissan Versa is "2 box" design like the Volkswagen Golf/Rabbit. Drivers are raving about the interior space but are not so crazy about the engine: transmission combination. Hopefully Nissan will listen and make the proper adjustments. Right now, a Versa goes for just over $16,000 and has been averaging 28.3 MPG.

The "sacrifice" today's American auto buyers can make to be green is to return to the size vehicle their parents bought in the 1970s. They can also opt for E85 vehicles or those that can burn biodiesel or hybrids. Most have been buying 3,000 lbs of transportation and another 2,000 lbs of image. Time to just buy the transportation. Hauling around 2,000 lbs of image costs a lot of money.

[Source: Popular Mechanics]

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