There is no doubt that there are expenses in life that you end up paying over many years. Sure there are houses and college, but the one that seems to come up the most for our social freedom is the automobile. Since the expense can be great and money can be tight, there is a type of buyer that we might call frugal—maybe even cheap. Others might call this type of buyer money smart or financially savvy. No matter the term the end result for this type of buyer is the same: quality, reliability and economy for less.

2010 Nissan Versa

2010 Nissan Versa

Buyers of this nature are in luck, especially from Nissan; the 2010 Nissan Versa offers frugality that might even surpass the expectations of even the tightest penny-pincher. For $9,990 (See Least Expensive Car article) a consumer can pick up the base model Nissan Versa 1.6 Sedan for less than some three-year-old cars from competitors. The best part is it comes with all the reliability that Nissan is known for and a full warranty. Of course, if you are looking for cheap “luxury” this isn’t going to spin your wheels, but if you are looking for good honest A-to-B transportation with none of the used car hassle it is a deal that is hard to beat.

The 2010 Nissan Versa in the base model 1.6 trim comes with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that packs a modest 107 horsepower. Since the “baby” four-cylinder isn’t a speed machine it is able to squeeze out 26 mpg in the city and 34 mpg on the highway with the manual transmission according to EPA estimates. Oddly, there is a 1.8-liter that the EPA rates similarly, but it is equipped with a CVT transmission and a higher price tag.  Just for those of you keeping track, the estimated annual fuel cost for manual 1.6-liter is $1,335.

Bottom line—the base Versa doesn’t come with a radio, power locks, power windows, ABS, air conditioning or cruise control. It does come with rock bottom prices, four wheels, an engine and a warranty. The Versa also makes the Frugal Shopper list at and Car and Driver calls it the cheapest car to buy and own over a three year period.


Check out the full review of the 2010 Nissan Versa here.