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Cheapest New Car

Update: Hyundai has lowered the MSRP on the entry-level Accent GS to $9,970 … making it the cheapest new car in America … for now …

A new version of Nissan Versa is the second cheapest new car in America today. With a starting price tag just under $10,000 ($9,990 to be exact), the Nissan Versa Sedan 1.6 Base sits atop the chart of 2009’s Cheapest Cars, delivering the goods with a roomy interior and very good gas mileage.

Folks looking for the cheapest car on the market need look no further than this value-priced four-door. While we haven’t had the chance to spend time with the 2009 Versa Sedan 1.6 yet, we did spend a week with its five-door hatchback sibling earlier this fall. It’s a pleasant little car. Our Versa review clearly shows the car’s strengths.

The Cheapest Car in America: 2009 Nissan Versa 1.6 Base

The entry-level Sedan 1.6 is equipped with a smaller engine then the original Versa (1.6-liter vs 1.8-liter), and can be fitted with a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The 1.6-liter engine gives up fifteen horsepower (HP) – producing 107 HP vs 122 HP for the 1.8-liter. With the five-speed manual transmission, the Versa Sedan 1.6 is EPA-rated at 26 city / 34 highway. With the automatic, it’s rated at 26 city / 33 highway.

While the 1.6 Base is the cheapest version of the Versa, the prices ratchet up quickly in the 1.8 S and SL models, running all the way up to a starting price of $16,210 for the well-equipped 1.8 SL Hatchback.

The 1.6 uses a number of less expensive components to achieve its lower price, including smaller (14″) wheels, black manual outside mirrors (rather than power body-color), and more thinly padded seats. It lacks cruise control, air conditioning, glove compartment and cargo area lights, vanity mirrors, digital clock, and any audio system whatsoever (although it is pre-wired for audio) … proving that if you want the cheapest car possible, you’ll have to give up more than a few things …

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