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Value Cars: A New Trend To Reduce Driving Costs


2012 Nissan Versa

2012 Nissan Versa

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As the nation struggles with balancing its budget and making difficult choices on where to spend available dollars, Americans around the country continue to downsize the vehicles they drive in their attempt to make current economic realities livable—if not survivable.

The latest trend has to do with “value” cars. These are new, but inexpensive vehicles that offer basic features most drivers want: air conditioning, a radio and/or CD player, and so on. But the price is so low that it’s affordable to a growing trend of drivers that fall into two general categories:

  • Older drivers – Those who may have recently lost the home equity they were counting on for retirement. They may have also lost a substantial portion of their investment income in the economic downturn. Between these two significant setbacks, they are forced to stretch the money they still have.
  • Younger drivers – Those who need practical, fuel-efficient transportation, but don’t want something beat-up, old, or lacking basic features. This group prefers an inexpensive, new car that carries a full warranty so they can also stay in control of future costs.

 Value cars

One of the least expensive vehicles in the U.S. is the Nissan Versa. It’s available as a sedan or a hatchback and is the epitome of a value car. Although somewhat boring to look at, the Versa is priced in the sweet spot of its target market: base 2011 models could be purchased for less than $10,000. The 2012 Versa has a starting price of $10,990. Read more in TheCarConnection’s full review of the 2011 Nissan Versa here.

Other contenders in the field of value cars include the Hyundai Accent, Kia Rio, Toyota Yaris, and Chevrolet Aveo. Even the slightly more expensive Ford Fiesta falls into this category. These sensible solutions for price conscious car-buyers have initial sticker prices in the low to mid-teens. All are no-nonsense alternatives for those needing respectable—yet inexpensive—transportation.

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  1. I think this maybe spot on in some respects, but I still think most folks like a touch of luxury in their cars and that's where to new crop of small cars an succeed. I's been the norm in Europe for some time and finally is coming here. A Ford Fiesta or Focus with leather, heated seats, sat nav, etc. One thing that should become optional is the CD player as it is now "old tech". Bluetooth should be standard as a safety-related feature. We need these cars, ones with decent performance, better gas/diesel mileage (more diesel, too), nice interiors, all without the power consuming weight and unnecessary size. Contrary to US consumer perceived needs, we don't need SUVs. Small vans like the C Max prove sufficient elsewhere and whould here, too
     
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