The Price is Right

2021 Nissan Versa retains sub-$15,000 price tag

The Nissan Versa is one of the least expensive cars you can buy.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The Nissan Versa is traditionally a low-cost, high-value option for car shoppers. It was redesigned for the 2020 model year. The 2021 model does not break the mold and is a carryover from the previous year, continuing to offer a competitive equipment and tech lineup along with attractive interior and exterior design.

The 2021 Nissan Versa starts at $14,930. The base grade Versa S comes standard with a 1.6-liter four-cylinder engine that is paired with a five-speed manual transmission. It's one of the few vehicles remaining that offers the manual as an option for buyers.

2021 Nissan VersaThe Versa is an attractive enough model that is perfectly serviceable as a daily driver.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Opting for a continuously variable transmission (CVT) in the Vera bumps the price of the Versa S up to $16,600. All other Versa models come with that same powertrain, w which achieves 122 horsepower and 114 pound-feet of torque. Versa models with the CVT achieve 32 mpg in the city, 40 mpg on the highway, and 35 mpg combined. No hybrid version of the model is sold.

The next level higher Versa SV has a $17,740 starting price tag.

Nissan has saved its sportiest Versa model for last, giving the top-tier grade the Versa SR designation. Nissan traditionally uses SR to designate this sporty daily drivers throughout its lineup, as seen in the Maxima and Sentra. Buyers who get the 2021 Versa SR receive a model riding on 17-inch aluminum-alloy wheels, LED headlights, fog lights, and more. Additionally, buyers can choose the SR Convenience Package, which adds heated front seats, automatic climate control, and adaptive cruise control. The Versa SR starts at $18,340.

All models have Nissan's signature V-motion grille, boomerang-shaped headlights, and floating roof. The interior of the models offer best-in-class front legroom, a D-shaped steering wheel, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touch screen. Keyless entry and push-button start are standard. Each Versa has a 60/40 split-folding rear seat.

2021 Nissan VersaThe interior of the 2021 Nissan Versa features materials that are a big step up from the previous generation's appointments.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Buyers who opt for the Versa SV or SR get Nissan Safety Shield 360 as standard equipment. The suite of safety and driver assist technology includes automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, rear automatic braking, lane departure warning, high beam assist, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic alert. A driver alertness monitor and adaptive cruise control are available.

Each Versa carries a $925 destination and delivery charge.

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The Sakura is Nissan's newest EV.

Nissan

It's no secret that the Japanese get all manner of quirky, cool cars that we don't see here in the States. Sure, there's the Nissan Skyline and Mitsubishi Delica van, but tiny vehicles like kei cars and "minivehicles" are popular imports for Americans looking to diversify their drives. Pint-sized kei cars are ripe for electrification, and Nissan did just that with its new Sakura EV, which comes almost a year after the automaker announced it was working with Mitsubishi to develop tiny electric models. It's one of dozens of new EVs slated to come from the Mitsubishi-Nissan-Renaul Alliance this decade.

Though tiny, the Sakura offers a decent top speed of 80 mph, and its range of around 112 miles could make it an ideal urban runabout for many. That said, there's little chance the car will come to the United States. Japan's minivehicles and kei cars are far smaller than anything currently on sale here. For example, the Sakura's 133.6-inch length makes it almost 18 inches shorter than a Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback, a car that Americans would consider minuscule.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura borrows features from the Nissan Leaf, including its battery.Nissan

Nissan borrowed the Sakura's 20-kWh battery from the Leaf and says it can be used to provide power for external devices or even power a home for up to a day. The car comes with three driving modes to change the behavior of things like regenerative braking and throttle response, and Nissan says it took further guidance from the Leaf to give the Sakura the quietest cabin in its class.

The Sakura's upright shape likely helps with headroom, but it certainly doesn't increase cargo space, as Nissan claims just 107 liters (4 cubic feet) of room. That said, the car features small-item storage spaces for gear like a smartphone or wallet. Buyers can opt for black, beige, or blue-grey interior colors, and an upgrade package is available that brings a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

There are a surprising number of features packed into the minute Nissan's cabin. A 7-inch digital gauge cluster comes standard, and a 9-inch infotainment touchscreen with navigation. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard. Nissan says the car's displays are oriented to reduce distraction and keep the driver's eyes on the road, and ProPilot safety systems are standard, including a new parking assist feature. ProPilot is a stepping stone toward Nissan's goal of debuting autonomous driving tech by 2030.

Nissan SakuraThe Sakura isn't destined for the U.S. - yet, anyway. Nissan

The Sakura goes on sale in Japan this summer. It's priced at 1.78 million yen, or around $14,000. The car will be available for purchase online, and Nissan says it will offer video chats and other resources to help buyers with the process. Buyers will be able to opt for a full in-person buying experience, a completely virtual experience, or anything in between.

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The new Z starts at under $40,000.

Nissan

The new Nissan Z is finally here, and the 400-horsepower sports car is hitting the market with a reasonable price. The car starts at just $39,990 before a $1,025 destination charge. That's significantly cheaper than the least expensive Toyota Supra for a car with impressive specs and great style.

2023 Nissan ZThe Z gets a 400-horsepower V6 from Infiniti.Nissan

The 2023 Z comes with a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter V6 that makes 400 horsepower. It's paired with either a six-speed manual or nine-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. That's the enthusiast's dream setup, and it's one of few cars available in the U.S. with a manual gearbox. The body is stiffer and features more reinforcements from prior cars, and the steering system now features electric assistance instead of hydraulics. 18-inch wheels are standard and 19-inchers are available.

When it announced the car, Nissan made a point to talk about its retro-inspired styling and classic proportions. The coupe features a sweeping roofline, a distinct front fascia, and is unmistakeably a Z car, through and through. Inside, the car features a three anlog gauges for a classic look, 12.3-inch configurable digital gauge cluster and a 9-inch touchscreen display. The cabin looks upscale and tech-forward, with deep bucket seats.

2023 Nissan ZThe 2023 Z lands this summer. Nissan

Nissan says the new Z will go on sale in summer 2022. Pricing starts at $39,990 for the base Sport trim, $49,990 for the mid-range Performance trim, and $52,990 for the limited-edition range-topping Proto Spec trim.

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