There are lots of tempting choices when it comes to your next new car whether it’s a sedan, a truck, or an SUV. The challenge is often not finding one you like but finding one that fits your budget. Especially when it comes to trucks, pricing hits luxury car territory quick, which makes them tough for those on a budget. Nissan has those buyers covered with a sedan, truck, and SUV all priced under $20,000.
Building affordable cars seems like an easy assignment. They don’t come with the same high expectations as luxury cars, but that doesn’t mean people want to be miserable in whatever they drive. Everyone wants a car they enjoy whether it’s for a long commute or simply shuttling around town.
That’s what people want, but it’s not always what automakers deliver. Affordable cars are seen as something you have to buy because there’s no other choice rather than something you want to buy. Nissan’s low-priced offerings fly in the face of that perception by including key features and plenty of style so you can enjoy the ride.
On the sedan front is the all-new 2020 Nissan Versa. The three-trim lineup is priced from $14,730 with a manual transmission or $16,400 with an automatic. Either way, you’re looking at an affordable price. The standard features on that base trim might surprise you.
Rather than offering the bare minimum to qualify as an actual car, the base Versa has power doors and locks, a USB port, push button start, and a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen. Also impressive is automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, and rear automatic braking as standard features across the lineup. Safety is important to younger buyers in the market for their first car making these key features.
It’s not a sports car, so it doesn’t boast a turbocharged engine with massive horsepower. Instead it has a 1.6-liter 4-cylinder engine with 122 horsepower and 114 lb-ft of torque. This isn’t a big car, so even with those modest numbers it has plenty of power to merge into traffic.
It also manages the task quietly. In an effort to keep costs down, there’s often less of an investment in making a car quiet. The Versa doesn’t suffer from this issue and instead provides a smooth quiet ride that won’t have you feeling road-weary after a few hours at the wheel.
If you need a bit more room than what’s offered by the Versa, then there’s the 2018 Nissan Kicks. Introduced for the 2019 model year, this compact crossover offers plenty of style. It stands out from the pack with bright colors including two-tone combinations that make the Kicks unique.
Starting price on the base Kicks is $18,630 with front-wheel drive, an automatic transmission, and the same engine found in the Versa so expect similar performance. You won’t win any races, but again it’s more than capable of getting the Kicks up to speed. Under hard acceleration for highway passing, however, you may find yourself wishing it had a bit more power.
Going with the Kicks over the Versa gives you a more capable vehicle with 7.0-inches of ground clearance that you’ll appreciate if you live in a snowier region where you’ll occasionally have to blast through a snowbank. It also offers better flexibility for cargo with 25.3 cubic feet behind the second row or 53.1 cubic feet with that row folded down.
Once again, despite its price point, the Kicks comes with a surprising range of standard features. These include a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with 6-speaker audio and a USB port. There’s also standard automatic emergency braking along with power door locks and power windows.
Its compact size is also a huge benefit for those who live in the city. Navigating narrow streets crowded with delivery trucks isn’t such a challenge and when it comes time to park, the Kicks easily fits into smaller spaces.
Trucks are a popular choice, but they’re also an expensive one, especially full-size models. The Nissan Frontier is a mid-size pickup ideal for those who want the capability of a truck, but don’t need something quite so big. Its offers a just-right option that’s far more affordable.
You can get behind the wheel of the 2019 Nissan Frontier for just $19,090 equipped with two-wheel drive and a manual transmission. Trucks offer a variety of configurations and the Frontier is no exception with everything from your basic truck to one with the power and features to go off-road.
Even in its most capable, most fully featured guise, starting price is only $33,530. While that’s a big jump from the base model, it’s still a bargain in the world of trucks. If you want to go off-road and have a little fun on the weekends, then the Frontier will let you do that without destroying your budget.
Step back to that base trim and the Frontier includes a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine with 152 horsepower and 171 lb-ft of torque. There’s a 7.0-inch infotainment touchscreen with 6-speaker audio system, two 12-volt power outlets, and locking detachable tailgate.
The base Frontier can tow up to 6,640 pounds and has a maximum payload of up to 1,460 pounds so it’s small, but ready to do serious work. And if you’re planning on tackling rugged terrain, there’s 8.6-inches of ground clearance.
Whether you’re a first-time buyer or simply looking to keep within your budget, there’s an affordable choice in the Nissan lineup that fits your needs. Where it’s the Versa sedan, Kicks crossover, or Frontier truck, you don’t have to break the bank to get into a new car.