Is the Age of the $10,000 Car Behind Us?

2011 Nissan VersaA world without $10,000 cars is a definite possibility, as two of America’s most affordable cars are about to undergo major redesigns, according to USA Today.

The 2011 Nissan Versa and 2011 Hyundai Accent are currently the cheapest cars in America: The Versa starts at $9,900 and the Accent at $9,985.

Each vehicle is undergoing a major redesign and both will be unveiled at the 2011 New York International Auto Show next week. USA Today postulates that there’s a slim chance either will stay under $10,000. Here’s why:

From what’s been revealed about the next-generation Accent, we know it will come as a four-door sedan and five-door hatchback; currently, the sub-$10,000 hatchback is a three-door model. We are able to report that both body styles will achieve 30/40 mpg city/highway with either an automatic or manual transmission, which likely means Hyundai is using either a more advanced powertrain than what’s in the current Accent or more lightweight materials. Such advancements don’t come cheap.

Nissan revealed a sketch of the next-generation Versa sedan late last year. We don’t know if a hatchback version is coming, though it was the sedan that was priced below $10,000.

We’ll know soon enough if either automaker can keep their vehicles priced at less than $10K. There was a strong possibility that the current-generation Versa and Accent wouldn’t be able to because both vehicles don’t have standard electronic stability control, which is required by law on all 2012 models. The safety tech would likely push the models over the $10,000 mark.

Are the last new cars under $10,000 about to disappear? (USA Today)



You mean the age of the $10,000 *NEW* car (as the USA Today article title indicates). Used and CPO options abound for $10,000.

On a related note: I haven't been closely following China's efforts to break into the U.S. market, but I wonder if China will be the next source of $10,000 new cars.

Amuro Ray

It's definitely possible to have the price below $10K. The addition of TCS/VDC involves one line of software code change (most likely) in the manufacturing system, maybe a few extra parts (but most likely, complete software control within the engine ECU), and absolutely ZERO retooling or R&D cost (since, in the case of Versa, TCS/VDC is already standrad in the SL trim).

If the price is to go beyond $10K, then the addition of TCS/VDS will most likely be used as an excuse, to cover the real cost of price increase - materials (for the entire vehicle).

So let's see who's going to go beyond $10K 1st...I'm guessing it's Nissan, since Hyundai is the king of bragging rights ;)


It's puzzling why Kia doesn't have a sub-$10K car as they are even more of a bottom-feeder brand than Hyundai.

Troy S.

The Aveo drives like a sub 10K car. Why can't GM sell it for that?


Another four years with our President and his tax cheat GE CEO friend we'll all be driving sub-$10,000 cars.

With inflation in the cards it's hard not to think it's behind us.


Whats the big deal with buying a certified mechanic ceo to fix the glitch of being able to import the cheaper chinese cars in the software they use we could all be driveing chinese instead of japanese with the big tsunami what the big difference you say .

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