James R. Healey, USA TODAY
Nissan says the 2014 Versa sedan went on sale Tuesday starting at $12,780 including shipping, keeping its status as lowest-price new car in the U.S., at least compared to everybody else's 2013s in showrooms when Nissan did the math.
That's for the base S model with five-speed manual transmission. The top model, SL with CVT (continuously variable-ratio automatic transmission), starts at $17,680.
Despite the low price, it is the most unloved car on the market, according to a Consumer Reports survey of owners. Only 49% say they'd definitely buy another Versa. That's worst of any small car, and below the worst score of any of the other types of vehicles the magazine rates for owner satisfaction. Those bottom out at 51% for the GMC Sierra 1500 pickup with V-6 engine.
The most-loved models are those with 80% or more of owners saying they'd definitely buy another. Chevrolet Volt plug-in hybrid is tops at 92%, edging the Porsche 911 and Chevy Corvette at 91%.
Still, it's hard to ignore a $13,000 new car.
Nissan doesn't list power ratings for the car's 2014-model's 1.6-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine. But the same engine in the 2013 model was rated 109 horsepower.
Besides low prices, a big part of the Versa's appeal is fuel economy. Models with CVT are rated 31 miles per gallon in the city, 40 mpg on the highway and 35 mpg in city/highway mix.
The base S model with manual is rated 27/36/30 mpg. S with four-speed automatic is 26/35/30.