What You (Don't) Get When You Buy the Cheapest Car in America in 2017

Power locks? Folding seats? Automatic transmission? Na.

By Diane Rommel

 
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01 September 2016

Sometimes you don't want the best. You just want the cheapest. And you don't want something used, because you saw John Oliver's frankly terrifying report on how that whole deal works.

So if it's new or nothing — but cheap — you seek, we've got your answer. 

The cheapest 2017 car model is ... the Nissan Ventra

It's on sale now. Wondering what you'll get from your base model subcompact? A manual transmission, for starters. (It's basically European!) Did we mention the air conditioning and power mirrors, either of which your Greatest Generation grandfather would have given his highly decorated right arm for? Audio controls on the dashboard and the steering wheel?

And you may think you're too good to lock your own doors. Yourself. One at a time. But you know who needs power locks? Lazy people need power locks. Speaking of things you don't need, let's be honest: You've never used your folding rear seats. They're too confusing. Which is why this car doesn't have them. But it will pair with your Bluetooth phone (though not its audio streaming ... unless you bump up a model). 

All that comes in at a starting price of $12,825 — for a car that in 1989 would have looked, felt and driven like a spaceship from the future. 

We call that a pretty good deal. 

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