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Alfresco 05-08-2019 02:00 PM

To all my fellow 50+ years drivers, what have we learned that lets us be comfortable driving a Versa, the least expensive car on the market? I'm guessing that it's not economic necessity, though for the price of three Versas you could have a fairly nice Camaro. Dollar value or low tech? Perhaps it is the readable owners manual...

V65 05-08-2019 03:33 PM

I fit the demographics you outlined [emoji54]

As for why I bought 2 2011 Versa Hatchbacks... it was probably more having to do with them having timing chains rather than belts. Didn't know at the time they were the least expensive cars. I hope to get 200k+ miles out of both of them.

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pimperell 05-08-2019 03:34 PM


Originally Posted by Alfresco (Post 288474)
To all my fellow 50+ years drivers, what have we learned that lets us be comfortable driving a Versa, the least expensive car on the market? I'm guessing that it's not economic necessity, though for the price of three Versas you could have a fairly nice Camaro. Dollar value or low tech? Perhaps it is the readable owners manual...

I used to rebuild sports cars along with other fine cars. 1960 Alfa Giula, MGA1600, Datsun SPL310, Austin Healy 3000 "four seater", Sterling (imported by Cadillac). Refurbished, repainted , and then I found myself acting like a mother hen over an egg. When I went somewhere, I would park in the furthest spot in the lot so the car would not get dinged by another vehicle. Tried never to drive it in the rain and get it all wet and messy. In the end, the cars I rebuilt OWNED me rather than the other way around. Not so with my 2012 Versa sedan. not too complicated, and I keep it clean, well maintained, and do not obsess over where to park it or if the weather is bad. It has been dependable, gets me from point A to point B, and I am not obsessed with taking care of it. The thought of plunking down 30-60 grand for a new anything does not appeal to me from a standpoint of once again obsessing over where to park it, having people wipe their feet before getting into the car, and a host of other "concerns"!!!

VersaBob 05-08-2019 05:25 PM

Many of us 50+ have started putting our eye on retirement. Because we are unsure of future economic conditions(soc. sec., pension, etc.), it just seems unrealistic to buy an expensive car when we don't need it(although if I traveled extensively, I would consider a car with better seats). Many people think they have enough to retire on and often outlive their resources, especially since many of us will live into our 80's and 90's. As for the readable owners manual, I .uh.., well .,hmm.. yes, I've been meaning to get around to that(as soon as I can find it).

TechGuy8 05-08-2019 06:47 PM

I purchased my 2007 Versa hatchback because it has the biggest cargo space when compared with other hatchback back in 2007. I was replacing my an old van with my Versa hatchback. It is cheaper to own. But is more expensive to maintain because Nissan wants to generate more income for the dealer shop after sale.

amc49 05-08-2019 09:43 PM

They started doing that back in the '90s with all OEMs going to 'unitized assemblies' to make you buy far more parts than you needed. I drove Fords back then, the counter guy told me Ford wanted to hit a $50 per each sale average on parts, they no longer wanted sales under that if possible. They then swept through the parts books to move all single parts into bigger subassemblies and the only way you could get them.

I am similar to post #3 , but I built drag cars instead and obsessive/compulsive perfectionism ruled me then as now. After getting married I turned it all inward to do all work myself as no dealer could ever satisfy me. I as well leaned toward cheaper cars as I simply loathe wasted money (people do not value their own effort enough) and my view of others as throwing it away for nothing. That warped then into trying to do everything possible to fix even the broken parts the cheap cars have and quite a bit of success at that as well as spending so little to begin with that one car saves as much as several thousand dollars over its' life in money not spent the average American spends all day long. Cheap cars are actual money generators to me, the cash I save I do other things with. Odd as I could have afforded much more expensive cars all along. When something breaks I grouse at first then the learning high kicks in and I enjoy figuring out how to get around what most shell out big $$$$ for.

Itching to at some point drill down into a CVT to repair it. Normal ATX was a piece of cake.

Timing belts are actually cheaper than chains and easy enough to get back right. The chains last longer but not every single one of them do, the Japanese issue there is the same it always has been, or how long do the various plastic coated slippers and tensioner blades go before wearing off the friction surface to then be metal-to-metal to then break. Get an engine type that doesn't hit valve to piston when belt breaks and then timing belt could actually be better. BTDT, the belts last 120K miles now.

Versa is a rattletrap hard riding car not to mention ugly but it goes just fine and the mileage adds to that cash making I spoke of. The dealers will never see mine just like I said when I bought it. Speaking of which, when I turned down the new car warranty they looked at me like I was crazy, then they asked some pointed maintenance problem questions ('What do you do if your automatic transmission breaks?'....'Well, I fix it of course, that's not hard at all.') and next they tried to hire me for the shop. Funny, boys, I don't pay enough for what I can do. It's actually more that I simply would not be able to abide by their rules now of throwing the most expensive parts they can at the cars to make profit the number one goal there rather than satisfying the customer at a reasonable price.

amc49 05-08-2019 09:48 PM

Another reason............the world is not the place it once was, people hit you now left and right and you cannot keep a nice car at all. Why I buy small cheap cars, the loss will be low if something happens to it. The last 4 cars I bought were all damaged in some way by people hitting them, one of them was hit 4 times in the first 6 months I owned it, but I got back enough to pay the car off with what happened next................another story for another day.

The new Altima has already been damaged twice in a year.

TechGuy8 05-09-2019 02:47 AM

I have been doing repair on my cars (Versa, Accord and Civic) over 5 years.

About 5 years ago, I took my Versa for a oil change at a Nissan dealer shop. They called me and wanted me to change the front brake pads and rear drum brake shoes for a total of over $1000. I said I will make another appointment for that service. I checked my brake pads and shoes when I got home. The pads and shoes had lots of materials left for another 2 years before I changed them. Since then, I do all the maintenance work myself and saved lot of money to buy tools.

2016 Versa 05-09-2019 03:12 AM

Like others I do lots of my own work on my vehicles and have for the last 25-30 years. I too could afford to to have a bigger, nicer, more expensive car but it's going to wear out just like the cheap ones. I'd rather wear out a $10K car than a $50K one. I too drove Fords for years before buying this Versa. I had an '88 Escort that I bought in '93 with 146K miles when I finally retired it a few years years ago it had 518K miles, was still running and had never had the head off of it. It just needed more work done to it than I wanted to put into it to keep it dependable so I finally decided to retire it. Over the past several years it has became a hobby with me to see just how many MPG I can get out of a gallon of gas and I know that's not going to be big number with a luxury car with a V8 although they do much better than they did in my younger days when I used to drive cars with V8's.

pimperell 05-09-2019 12:29 PM

Ugliest car I ever owned..............paid $100....................Looked like the car in the Pink Panther movies.............positive ground electrical system...............a real Frankenstein!!!!!

Simca, an acronym for Société Industrielle de Mécanique et Carrosserie Automobile, was originally set up as Fiat’s French affiliate in the mid Thirties. Ford became part owner in 1954 when Simca took over Ford’s French operations, including the plant at Poissy. In 1958, Chrysler purchased a 25-percent interest in Simca in a deal that included Ford’s stake. By 1963, Chrysler owned 63 percent of Simca.

The Simca 1000 was a small rear-engine, rear-drive, four-door sedan with an upright three-box shape. It was introduced at the Paris Motor Show in October 1961, but U.S. sales commenced in 1963. Front and rear styling recalled Chevrolet’s Corvair, but the smaller-scale Simca only had two headlights and taillights rather than the Chevy’s four of each.

The little Simca used unitized construction, ran on an 88-inch wheelbase, was 149.5 inches long, and weighed 1610 pounds. By comparison, a 1963 Plymouth Valiant was nearly 40 inches longer and 900 pounds heavier.

More Cheap Wheels

The 1000’s water-cooled four-cylinder engine displaced 944cc, or 57.6 cubic inches. It was initially rated at 50 horsepower and 54 pound-feet of torque, but later was boosted to 52, then 55 horses. It was an ohv design with a cast-iron block and an aluminum head, and was mounted longitudinally with a 15-degree incline to the driver’s side. The four-speed manual transmission had a floor shift and Porsche-style synchronization in all forward gears.
1964 Simca Brochure

1964 Simca Brochure

In a June 1963 Car and Driver comparison test, a 1000 ran 0-30 mph in 6.5 seconds. But 0-60 mph took a considerable 24.6 seconds—longer than the car’s 22.9-second quarter-mile time. Top speed was 81 mph. Relatively, though, that wasn’t bad: The 36-bhp NSU Prinz-4 against which it was tested turned in a 0-60 time of 46.5 seconds! In a May 1966 test, Motor Trend’s 52-horse top-trim 1000 GLS reached 60 mph in 20.6 seconds and averaged 34.5 mpg over about 1000 miles.

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