Who’s winning in the bargain-basement price field?
For well over a year now, lucky Canadians have basked in the joy that comes from knowing they’re able to purchase the two cheapest cars offered in North America.
Both the Nissan Micra and Mitsubishi Mirage come with window stickers reading ‘$9,998’, making the diminutive imports the cheapest way (by far) to get into a new car.
Canada gets an added bonus with the Micra, which isn’t yet available in the United States. We’re special!!
The Micra, which landed in dealerships in the spring of 2014, trades as much on its quirky, fun-to-drive rep as it does its low starting price. The Mirage, which appeared on these shores in late 2013, offers better fuel economy (and a lot less power from its standard 3-cylinder) but less distinctive styling.
In a two-way race, there can only be one winner, so which subcompact hatch are Canadians lusting after the most?
Numbers don’t lie, and the Micra is the clear winner (though a corner of west Quebec this writer lives near seems to have an affinity for the Mirage, especially those in gross, retina-burning colours).
The Mirage posted 4,048 sales in 2014 and 2,137 so far this year (ending in July). Its best sales month ever was April of last year, which happened to be when gas prices were nearing their highest spike.
Lately, it seems like sales could be tapering off, though it’s hard to say if that’s a sustained trend.
The mighty Micra, on the other hand, posted 7,815 purchases in its abbreviated 2014 sales year, with year-to-date sales running at a healthy (in contrast) 7,151 units.
If it was ever really a consideration, the recent dip in gas prices would be more incentive to go with the cheap car that has the most horsepower – Micra’s gain.
In Quebec, which seemingly values cheap imports more than other provinces, the Micra has the added boost of starring in its own racing circuit, the Nissan Micra Cup.
Now, who can resist that allure?