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5 Great New Cars for Cheapskates

Stocks in this article: F NSANY TM

Fifth-best 2013 for cheapskates: Nissan Versa
Five-year cost of ownership: $30,147

Fair purchase price: $15,233

This subcompact sedan from Nissan (NSANY) has a generous trunk and plenty of room for four adults, but still gets a thrifty 31 mpg/city and 40 mpg/highway when outfitted with an available continuously variable automatic transmission. That means you'll pay just $9,551 over five years for gas vs. $14,184 for the average 2013 model, according to KBB estimates.

The firm also predicts the Versa will depreciate by only $9,313 over five years -- way below 2013's $24,672 average.

Low five-year costs for financing ($1,076 vs. 2013's $2,775 average), taxes/title ($1,371 compared with a $3,519 average), maintenance ($2,331 against a $2,601 average) and repairs ($1,814 vs. $2,478) only add to the car's affordability.

In fact, the Versa's only real drawback is its relatively high insurance costs: an estimated $4,691 over five years. That's below 2013's $5,046 five-year average for all vehicles, but above the $3,997 premium that this year's typical subcompact carries.

Gutierrez says the Versa has elevated insurance costs because the model has been around for six years, giving underwriters more time than they've had with newer subcompacts to estimate accident rates accurately.

Nonetheless, KBB estimates owning Versa will cost you a shade above $30,000 over five years -- 45.5% less than the $55,274 average for all 2013s.

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