Believe it or not, you can still buy a new car in the United States for under $14,000. The least expensive option on the market is the $11,990 Nissan Versa, a car that Car and Driver says, “has insultingly flimsy materials” along with a 109-hp 1.6-liter engine that makes for slow acceleration but gives reasonably good fuel efficiency.
Most of us opt to buy more car than what the Versa has to offer, but that ultra-low price is appealing to budget-conscious shoppers. If the Versa is too “flimsy,” buyers can step up to something like the $14,000 Ford Fiesta.
Once the car is purchased, it can be driven for many years with no further finance costs, which is one of the benefits of buying a car outright.
A 24-month finance term on a $14,000 car, at 3.11 percent interest, is about $600. For the same price you could drive one of the most desirable luxury cars on the market: An all-electric Tesla.
Of course, comparing the purchase of a Versa or Fiesta to a lease on a new Tesla isn’t a real-world comparison. What it does do is illustrate the fact that Teslas are starting to become affordable enough for everyday shoppers.
In its email, Tesla said,
It’s never been more affordable to experience the exhilarating performance and extraordinary safety of the groundbreaking Tesla Model S sedan and Model X SUV. With the best safety ratings of any car ever built and equipped with driver assistance Autopilot features that steer, change lanes and control speed, Tesla’s zero-emissions vehicles have revolutionized the modern driving experience.
Be aware, though, that the starting lease price of $593 goes up really fast.
You can visit Tesla’s leasing page for a payment calculator, but the $593 monthly payment is based on a Model S 60 valued at $66,000 on a 24-month term with a hefty down payment of $6,000. The base Model X 60D, valued at $75,000, carries a $730 lease price.
This new lease option might be great for someone who ordered a Model 3 but wants to drive a Tesla now, rather than wait two years for the sedan to become available. Otherwise, purchasing a cheaper car outright probably makes a lot more sense, even if owning a Fiesta isn’t quite as sexy as driving a Tesla.
How would you rather spend your $600 per month: purchasing a Ford Fiesta or leasing a Model S?