Mexican Auto Industry: Well, Different

BY: ANNE TEAK

How’d you like to buy a brand new 23 year old Nissan Sentra? They’re still being made and sold in Mexico, under the name Nissan Tsuru, (that’s Japanese for crane). It has received only mild mechanical and electrical updates since its introduction in 1992, like the  new Renault-sourced transmission. Beyond that it’s largely unchanged from the original version, and used primarily by taxi companies throughout Mexico. Except here, of course.nisan.jpg

 matiz.jpgPropelled by a 105 hp, 1.6-liter four cylinder engine and a five speed manual transmission, the Tsuru doesn’t have much in the way of safety equipment, but parts are plentiful, it weighs almost nothing (just 2,175 pounds, less than a Mazda Miata) and it’s cheap: about $8,700 U.S.

And here’s another oldie but goodie. The 2015 Chevrolet Matiz

While the Chevy Spark we know in the States is the latest and greatest version of that car, in Mexico you can still buy an ancestor of that car, dubbed the Chevrolet Matiz. Powered by a tiny 65 hp 1 liter four cylinder engine and a five speed manual transmission, it seats four passengers and goes out the door at a low, low price of just less than $6,500, not including air conditioning or a radio and tax. Registration? Chump change. Drivers’ license? Why be the only one on your block with one of those?.