Foreign Affairs: Nissan Tsuru, Mexico
As wonderful as the American marketplace is, there’s an entire world — literally — of cars out there that we just can’t get our hands on. In TTAC’s new series, “Foreign Affairs,” we look at forbidden fruit that you can buy brand new around the world.
The Mexican new car market is remarkable. While plenty of good new cars come across the border, inciting at least one presidential candidate to threaten penalty taxes, its domestic market still continues to sell older gems, some of which are built to older safety standards. Even the Beetle was built there long after its sell-by date.
The Tsuru is popular most likely due to its bargain basement cost. A basic model can run as low as $7,040 USD after promotional savings. I’m sure the model’s long lifespan has also contributed a massive secondary market in parts and spares, as this has been used as a taxi all over the country for years.
I doubt it’d be a good Uber ride, though.
Only a few major changes have been made over the years — primarily some restyling of the grille and headlamps. The option packages look a bit different than what we would typically see here, as well. The base model doesn’t offer air conditioning or power steering, but has a standard anti-theft alarm and remote unlocking. While the base 1.6-liter engine won’t be particularly quick, its light weight will at least make it nimble.
I still wish Nissan would offer something like this — since we know they will still build the basic car — with some performance features like the big SR20 engine, and sell it here in the U.S. As worn out as my 1991 SE-R was, it was still more fun to drive than any current, smaller car from Nissan.
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