Market Snapshot


Pricing for the 2008 Nissan Versa, Toyota Highlander and Audi RS4 Cabriolet have been announced.

*Sales for the early-model Audi RS4 Convertible are unavailable

Nissan’s entry-level Versa receives little change for the update and comes in sedan and hatchback versions. The addition of a sport package on the sedan model offers performance styling, but no additional performance parts. The manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for the six-speed manual transmission is set at $12,550, a bump of roughly a hundred dollars over the last release. Nissan’s traditional four-speed automatic and advanced Xtronic Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) are also offered, but raise the price to $13, 450 and $14, 650, respectively. The 122-hp 1.8 DOHC four-cylinder engine remains unchanged and provides an EPA estimated 27-mpg (city)/33-mpg (highway) rating when equipped with the CVT option; the most fuel efficient of the group.

The Highlander has been drastically changed for 2008. Toyota’s midsize SUV is now substantially larger, more spacious and more powerful despite retaining the same fuel efficiency. Three levels of options are available, but the Base, Sport, and Limited iterations all feature the same 3.5L V6 engine capable of 270 hp—an additional 55 horsepower over the previous model. Hybrid versions will match the output while lowering emissions. Safety features consist of seven airbags, anti-lock brakes, traction control, electronic brake-force reduction, brake assist and enhanced vehicle stability control with electronic power steering. Pricing for the Base model will host an MSRP of $27,300, an additional $510 from last year. Top-of-the-line Limited versions start at $32,700, a substantial $1,890 bump in price. Hybrid prices will be announced closer to their launch in September.

Audi’s heralded RS4 Cabriolet will be coming to North America in limited quantities. Only 300 examples of the sports sedan are expected to make the trip and will carry a hefty price tag—$81,900. This includes neither the $775 destination charge nor the gas guzzler tax to be determined later. Enthusiasts are already lining up on waiting lists to catch their chance at this 420-hp drop-top. Due to the limited production size, there will be virtually no options. Standard equipment include a navigation system prepared for Bluetooth accessories, a Sirius satellite radio, a Bose sound system, heated front and rear seats, bi-xenon adaptive headlamps, rear parking system, an iPod interface and a whole host of other amenities. The cabriolet version will share the same 4.2L FSI V8 engine used in the RS4 sedan and will only be offered with the six-speed manual transmission and Quattro all-wheel-drive.

Sources:  (June 25, 2007). “Audi Announces 2008 RS 4 Cabriolet Pricing and Equipment.” PRNewswire.  Retrieved June 25, 2007 from (June 20, 2007). “Toyota Announces Prices for All-New 2008 Highlander.” PRNewswire. Retrieved June 25, 2007, from (June 25, 2007). “Nissan Announces Pricing on 2008 Versa.” PRNewswire. Retrieved June 25, 2007, from