It’s such a Kafkaesque bureaucratic nightmare to get Canadian- or Mexican-market cars across the border into the United States that I don’t find many such machines during my junkyard travels. I’d found a Honda Civic and a Peugeot 505 from Canada plus a Chevrolet Chevy (aka Opel Corsa) from Mexico and that was it… until I spotted this mysterious econo-sedan with Nissan badges in a Denver yard last week.
An Aprio? What could that be?
Then I saw the registration stickers from Coahuila State in Mexico and knew I was seeing some sort of badge-engineering exercise from the fringes of the far-flung Nissan-Renault Empire. The Aprio was a Brazilian-assembled first-generation Dacia Logan, sold only in Mexico and ultimately replaced by the Versa after just six years of availability.
It began its career after being sold new at Nissan Acuña in Coahuila, just across the border from Del Rio, Texas, and the registration stickers indicate that it spent most of its life in its original state. At some point, it took the 900-mile drive to Denver, where it got hit in the left rear and delivered into the eager tentacles of El Pulpo.
It appears to have the 1.6-liter Renault K engine, rated at something close to 100 horsepower, and a five-speed manual transmission. Good basic transportation, no doubt, but it’s not worth fixing major suspension damage on a cheap car with zero parts availability and zero chance of getting legal Colorado registration after its one-year permit for Mexican-plated vehicles expires.
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