With the introduction of a new trim to its Versa subcompact lineup, Nissan North America Inc. says it now has the lowest-priced light vehicle in the U.S. for the ‘09 model year.

The ‘09 Versa Sedan 1.6 begins at $9,900, not including a $695 destination and handling fee.

In place of the Versa’s standard 1.8L engine, the new base trim has a 1.6L 4-cyl. engine making 107 hp, mated to a standard 5-speed manual transmission (a 4-speed automatic is optional).

The Versa Sedan 1.6 goes on sale Nov. 18 at U.S. Nissan dealers, the auto maker says.

“It combines the low price of a used car with the dependability, high quality and full factory warranty of every new Nissan,” Brian Carolin, senior vice president-sales and marketing for NNA, says in a statement. “It’s our way of saying that in tough economic times, Nissan is here to help.”

Meanwhile, Nissan is offering 0% financing for 36 months on five of its best-selling models, the Altima, Sentra and Versa passenger cars and Rogue and Murano cross/utility vehicles.

Nissan’s Consumer Value Program begins Nov. 4 and concludes Nov. 30.

It also includes $199/month leases on the Rogue and Murano.

Ward’s data shows Nissan’s U.S. sales were down 3.4% through September.