During these uncertain economic times, many people have started downsizing in order to save money wherever they can. This is especially clear when it comes to cars. No More Budget Car Blues!
A buying-down trend was already a growing issue in the automotive industry before the lockdown, but it is now shifting from a trend to a necessity for some. But it isn’t all bad news though – there are some great cars to check out if you to downsize.
So, you could go for a second-hand car, but let’s say you’re looking for a brand spanking new set of wheels for under R200k. Here are some of my favourite budget buys!
1. Volkswagen Take up!
Price: R182 700
Power: 55 Kw / 95 Nm
Fuel economy: 4.6 l/100km
Volkswagens are known for their reliability and superb build quality. The up! is definitely no exception! Although this is the cheapest car that VW has to offer they have not cut corners on materials to lower costs.
Like most other cars this size the up! has a pretty small engine, but since the car only weighs about 818 Kg, you won’t notice it too much. However, if you have three passengers riding with you, you will definitely notice a lack of engine power.
The up! comes with the basic features that most drivers expect from a car these days – like Bluetooth, electric windows (front only), ABS, four airbags, aircon and central locking. Something that I don’t like is that the rear windows are fixed and cannot go down at all – they open slightly to the side with a bracket.
Another important thing to know is that the up! does not come standard with a service plan, but you can pay extra for one. However, the service costs for the up! are super lower and will rarely break the bank so it really isn’t too big of a turn-off in this case.
That being said, the drive is pretty great and fun for the most part. The seats are comfy and the car feels surprisingly spacious inside. I never felt like I was driving a budget or entry-level car!
2. Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL
Price: R188 900
Power: 61 Kw / 113 Nm
Fuel economy: 5.1 l/100km
Suzuki refers to the Ignis as an “urban SUV”, which I think is really cute. Of course, it isn’t an SUV at all, but it does have some styling details of an SUV. I really enjoyed the Ignis and I’m impressed that you can buy it brand new for under R200k.
The Ignis has a decent size engine for its size and it only weighs 850 Kg! The drive is very enjoyable and you will be surprised by the punchy engine. The Ignis is pretty comfortable with decent seats and good noise insulation.
Being quite a bit bigger than other cars in this price range, the Ignis is pretty spacious! Rear seat passengers have a comfortable amount of legroom! The interior is very plastic-y, but that is to be expected for a car in this price range I guess.
You get decent standard features such as Bluetooth, all-round electric windows, a driver and passenger airbag, ABS, brake-assist, aircon and central locking. If you have some extra cash to spend you could even go for the 1.2 GLX model which will give you a 7-inch touchscreen and rear-park sensors with a reverse camera.
The Ignis comes standard with a 2-year service plan and a 5-year / 200 000 Km warranty.
3. Peugeot 108 Active
Price: R189 500
Power: 53 Kw / 93 Nm
Fuel economy: 4.3 l/100km
The Peugeot 108 might look familiar to some because it built with the same mould used by Toyota for the Aygo. A little boring, but that’s okay – why fix something that isn’t broken, right?
The 108 has a nippy little engine that has no problem moving the car around. I found the drive to be really fun. There is just something about driving a tiny car – you feel like you can zip around much easier and quicker than most cars.
The 108 is the smallest out of these three cars, but it comes with the best standard features! You get a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. I was impressed with the responsiveness of the touchscreen and use friendliness of the infotainment system. Other than that you also get Bluetooth, aircon, front electric windows, hill start assist and six airbags! That’s impressive.
Another thing that makes the 108 stands out is that it comes with a 5-year / 100 000 Km service plan, among some other convenient services and assistance features. This is pretty impressive and not something that is usually included with budget cars.
So if you have to cut back on expenses during these uncertain times and you’re thinking about trading down your car – you have some decent options that will put a smile on your face! No More Budget Car Blues!