January 30, 2018
When we are talking about ‘cheap’ cars in South Africa, we are referring to the R100 000 range. It is well known that the price of vehicles has been rising continually, and so to find a new car below R100 000 is currently quite difficult.
The August 2017 Business Tech article mentions that the monthly cost of insurance, fuel, instalments, and maintenance fees have risen by 24.2% since July 2013. This is one of the reasons why cheaper vehicles have started to creep upwards in cost.
Let’s take a look at the cheapest new cars currently for sale in South Africa. Prices were supplied by Duoporta.
The Chery QQ3 was launched in South Africa in 2008. The fuel-injected, 3-cylinder, 0.81-litre engine situated in the front of the car produces 70 Nm of torque. Its fuel consumption is 6.8 litres/100 km. With a maximum speed of 138 km/h, it takes 20 seconds to do 0-100 km/h. Compare this to the hypercars, which take about 1/10 of the time!
The Chinese manufacturer named Chery Automobile was established in 1997, and their cars are distributed worldwide.
The Go made by Datsun is in a highly competitive part of the market, facing car makes such as the Chery QQ3. Its low price makes it highly competitive, and it is quite attractive, with a Sky Blue paint finish adding the finishing touches. The 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine makes the car nippy, since it only weighs 800 kg! The Go takes 13 seconds to reach 0-100 km/h. This may not seem too fast, but one mustn’t forget the great fuel consumption of 5.9 litres/100 km. The top speed is 161 km/h. Disadvantages of the car are that it lacks anti-lock (ABS) brakes, and only has a single airbag for the driver. However, those looking for a car without having to dig too deep in their pockets are going for the Go!
Tata Motors, which used to be called Telco, launched the Indica as the most modern Indian car ever developed. The Tata Indica was launched in South Africa in 2004, and falls into the super-mini car category. The car has air-conditioning, and a 1.4-litre petrol engine (55 kW), with a fuel consumption of 7.4 litres/100 km. With a top speed of 155 km/h, it goes from 0-100 km/h in 12.8 seconds.
Cars in this category provide a market for mostly first-time buyers with tight budgets. It seems that buyers of this class of vehicle cannot afford the luxury of safety features, and are quite happy as long as they have a car. The Kwid Expression, like many others in this class, lacks the minimum safety features such as ABS brakes, and having only one airbag.
Its attractive grille and greater ground clearance make the car a catch to buy. However, crude welding points and poor rubber finishing, as well as the quality of the engine bay perhaps explain why the car is low-budget. Most of the cars in this category also show the same deficiencies. Although other similar cars provide a ‘tin-can’ sound, the Kwid sounds quite solid. The car only weighs 693 kg, which greatly assists the 0.9-litre, 3-cylinder engine, in making the car quite nippy in traffic. However, under windy, gusty conditions, it doesn’t feel all that safe to drive. Fuel consumption is an excellent 4.7 litres/100 km. These cars are used for city driving, and not for long trips at 120 km/h.
The Suzuki Celerio has a 1-litre, 3-cylinder engine. This kind of car is not too great at speeds of 120 km/h on the freeway - one can hear the engine straining at 4000 rpm, something that doesn’t help fuel consumption too much. Here, the car deviates from the rest of the pack by having two airbags in the front, as well as ABS brakes. The interior does have all the modern cons such as electric windows, a CD player, and radio and Bluetooth control on the steering wheel. However, the interior does not look that expensive, and there is considerable engine noise. It is definitely a city car, as on the open roads it is pretty vulnerable to gusty winds.
The Suzuki Celerio provides good value for money, but doesn’t have the same build quality compared to the new Volkswagen Up. For a little extra cost, the Suzuki Swift could be a better choice, depending on your preferences.
The Tata Indica Vista was launched in India in 2008. It is made by Tata Motors, which was established in 1945. This model has a 4-cylinder, 1.4-litre, fuel injection engine. It has the normal cons such as power steering, electrically-operated windows, and air-conditioning.
This third-generation Kia Picanto was recently launched in South Africa. It has a 1-litre petrol engine, with multi-point injection (MPI). It is the same size as its predecessor, but has a stronger wheelbase. It has an attractive grille, air-conditioning, radio, and Bluetooth connectivity. All models, except for the entry level ones, have ABS brakes as well as two airbags in front.
At present, the Chevrolet Spark is Chevrolet’s best seller in South Africa. The exterior is to be admired, but the interior less so. The cloth seats and plastic features on the doors and dashboard detract from its performance. The interior may be somewhat cramped for larger persons.
The 4-cylinder, 1.2-litre petrol engine makes the car ideal for city driving. Like all its rivals in this class, highway driving does stretch it somewhat to its limit. Engine noise is something that cannot be avoided.
The Mirage has a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder, petrol engine, with a fuel consumption of 4.9 litres/100 km. The overall exterior and interior design is good and modern. The car boasts of keyless access, ABS brakes, dual airbags, and a chassis that absorbs any impact. The latter safety feature is called ‘RISE’, or Reinforced Impact Safety Evolution.
The Beijing Automotive Group (BAIC) recently launched its D20 in South Africa. BAIC is investing huge capital for the local manufacture of these cars. However, in April 2017, it released its Chinese-built D20 hatchback. BAIC admits that there is a Mercedes-Benz flavour to the D20 design, due to its technology-sharing agreement with Mercedes-Benz.
The car has a 2-cylinder, 1.3-litre petrol engine with ABS brakes, and two front airbags. BAIC, in co-operation with the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) of South Africa, is prepared to invest up to R11 billion in South Africa, including an all-out car manufacturing facility in Port Elizabeth - a first of its kind in South Africa.
Now that you know which cars are the cheapest to buy in South Africa, it’s time to get car insurance that’s affordable. Learn more about Prime Meridian Direct’s car insurance here.
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