January 30, 2018
You are a student, and you really want to buy a car soon. But where do you start? What is a reasonable and affordable student car in South Africa? Students want a car that is cheap on fuel, affordable, safe enough, and which doesn’t require too much maintenance.
Let’s explore and see which student cars are available in South Africa. A December 2016 article provides us with some good insight.
The price of the Datsun Go is R106 900, and is the cheapest hatchback in South Africa. The 5-speed manual car is powered by a 3-cylinder, 1.2-litre, 50-kW engine, which requires a claimed fuel consumption of 5.2 litres/100 km. However, real town driving pushes up consumption to 5.9 litres/100 km. The Datsun Go does the 0-100 km/hour in 13.3 seconds, and has a top speed of 161 km/hour. Even though the car has a small engine, it is quite light (800 kg), and so it is still quite nippy around town.
The Tata Indica sells for R118 995, and has a 1.4-litre, petrol engine. There are two models available in South Africa – the Indica LSi and the Indica LXi. The LSi model has a power output of 55.2 kW, whereas the LXi delivers 63 kW. Both cars have a 5-speed transmission with overdrive ratio. For safety, the Indica has 2 airbags in the front, ABS brakes, with EBD. Fuel economy is 5.2 litres/100 km.
The Suzuki Celerio, selling at R126 300, is the most spacious car in its class. It has a 1-litre engine providing the driver with a fuel economy of 4.7 litres/100 km. This means the car can go a maximum range of more than 750 km. The engine is mated to either a manual gearbox or Suzuki’s new Automatic Gear Shift manual gearbox, which has an Intelligent Shift Control Actuator operating the clutch.
Two Suzuki Celerio models are available, namely, the basic GA and the more advanced GL. From a safety point of view, dual airbags are found in the front, and ABS brakes are standard.
The Chevy Spark is a 5-seater, and costs R137 400. The LS model has a 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder, 60-kW, petrol engine. The car is ideally suited for town driving, and is a pleasure to drive with its smooth 5-speed manual gearbox. The car is not ideally suited for highway driving, as it struggles a bit at high speeds. The fuel consumption is great, especially for students, being 5.4 litres/100 km. For safety, the car is fitted with two front airbags, ABS brakes and EBD.
The Suzuki Swift, selling at R149 900, has a 1.4-litre, 70-kW, petrol engine, which does lack some power. The fuel economy is great at 5.5 litres/100 km for the manual model, and 6.2 litres/100 km for the automatic. The engine is mated to either a 5-speed manual transmission, or a 4-speed automatic transmission. The automatic is most suited to town driving, but battles somewhat going up hilly terrain. The manual model accelerates to 100 km/h in 10.9 seconds, whereas the automatic only manages 12.3 seconds. Maximum speeds for the manual and automatic models are 170 km/h and 165 km/h, respectively.
Going for a price of R151 600, the Honda Brio is powered by a small 1.2-litre, 4-cylinder engine, producing 65 kW. The front wheels are driven by a fuel-injected engine via a 5-speed manual transmission. On Comfort models, a 5-speed automatic transmission is available. Safety features include ABS brakes with EBD, as well as dual front airbags.
The Hyundai i10, at a price tag of R152 900, is powered by the modern Kappa engine, which consists of a dual overhead camshaft (DOHC), dual continuously variable valve timing (CVVT), as well as a maintenance-free long-life timing chain among others. Fuel economy by the 1.25 Motion manual model, and the 1.25 Fluid manual models is claimed to be at 5.9 litres/100 km, and 6.9 litres/100 km for the 4-speed automatic 1.25 Motion.
Priced at R157 600, the Toyota Aygo has a 3-cylinder, 1-litre, 51-kW engine, and requires 14.2 seconds to do 0-100 km/h. The maximum speed is 160 km/h. The 5-speed manual model does well, except that its performance maximises too soon, which is undesirable when climbing or overtaking. The Aygo has many safety features such as 4 airbags in the front, ABS brakes and Brake Assist, as well as a body structure designed to absorb any impact.
The VW Up, is priced at R164 700. However, the April 2017 price is R179 900. The VW Up comes with a 3-cylinder, 1-litre engine, delivering 55 kW of power. This moderate power output is compensated by the light weight of the car. Fuel consumption is at a claimed low rate of 4.6 litres/100 km, a big plus for the car. Under real conditions, fuel consumption is more likely to be under 6 litres/100 km. In addition, fuel consumption is little because the engine is not turbocharged. Maximum speed is 173 km/h, with the 0-100 km/h acceleration taking 13.5 seconds.
The Ford Figo sells for R172 300. With the hatchback, one has a choice of a 77-kW, 1.5-litre, petrol engine, or a 1.5-litre, 74-kW, diesel engine. The claimed fuel economy of the petrol engine is 5.6 litres/100 km, and 4.1 litres/100 km for the diesel engine. The sedan is only petrol-driven. Both types of engine are connected to a 5-speed manual gearbox, but a 6-speed PowerShift Auto is part of the 1.5 Titanium (includes the hatchback and sedan).