Buying a car during a recession may not seem very prudent.
Many of us have been taught since we were young to economise whenever possible and avoid splurging when times are bad.
That said, people require cars for a variety of reasons. Many of us need one to ferry the kids or our parents. Owning a car instead of using public transport is expensive, but the convenience it offers is priceless.
With that in mind, we’ve come up with a list of 10 new cars that cost less than $80k each. We feel these models offer good value for money because they’re relatively affordable, practical and have low running costs.
The Toyota Vios has a lot going for it, beginning with its price, which starts from $76,888. Its cabin is roomy and secure, thanks to the flat rear floor and standard seven airbags.
Powering the Vios is a 1.5-litre inline-4 that produces 106hp (79kW) and 140Nm of torque. It’s paired to a CVT with a 7-speed override function.
This drivetrain is fairly efficient, allowing the Vios to manage up to 17.2km/L. Plus, it’s a Toyota, so you know it’ll be reliable, too.
Click here for our review of the Toyota Vios
The latest Mitsubishi Attrage is what most motorists want in a car. Despite its compact size, it has a very spacious interior and equally generous 450-litre boot.
Fuel-sipping is another Attrage talent. Its 79hp (80PS) 1.2-litre 3-cylinder, which is paired to a CVT, covers up to 20.4km on a litre of petrol. And with one of the coldest air-con units around, our weather won’t be an issue.
Priced from $65,999, the Attrage is a lot of car for not a lot of money.
The Hyundai Accent may not be as popular as its larger Avante sibling, but it’s still impressive.
Its build quality and refinement are better than expected. But what really stands out is the car’s smooth drivetrain.
Under the bonnet is a 1.4-litre inline-4 that’s paired to a CVT (continuously variable transmission). It’s so seamless that you might mistake it for a torque converter automatic. We certainly did at first.
Prices start from $68,999.
Thanks to its compact dimensions, the Nissan Note is one of the most manoeuvrable cars around. But don’t let its size fool you – the Note actually has a very roomy interior.
The hatchback body style gives the Note a very flexible interior, too. Folding down the rear seat backs, for instance, liberates enough space to stow a bicycle.
The Note’s drivetrain consists of a 1.2-litre inline-3 paired to a CVT. It delivers 78hp (79PS) and 106Nm, and a combined fuel economy of 20km per litre. Prices start from $65,888.
If you’re looking for a sporty and nimble runabout, then the Suzuki Swift is right up your alley. Prices start from $71,999.
This supermini has a turbocharged 1-litre 3-cylinder that pumps out 109hp and 160Nm. Paired to a 6-speed automatic, the hatchback does zero to 100km/h in 10 seconds.
It may be the smallest contender on this list, but it was compelling enough to be named “Best Compact Hatchback” at the 2018 ST–Torque Awards.
Honda Jazz 1.3
There’s plenty to love about the Honda Jazz. It’s great for small families because it’s a supermini with a mini-MPV body style and a surprisingly cavernous cabin.
The Jazz’s interior is highly configurable, too, thanks to its Ultra Seats. Apart from split-folding rear seat backs, the squabs can also be folded upwards, allowing users to stow objects such as potted plants in an upright position.
Beneath the Jazz’s cute bonnet is a naturally aspirated 1.3-litre 4-cylinder that produces 98hp (99PS) and 119Nm. Capable of travelling 19.2km per litre of unleaded, efficiency is the name of its game.
The Honda Jazz 1.3 starts at $69,999.
European hatchbacks don’t have to cost an arm and a leg, and the Seat Ibiza proves it. Starting at $79,999, this Spanish supermini has a lot to offer, beginning with its powertrain.
The Ibiza is motivated by a turbocharged 1-litre 3-cylinder that pumps out 114hp (85kW) and 200Nm of torque. Mated to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox, the Ibiza does the century dash in a relatively quick 9.5 seconds.
Safety features include six airbags, traction control and Front Assist. The latter has City Emergency Braking (an autonomous braking function) to help prevent collisions.
The entry-level Kia Cerato L variant is listed for a little over $80k ($80,999 to be exact) but stretching your budget here is worth it if you need and/or want a larger car.
Neat styling, a comfortable cabin and better performance (compared to the aforementioned non-turbo 3-cylinder motors) are this saloon’s key offerings. It’s also quieter and more refined than the previous model, thanks to its stronger and stiffer body.
For assurance and peace of mind, the Cerato is also covered by Cycle & Carriage’s 10-year engine warranty – just like the Mitsubishi Attrage.
With prices from $78,999, the Hyundai Avante is a solid alternative to the Kia Cerato, its mechanical cousin.
Both cars are of similar size and roominess, but differ in terms of their designs and equipment. The base Avante is better equipped than its Cerato counterpart – it has six airbags while the latter has two.
Like the Cerato, the Avante is also powered by a 126hp 1.6-litre engine paired to a 6-speed automatic.
If the Seat Ibiza is the most affordable European hatchback, then the $76,999 Seat Toledo is the least expensive European saloon you can buy.
The Seat Toledo is essentially a Volkswagen Jetta – with a snazzier design. The Toledo’s key selling points are what many motorists are after: space, practicality and performance.
There’s plenty of room in the backseat, and the 550-litre boot is arguably the largest in its segment. And with a turbocharged 1.4-litre engine making 123hp (92kW) and 200Nm, this Spanish saloon can zip around relatively quickly, too.