So taxi maths has been showing you flames? Or you tired of greeting people in the taxi to only get a “please close the door, we are late.” Or perhaps you are in the same boat as many graduates, you basically thought as soon as you graduate you’re going to walk into a Mercedes-Benz dealership and buy yourself that A45 AMG you have always dreamt about while studying only to realise that you can’t afford anything in the whole dealership?
It incorrectly seems important to many people for their first car to be brand new one. A lot of used cars offer great value for money, a topic we will cover shortly. A lot of people don’t know that some brands offer really affordable cars on the local market which make for affordable entry into vehicle ownership.
So here is a look at the five most affordable brand new cars that you can buy.
- BAIC D20 hatch 1.3 Comfort – R149 990
At R150 000 this is the most expensive car in the list.If you have no idea what this car is, you are forgiven. BAIC is a Chinese motor manufacturer which is doing pretty well in its native country. They recently introduced some of their cars to the South African market with some very aggressive pricing which is quite impressive given the Rand Dollar exchange rate. The amount of standard features is quite simply insane. You get a whole lot of cool stuff for your money.
The D20 range all come standard with full electric windows not that front only set up (Polo, Quest), so high five to BAIC for adhering to the equality clause prescribed by our Constitution. (All passengers are equal and therefore all deserve electric windows).
The whole range also comes standard with park distance control and auto on/off headlights. At this price this is quite incredible. I can name three German brands at five times the price that do not offer this.
The styling is not bad either. Chinese cars are not known for their great looks but this one is not bad at all. What I did find quite funny is the pronunciation of the word BAIC, which is pronounced as “bike” I can already see the memes coming.
- KIA Picanto 1.0 Start – R139 495
“It’s a Picanto, it has electric windows.” Who can forget that legendary KIA Picanto advert?
Looking at all the cars in this list this one is definitely the best looking. It is really tiny though, measuring in at 3.5m long, 1.5m wide and 1.4m tall. Coming from the BAIC, the standard specification in this model is very sparse though you do get an aircon and an MP3 radio with Bluetooth connectivity. A 5 year unlimited km warranty also comes standard on this baby which is really awesome for anyone starting out.
What is really fantastic about the Picanto are the colours that you can purchase the car with. They’re really quite cool and there are a total of eleven of them to choose from.
- Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GA – R136 900
Celerio 1.0 GA, why on earth would anyone name a car that? It sounds like a name of some incurable virus. “Sorry sir you’re suffering from stage 1.0 of the deadly Celerio GA virus.” Why couldn’t Suzuki be like other kids and have a normal and cool name for their car? The name is quite disappointing especially since Suzuki has one of the coolest names in the game for one of their cars. Yes, I am talking about the Jimny. That’s one cool car which is addictively adorable.
There is not a lot I can say about this vehicle except It has the kind of looks that only a mother would like, but judging from the lack of effort in marketing it, we doubt even Suzuki itself like it. It is the third most affordable brand new car you can buy in South Africa and something you may want to consider when looking for an affordable vehicle.
- Datsun Go 1.2 Lux – R134 500
There are very few car manufactures that can quite evoke as much nostalgic moments as Datsun can. The name on its own puts a smile on one’s face. I think this is attributable to the loveable, reliable and affordable Datsun 1200 bakkie which was later reborn as a Nissan 1400. Also, who can forget the Datsun 1200 GX and GX Coupe duo from the 70s?
So when it comes to affordability and reliability the Datsun Go comes from a family that know how to do this and do it successfully too. I do however feel as though Datsun have turned a blind eye to the times and have skirted the law when it comes to safety. They originally offered this car with no ABS brakes or a single airbag. They did revise this by adding a driver’s side airbag but no ABS still. This is a concern for us and simply not good enough in a country with so much road carnage and deaths and something that you should consider especially as their primary market are novice drivers for whom cadance braking isn’t even a theory and locked brakes can and usually do invite a lot of problems. Affordability is important but an absolute compromise on safety is not the way to go about it.
The interior is light and airy; it actually makes the Go feel bigger than it actually is. The dashboard is really basic yet looks and feels modern. The basic motoring feel of this car works very well.
- Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression – R127 900
Ladies and gentleman, I present to you Mzansi’s most affordable car: The Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression. Shall we name it the people’s bae?
At R127 900 it is the most affordable car you can buy in South Africa. This is the one that gets you out of that taxi. The same safety concerns which we raised with the Datsun Go are an issue here and we highlight that profit cannot come at the expense of safety (ask BAIC and KIA). Is it safer to be behind the wheel of this car than at the back of a taxi? It is indeed a great upgrade from the middle-row seat of a Toyota Quantum I will admit. Did I mention that it has aircon and no weird people inside it asking for your number?
Motoring gives you so much freedom to do what you want to do when you want to. Mzansi has a lot of destinations to explore and an affordable, safe and reliable car is the best place to do it in.
To top it off, non of these five cars will have you mistaken for an Uber or local taxi driver, levels.
Just be on the look out for the Col’drink brigade.