With the current economic outlook rather gloomy for struggling consumers, South Africa’s cheapest cars are in high demand.
We have compiled a list of the 10 most affordable new passenger cars in Mzansi. It starts at a not-so-cheap R149 900 and goes up to R176 999.
The list includes five Suzukis, two Mahindras, two BAICs and a Renault. All of them are small hatchbacks, all of them have air-conditioners and nine out of the ten have manual gearboxes.
There will always be concerns over how safe the cheapest cars are. None of the 10 on our list has been tested by the AA’s #SaferCarsforAfrica programme and therefore does not have any kind of star-rating. What they all do have are dual airbags and ABS with EBD.
We have calculated the monthly instalment for each of the 10. These amounts are based on the listed price for that model financed over 60 months at prime interest rate (7.75%) with a 10% deposit. It does not include the initiation and admin fee.
Here are South Africa’s top 10 cheapest cars:
1. R149,990 – BAIC D20 Hatch 1.3 Comfort
BAIC, short for Beijing Automotive Group Co, is the sixth largest Chinese carmaker that has been selling cars in South Africa since 2018.
The D20 Hatch 1.3 Comfort is powered by a four-cylinder, naturally aspirated 1.3-litre petrol engine that produces 75 kW of power and 128 Nm of torque. This is sent to the front wheels via manual transmission.
BAIC claims fuel consumption of 6.8 L/100 km, which is a bit on the high side for a small hatchback.
Equipped with a 45-litre fuel tank, that number will result in a range of 661 km.
Specifications are fairly humble, but the D20 does come with basic creature comforts such as an air-conditioner, CD-player and four-speaker sound system, electric windows and electric side mirrors.
Safety specs include ABS with EBD, dual front airbags, and rear ISOFIX child seats mounts.
The D20 does not come with a service plan and incudes a five-year/120 000 km warranty.
Monthly instalment: R 2,721
2. R156,900 – Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL
The Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL was launched in early 2020 and topped the list of South Africa’s cheapest cars, but price increases since have seen it lose this mantle to the BAIC D20.
The S-Presso draws its power from a three-cylinder, 1.0 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. It produces 50kW/90Nm which is sent to the front wheels via five-speed manual transmission.
The Japanese carmaker claims fuel consumption to be an eye-catching 4.9 L/100 km, which will give it a range of 551 km on its 27-litre fuel tank.
The hatchback features aircon, electric front windows, rear park distance control and digital instrument cluster.
Safety systems include rear ISOFIX child seat mounts, dual front airbags and ABS with EBD.
Standard on the S-Presso is a two-year/30 000 km service plan and five-year/200 000 km warranty.
Monthly instalment: R2,846
3. R161,900 – Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL+
Suzuki’s second entry on the list of South Africa’s cheapest cars.
The GL+ includes all the mentioned specifications from the GL, plus seven-inch touchscreen infotainment system with reverse camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Bluetooth and AUX / USB connectivity.
Monthly instalment: R 2,937
4. R162,999 – Mahindra KUV100 Nxt 1.2 G80 K2+
The Indian carmaker is one of South Africa’s fastest growing brands that apart from the KUV100 hatchbacks offers a wide selection of SUVs and bakkies.
The KUV100 entry-level model is powered by a 61 kW/115 Nm three-cylinder, naturally aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Mahindra claims a fuel consumption figure of 5.9 L/100 km, which will give the KUV100 a range of 593 km on its 35-litre tank.
On the safety side, the Mahindra hatch comes with dual front airbags, ABS with EBD plus rear ISOFIX child seat mounts.
The KUV100 does not come standard with a service plan, but includes a three-year/100 000 km vehicle warranty and five-year/150 000 km powertrain warranty.
Monthly instalment: R2,959
5. R169,990 – BAIC D20 hatch 1.5 Comfort
BAIC’s second entry on the top 10 list of the cheapest cars.
The D20 1.5 features the same specifications as its 1.3 sibling, but comes with a bigger engine and more power.
Its four-cylinder, naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 85 kW/148 Nm that is sent to the front wheels, also via five-speed manual.
BAIC claims a similar 6.8 L/100 km consumption to the 1.3, which will give a range of 661 km too.
Monthly instalment: R3,083
6. R170,400 – Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression
The French carmaker’s entry on the top 10 list of cheapest cars in South Africa has been a popular local choice ever since its arrival in 2016.
The Kwid’s three-cylinder, 1.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine punches out 50kW/91Nm and is mated to five-speed manual transmission.
Renault claims it only sips 4.7 L/100 km and has a range of 596 km on its 28-litre petrol tank.
The entry-level Kwid features a digital instrument cluster, aircon and two-speaker radio with Bluetooth, AUX and USB connectivity.
It has two front airbags and ABS with EBD.
Standard on the Kwid is a five-year/150 000 km warranty, but it does not include a service plan.
Monthly instalment: R3,091
7. R170,900 – Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 S-Edition
The top-spec S-Presso includes all the specification of the GL+ trim level, plus additional exterior and interior styling elements. These include a silver front grille, front and rear skid plate, wheel arch and lower door protective cladding and silver accents inside the cabin.
Monthly instalment: R3,100
8. R174,900 – Suzuki Celerio 1.0 GA
Suzuki’s other model on the top 10 list of cheapest cars in South Africa is the all-new Celerio hatchback, which is 130 mm longer than the S-Presso and offers more space.
The Celerio’s powertrain features new Dualjet engine technology. The 49kW/89Nm three-cylinder, naturally aspirated petrol mill is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox.
Suzuki claims the Celerio will need a mere 4.4 L to travel 100 km. This gives the little hatch an astonishing range just shy of 800 km on its 35-litre petrol tank.
The hatchback comes standard with aircon and rear parking sensors, but does not feature electric windows or a radio in base trim.
Safety spec include Electronic Stability Control, dual front airbags, ABS with EBD and rear ISOFIX child seat mounts.
Monthly instalment: R3,172
ALSO READ: New Suzuki Celerio: A budget car done right
9. R175,900 – Suzuki S-Presso 1.0 GL+ auto
This model features similar specifications with its manual sibling, just with automated manual transmission, making it South Africa’s cheapest self-shifting car.
Monthly instalment: R3,191
10. R176,999 – Mahindra KUV100 Nxt 1.2 G80 K2+ #DARE
The DARE model is an upgraded version of the entry-level KUV100 and Mahindra’s second entry and rounds off the top 10 list of cheapest cars.
In addition to the base model’s specifications, it gets exterior decals, 14-inch black alloy wheels, Pioneer sound system with smartphone integration and remote central locking.
Monthly instalment: R3,211
For more information on the KUV100, click here.