Jaco Van Der Merwe

By Jaco Van Der Merwe

Head of Motoring

Passed matric and need wheels? Five cool cheap cars to consider

Just because your new ride is cheap doesn't mean it can't have street cred.

Many of the hundreds of thousands successful matriculants from 2022 will need access to their own wheels to start the next phase of their lives.

While a few of them will be in a position to purchase a new car, those privileged enough to be in that position are spoiled for choice. In the entry level bracket of the local new car market, there are no less than 17 different model passenger cars priced from R162 900 to R200 000.

The Citizen Motoring has scrolled through the virtual showrooms in search of options for those looking for their first set of wheels. Because the presence of every teenager’s first car is vitally important, we haven’t based our selection purely on cheap cars, but rather on cool cheap cars. We have factored styling into the equation, because street cred goes a long way.

We managed to find five cars that will catch the eye, all for under R250 000.

Here is our list of cheap cool cars for those leaving school to consider:

Toyota Agya 1.0 MT – R200 000

Cheap cool cars - Toyota Agya rear
The Toyota Agya rides on 14-inch black alloy rims.

If there is one thing the most affordable car in Toyota’s stable has, it’s swagger. And sommer plenty of it.
It’s available in a choice of six colours, but if you want to make your friends green with envy, Electric Yellow is the way to go. Together with standard 14-inch black alloys and headlights and grille, there is no denying that the Toyota Agya (pronounced A-gi-ya) is an attractive package.

The Agya is powered by a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated engine sending 48 kW to the front wheels via five-speed transmission. It’s indicated fuel consumption of 4.8 litres for every 100 km – or almost 21 km on every litre – should be music for every cash-strapped teenager’s ears.

Speaking of music, this entry-level model does not come standard with a radio. Nothing an aftermarket head unit, amplifier and subwoofer can’t fix. That would make it an even cooler cheap car.

Suzuki Ignis 1.0 GL – R208 900

Cheap cool cars - Suzuki Ignis front
The Suzuki Ignis is one of a kind.

Referred to as an urban SUV by the Japanese carmaker, its safe to say the Ignis is styled like nothing else on our roads. While it’s definitely not a real SUV, it’s most definitely not a run-of-the-mill little hatchback either with a generous ground clearance of 180 mm.

The Suzuki Ignis’ punchy 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine produces 61 kW of power that is sent to the front wheels via five-speed manual gearbox.

Mahindra KUV100 Nxt 1.2 K6+ #DARE – R215 999

Mahindra KUV100 front
A black roof and black 15-inch alloys are standard on the KUV100 K6+ #DARE.

The Indian carmaker spiced up the KUV100 range some years ago with the #DARE offerings, which adds extra style and specification while still keeping the price as affordable as they can.

Available in three colours, our choice is most definitely Lava Red. It works wonders with the standard black roof, black alloy wheels and #DARE decals on the doors which all adds up to make it one of the coolest cheap cars.

The Mahindra KUV100 K6+ #DARE draws it power from a 1.2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which sends 61 kW to the front wheels via five-speed transmission. Fuel consumption is rated at 5.9 L/100 km.

ALSO READ: Five new cars under R300k to give you bang for your buck

Renault Kiger 1.0 Life – R219 999

Renault Kiger front
The Renault Kiger clad in Caspian Blue.

This baby SUV smacks of attitude. It features strong sculpted lines, 205 mm ground clearance and roof rails that combine to make it more attractive in comparison to a conventional hatchback.

Under the bonnet of this front-wheel driven Renault Kiger is a 1.0-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine which is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Renault claims it will only sip 5.2 litres for every 100 km.

Fiat 500 TwinAir Cult – R249 900

Fiat 500 front
The Fiat 500’s design never gets old.

The coolest car of the cheap cool cars for matrics. The Fiat 500 model is virtually unchanged from when it first appeared in 2007 and yet it has lost none of its appeal. Similar to a Smeg kettle, its retro-modern styling is timeless.

The Fiat 500’s two-cylinder 875 cc turbocharged petrol engine produces 63 kW of power and is mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. Fiat claims that it will only sip four litres for every 100 km, in other words 25 kilometres for every litre. Now that is probably the coolest part.