Joel Helmes looks at the best cars that will give you change from twenty grand.
With 56 different new car brands vying for your business it can be a little hard finding the car that’s perfect for you, at the right price.
Amongst all this competition is one of the most fiercely fought segments – the sub $20,000 market.
But this competition means you should be able to drive-away with a really good quality and well fitted-out new car without crossing that magical $20,000 barrier.
Here are four of the best:
Can you ever really do better than opt for a Toyota? I don’t think so and neither do the tens of thousands of loyal customers the Japanese brand claims in Australia. So, to be able to jump into a new Toyota from less than $20,000 seems a pretty good deal straight-off, right?
The Yaris is priced from $14,990, which gets you a three-door model with a 1.3 litre four-cylinder engine and manual transmission.
If you need something bigger a five-door Yaris will cost you from $15,690 and a Yaris sedan will cost you from $18,990.
You can even get into a Yaris with the larger 1.5 litre engine for well under twenty grand.
Aside from excellent Toyota build quality, the Japanese-built Yaris provides five-star safety, an enjoyable and easy drive, great fuel economy and a generous list of quality features.
Some people may still be a little reluctant to buy a Kia, given the brands less then glorious entry into Australia a couple of decades ago.
I’m very pleased to say however that the Kia vehicles of today are nothing like those early efforts.
The Kia Rio range starts at $15,290; this gets you a three-door model with a 1.4 litre engine and a six-speed manual transmission. An extra thousand dollars gets you a five-door model. If you want a Rio with the larger 1.6 litre engine you’ll be getting close to pushing through that $20,000 barrier.
The Rio’s best attributes include a very generous standard features list, good looks, nice steering, five-star safety, great fuel economy, a very generous five year warranty and a well-designed cabin.
The Honda City is made in Thailand, and while once upon a time that may have been a concern, if there’s one thing you can be sure of it’s that Honda wouldn’t allow its reputation for quality slip.
The City has been around for a while, but the body shape and cabin layout have won the model plenty of praise and lots of very happy buyers.
There’s just the one engine available in the City line-up – a 1.5 litre four-cylinder petrol engine, transmission choices are between five-speed manual and five-speed automatic.
Positives include that famous Honda reputation, five-star safety, good looks, great interior functionality, excellent fuel economy and quite generous features list.
Like its Kia cousin – the Rio, the Accent is a vastly improved little car.
Starting at just $16,990, you can grab a sedan or five-door hatch powered by a 1.6 litre four-cylinder petrol engine. An auto transmission will cost you an extra $2,000.
The Accent offers a generous list of standard features, five-star safety, good legroom upfront, really light steering, five year warranty and very good fuel economy.
So, four good contenders for your business, there’s also models such as the Mazda2, Fiat Punto Pop, Ford Fiesta and Nissan Micra to consider.