There's no denying it. We all like a good bargain. Hell, for some of us, a good bargain is the only way.
With this in mind, we've put together an updated list of the ten cheapest new cars available to buy in South Africa (if you're interested, you can check out last year's version, which we published in February 2012, HERE).
Although there are obviously a number of similarities between this year's contenders (all are five-speed manuals, and all are petrol-powered, for example), there are also a few marked differences. But always remember: you get what you pay for. Don't expect supercar performance or barge luxury from an entry-level, no-frills compact runabout.
And please note that the prices listed are basic (before extras, but including VAT and emissions tax), and correct at 17 January 2013.
For the record, the list is made up of two American, one Indian, one Japanese, one French, three Chinese and two South Korean vehicles. At the end of this article, you'll find a few "honourable mentions" — entry-level cars which didn't quite make the list but which we reckon are still worth checking out.
1. Chery QQ3 0.8 TE:
Price: R79 900
It's Chinese, it churns out just 38kW, and its standard specification list is shorter than Mike Tyson's temper... which is exactly why the Chery QQ3 0.8 TE is the cheapest new car you can purchase in South Africa. This little 812cc three-cylinder isn't all that economical either, drinking some 6.8 litres per 100km. And what about boot space? I'm afraid you're limited to just 190 litres. Oh, but the QQ3 does have five doors. The worst part? Just a year ago it was R10k cheaper... Ouch.
*Lowest power output
2. Geely LC 1.3 GS:
Price: R79 990
The second-cheapest vehicle on the list, the Geely LC 1.3 GS is also Chinese. But, unlike the Chery above, it has a relatively decent amount of power (on paper, anyway) and is surprisingly well-specced. Its 1.3-litre four-cylinder produces a credible 63kW and 110Nm while consuming a claimed 6.9 litres per 100km. And your R80k gets you power-steering, air-con, electric windows, central locking, radio, and ABS with EBD. Oh, and some 288 litres of luggage space. And, happily, it is now five grand cheaper than it was a year back. Win.
3. Chevrolet Spark Lite LS:
Price: R88 400
Chevrolet's entry-level Spark Lite — which makes use of the previous generation Spark's body and underpinnings — now features a 995cc four-pot, credited with 48kW and 91Nm, and according to GM, is capable of doing 5.8 litres per 100km. However, at just 170 litres, its boot is minute. On the plus side, the Spark Lite does benefit from power steering, central locking, air-con, electric front windows, a driver airbag, and front foglamps. A decent — if a little outdated — choice.
The list continues on page 2...