In early 2020, the South African economy was rocked by the coronavirus outbreak. Fears swept over the country and in February this year, the initial impact of the virus on new vehicle sales could be seen.
In March, the effects of Covid-19 should have an even harsher impact on local car sales. But in the midst of it all, a select number of cars should come out on top, provided all goes well - given the context.
See, with the economy taking a hit, consumers will be looking to spend their money wisely. They might not necessarily go for vehicles retailing for R200 000, but rather opt for something more affordable.
Covid-19 is forcing consumers to turn every cent around. And while the cars in this list might not be everyone’s first choice, it will give consumers the chance to drive in away in a new car, while still saving a bit of cash.
Would you consider any of the budget cars below? Let us know!
2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: Suzuki Media
The Kwid is by far the most popular car in this list. It’s a regular contender in our list of 10 best-selling passenger cars each month, and it draws customers in with a starting price of R144 900. Six models make up the range, which include the visually appealing Climber models. The Climber auto, the top model, has a price tag of R174 900.
The Kwid 1.0 Expression, the entry-level model in the range, comes fitted with two airbags, a multimedia system that’s Bluetooth, AUX, and USB compatible, daytime-running LED lights, front electric windows, and an onboard computer.
DRIVEN: More Renault Kwid, more pro quo
All models are powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine that produces 50kW and 91Nm. The engine is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or an automated manual transmission (AMT).
The Kwid comes standard with a five-year/150 000km warranty, and service intervals are every 15 000km.
2020 Renault Kwid Climber. Image: Quickpic
After the Kwid, the Datsun Go (priced from R162 300) and Go+ (R172 900) are the more successful vehicles in terms of sales when it comes to budget cars. Only two models make up the range, and offers seating for five and seven passengers, respectively. The Go has three models to choose from.
Sticking with the entry-level Go 1.2 Mid, this model is fitted with two airbags. And, following the extensive update in 2019, the multimedia system is now compatible with Bluetooth, AUX, and USB. Electric windows are fitted all-round.
The 1.2-litre three-cylinder petrol engine delivers 50kW and 104Nm, and the engine is mated to a manual or automatic transmission. An optional maintenance plan can be attained and can be specified to the buyer’s needs: three to five years / 90 000 – 150 000km. A service can also be ticked off: one to five years / 30 000 – 150 000km.
Datsun offers a warranty as standard, which is valid for six-years/150 000km.
2020 Datsun Go. Image: Motorpress
The S-Presso is the Japanese automaker’s answer to the very popular Renault Kwid. It is meant to offer something more affordable to consumers without breaking the bank.
In that regard, the Kwid has carved itself a solid reputation as an affordable alternative, and every month Renault sells around a thousand units. This is an aspect Suzuki would want to address, and have the S-Presso contribute to the solid, strong sales run the automaker has been on since late last year.
The S-Presso is powered by the same engine found in the Suzuki Celerio. Power outputs for the 998cc engine remain unchanged at 50kW and 90Nm. The three-cylinder motor is mated to either a five-speed manual gearbox or an automated manual transmission (AMT).
The new Suzuki S-Presso will retail from R139 900 in South Africa.
2020 Suzuki S-Presso. Image: Suzuki Media
Mahindra KUV100 Nxt
Mahindra’s KUV100 Nxt is not unfamiliar to South Africans. The car’s been around for a few years and received a hefty update fairly recently. The KUV100 range is priced from R142 999 and retails for up to R234 999. The range comprise both petrol and diesel models, all fitted with Mahindra’s five-speed manual gearbox.
The most affordable model in the range, the 1.2 G80 K2+, is fitted with a 61kW/115Nm 1.2-litre three-cylinder engine. Mahindra claims a fuel return of 5.9-litres/100km, and the fuel tank is 35L big. Two airbags are standard, so too is the warranty.
Mahindra's warranty is valid for five-years/150 000km, of which the first three-years/100 000km are comprehensive. The remaining two years/50 000km covers the powertrain, only.
A service plan of three-years/50 000km is standard, but is optionally available on the K2+ and K4+ models.2020 Mahindra KUV100 K6+ #DARE. Image: QuickPic