Thinking of trading down? Here are three compact car choices to choose from


The impact of the lockdown was laid bare when the Naamsa said new car sales were down 98% compared to April last year. With no car sales allowed under level 4, both the new and used car trade has suffered terribly. 

But what about consumers who would like to 'trade down' their vehicle for one with a cheaper installment? Well, they've been left in the cold too, as no sales are allowed. 

Lance Branquinho reported that data provided by online used vehicle portal AutoTradersaw a 300% increase in searches for vehicles under R50 000, last month.

It's clear affordability has become an important factor now more than ever in South Africans criteria when looking to buy a car.

With data showing that consumers' income has been affected by the lockdown, and aware of how important cars to us we've made a list of three cars that should be on your list if you're thinking of trading down. 

If you were in the market to trade down, or looking for a compact vehicle, what would be your car of choice and why? Email us here.

1. Honda Jazz 
The Jazz has been out for a while but still offers great versatility, a strong engine and good reliability.

Priced from R236 100 for the 1.2-litre engine Trend model with a manual gearbox, the Jazz offers 'magic seats' which fold all rear seats to increase luggage area to 1314 litres.  

honda jazz sport

Wheels24's Janine Van der Post says: "The Honda Jazz is such an awesome little car, and it makes for a mega-cool compact mom's car too. It has funky looks, a nippy little engine, and it's incredibly spacious inside, especially when you fold the rear seats down. And, since it has such sharp lines and an edgy design, it doesn't take much to make a few custom changes to make it bespoke to your taste."

2. Suzuki S-Presso  - The little is the newest car on the market, launched right before lockdown was implemented, and is powered by a 1.0-litre engine with 50kW and 90Nm. 

Priced from R134 900, all models come standard with a one year’s free insurance, as well as a two-year or 30 000km service plan and five-year or 200 000km warranty.

suzuki s-presso

Van der Post says: "The S-Presso was launched just as lockdown hit and it has made waves. I have not yet had the opportunity to drive this little cute-ball from Suzuki, but it is all the rave. Wheels24 had garnered so much interest from readers before launch, I am pretty sure if car sales goes back to full swing, this offering would bring in a vast volume of sales for the brand."

3. Ford Figo  - A favourite at Wheels24, the Figo is priced from R202 100 for the 1.5-litre Ambiente with a manual gearbox. 

The Figo offers a good quality cabin, seating for five and arguably best-in-class driving dynamics. It's no wonder it is a perennial favourite in the sales figures. 

Van der Post says: "Having spent some time with the Figo during late last year, this car continues to impress. It is incredibly spacious for a compact offering, offered the same reliability after six months in our garage as it did on day one. It's pretty frugal and makes a great choice for those looking to buy down."

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