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SA’s Cheapest New Car About to Break R100k Threshold!

August 17, 2017

Despite South Africa’s recent credit-status downgrading, and the ‘Father of Duduzane’ wreaking havoc on the Rand, there is still one car you can buy for below R100k – but only just.

The Chery QQ3 is currently the last car in South Africa that you can get for a cool R100k. To be fair, it is currently still on offer for ‘only’ R99,995, but would probably break into a 6-digit price tag before the year is out.

For the close to R100k price tag, you get a 3 Cylinder 0.8L engine which kicks out 38kW (70Nm torque) of tyre-spinning power and will propel you from 0-100km/h in a dizzying 18,8 seconds when you step hard on the accelerator.

You will also get a 5-speed gearbox and a 35 litre petrol tank. Unfortunately, you don’t get any airbags, but aircon comes standard to keep you from breaking out in a sweat!

The top ten cheapest cars (by brand) quickly goes up to R150k with offerings from China & Japan mostly dominating the scene. It’s hard to believe that only 5 years ago, all of the cars on the top ten cheapest list were below R100k.

The average power output of the top ten cars is about 55kW and the first 5 on the list does not offer any safety features except for the FAW, which offers 2 airbags & ABS as standard. Incidentally the FAW also has the highest power output and best Cost / kW ratio (An unusual metric, but we thought it might be useful in this segment…)

Households inevitably have less disposable income these days, and the majority of car buyers look for good second-hand options, or the very bottom end of the new car market. For those who can still afford a new car in this economic climate, here is the latest list of SA’s cheapest new cars you can buy.

Are you looking for a cheap car from a more established brand? Check this out: South Africa’s Top 10 cheapest cars from Established brands


1 – Chery QQ3 0.8 TE – R99,995

Chery QQ3 0.8 TE
Chery QQ3 0.8 TE

Not much else to mention about China’s Chery QQ3, except that it claims the sought-after title of the ‘Cheapest Car in SA’ – It’s South Africa’s cheapest car for a reason. There are no safety features, and limited power output, but at least you get R5 change from your R100k.

2 – Datsun Go 1.2 Mid – R106,900

Datsun Go 1.2 Mid
Datsun Go 1.2 Mid

The Datsun go was relaunched in SA back in 2014 and has proven to be quite a popular budget choice. The cheapest of the bunch is this one, the Go hatch Mid spec.

The car has A/C but there’s no safety features on offer. The Go is built in India and is a sub-brand of Nissan and is only available in South Africa, India and Indonesia. Check out this fun looking Datsun Go (Live) concept which was unveiled earlier this month.

3 – FAW V2 1.3 DLX – R114,995

FAW V2 1.3 DLX
FAW V2 1.3 DLX

Not the best-looking car, but Spec-wise this is undeniably the best option of this cheapest top ten list. The Chinese FAW V2 offers 2 airbags as well as ABS as standard. Incidentally the FAW also has the highest power output of the top 9 cars.

Other luxuries such as electric windows and mirrors, remote central locking, and a sound system including a USB port makes this car a great offering for this price!

4 – Tata Indica 1.4 LGi – R118,995

Tata Indica 1.4 LGi
Tata Indica 1.4 LGi

With so many new budget options from China over the last few years, Tata is one of the more established brands on this list. Not a whole lot on offer here, a bare-basics car that will get you from point A to B in relative comfort, but without airbags or ABS. It might be the choice for you if the Chinese brands scare you a little.

5 – Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression – R124,900

Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression
Renault Kwid 1.0 Expression

A good-looking car, and the only brand on this list which originates from Europe. This car’s heritage will resonate well with SA buyers! It still lacks safety features such as ABS, but at least the driver is protected with an airbag.

A digital instrument cluster with large colour touchscreen is offered together with Bluetooth and USB connectivity.

6 – Kia Picanto 1.0 LS – R129,995

Kia Picanto 1.0 LS
Kia Picanto 1.0 LS

You can tell this little Kia is popular by the amount of Picantos’ being purchased by rental car companies. This car has a lot of character and has just been facelifted.

What the Kia lacks in the boot department (extremely small) it makes up with a rather nice cabin, especially at this price! Still no ABS brakes, and only one airbag, but features a 5-year unlimited warranty.

7 – Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA – R132,900

Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA
Suzuki Celerio 1,0 GA

From this position onwards, all the cars on the list features ABS and 2 airbags, so you can say the Celerio sets the benchmark for safety here. Other than this fact, there is not much to say here – You get A/C, but no radio or any other ‘luxuries’.

8 – Chevrolet Spark 1,2 Curve – R140,700

Chevrolet Spark 1,2 Curve
Chevrolet Spark 1,2 Curve

Another favourite of rental car companies, the Chevy Spark is rather well specced, has some safety features in the form of ABS and two airbags, niceties such as A/C, central locking, radio and lots and lots of charm!

9 – Mitsubishi Mirage 1,2 GL – R149,900

Mitsubishi Mirage 1,2 GL
Mitsubishi Mirage 1,2 GL

Arguably styled quite nicely and still looks relevant compared to the newer models here. The car has been around since 2014, but seemingly hasn’t proven to be very popular in SA. It has 2 airbags, ABS brakes, A/C, central locking and a radio.

10 – Baic D20 1,3 Comfort – R149,990

Baic D20 1,3 Comfort
Baic D20 1,3 Comfort

The unproven newcomer, but with a shape slightly resembling a Mercedes B-class and Baic’s slogan ‘happiness can be easy’, it sure looks promising. Quite well specced – and with 75kW / 128Nn on tap it is the most powerful car you can buy for below R150k in SA.

Check out the list below for a quick comparison:

Nr. Car Origin Power (kW) Torque (N.m) 0-100 km/h Top Speed Air bags ABS Price – R Cost per/kW
1 CHERY QQ3 0.8 TE China 38 70 18,8 138 NO NO 99995 R2 631
2 DATSUN GO 1.2 MID Japan 50 104 13,3 161 NO NO 106900 R2 138
3 FAW V2 1.3 DLX China 67 120 N/A 166 2 YES 114995 R1 716
4 TATA INDICA 1.4 Lgi India 55 110 12,8 155 NO NO 118995 R2 164
5 RENAULT KWID 1.0 EXPRESSION France 50 91 N/A 152 1 NO 124900 R2 498
6 KIA PICANTO 1.0 LS South Korea 51 94 14,3 155 1 NO 129995 R2 549
7 SUZUKI CELERIO 1,0 GA Japan 50 90 14,1 155 2 YES 132900 R2 658
8 CHEVROLET SPARK 1,2 CURVE US 60 108 13,3 164 2 YES 140700 R2 345
9 MITSUBISHI MIRAGE 1,2 GL Japan 57 100 11,7 180 2 YES 149900 R2 630
10 BAIC D20 1,3 COMFORT China 75 128 N/A N/A 2 YES 149990 R2 000
AVERAGES:    55,3 101,5 9,83 142,6 N/A N/A 126927 R2 333

Looking for a used car below R150k – Check out these options.

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