What are the cheapest new cars in Australia at the moment? Everyone is always looking for the greatest quality, cheap yet fun, best value small car for driving around the City. Initially, we were going to write an article for “best small car under 20000” but we managed to find four models for under $16,000 currently on the market. If you hunt around you might even get significantly cheaper deals for these vehicles on a dealer demonstrator basis or current year, used models with extremely low kilometres. Now that the car market is extremely competitive, cheap cars that can’t compete with other higher end vehicles no longer exist. As of now, there are four cars on the Australian market that fit the category of cheap, new city cars. They are the Holden Spark, Kia Picanto, Suzuki Celerio, and Mitsubishi Mirage. But which one is the best package deal? Let’s find out. Photographs at the bottom of this post.
Prices quoted are driveaway prices at the time of writing.
The Holden Spark is listed at $16,990, the most expensive of the four in this competition. As for its advantages, it possesses the strongest engine, 1.4 litres four cylinder, and likely the most impressive gadgets. The dashboard features a 7.0-inch touchpad that is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as providing navigation and Apple’s Siri. The tech the Spark brings to the table is unmatched by its counterparts in the lineup. It also offers Bluetooth and a six-speaker sound system. The cabin of the vehicle possesses a nice layout with a clean and modern trim. Spacing is good except for in the back, where leg room is hard to come by. The safety in the Spark, featuring the normal systems and six airbags to protect everyone when the car is at full capacity, was enough to earn a 5-star rating from Australian New Car Assessment Program. The steering and handling are on competent and more trustworthy than the other vehicles in consideration.
As for its disadvantages, the Spark is missing a reversing camera, despite having a touchpad with which it could have interacted. Also having wind-up windows in the back will not bode well with the audience Holden seems to be targeting with this tech-savvy vehicle. For a city car, its suspension holds up just as good as any other would, but it does still mean a bumpy ride.
The Kia Picanto goes for $14,990, making it one of the cheaper vehicles in this competition, providing a decent advantage from the start. The highlights of the Kia include the following: four-speaker sound system, Bluetooth, and rear view parking sensors. Although it may not seem like much, Kia does offer something that none of the others do, which is a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty. This warranty provides a security measure when considering this trusty vehicle. Spacing is slightly superior to the Holden Spark, offering more leg room in the back and overall area. Safety is on par with the Holden, achieving another 5-star rating and having the same safety features as the Holden.
The Kia does lack some quality features, such as the touchpad screen offered in the Holden. It is also a noisier ride and does not have as strong an engine as the Holden. With an automatic transmission, power becomes increasingly harder to come by.
This Suzuki Celerio is the most affordable of the bunch, listed at $14,490. Features such as a four-speak sound system and Bluetooth are still offered with this model despite the price. Space is surprisingly good in the small Suzuki, providing plenty of head and leg room. With its small size, the Suzuki is easy to drive and manoeuvre in traffic.
Obviously, this model lacks a significant amount of features that the rest of its competition offers. There is no touchpad, rear view camera, or even cruise control. The sizeable space also comes from only allowing four seats, unlike the rest of the quartet which offers five seats, albeit not comfortably. The engine is the smallest of the four, and can vibrate prominently if left in idle for some time. Lastly, the safety rating of the Suzuki was the only one of the four not to receive a full 5-star crash rating, taking in only 4 stars.
The last of the four vehicles to be analysed in this competition, the Mirage is also listed at $16,990, making it equal in cost with the Spark. Endowed with Bluetooth, a four-speaker sound system, cruise control, and air conditioning, all the basics are covered in this model. It holds six airbags and achieved the 5-star crash rating. The Mirage is focused on style and provides it with chrome trim accents and a leather-wrapped gearshift. It also enjoys the largest boot of the four.
However, the Mirage is not full of cheer and goodies. The inside gives off a cheap impression with its layout and orange overlay on the dash. The seats are the least comfortable of the four vehicles and are barely equal to the Suzuki in space, leaving it in third in spacing. The engine is only a 3-cylinder and rattles under the hood like the Suzuki. The steering and suspension are causes for concern when handling the vehicle as well, further dropping its value. Although priced similarly to the Spark, it offers no touchpad and has no rear view cameras like the Kia.
In the last place in this small cars assessment in our books the Mitsubishi because of its thoughtlessness and it being one of the most expensive here in this line up. The value is lacking for its high price and functionality has been sacrificed for style. Third place goes to the affordable, yet lacking Suzuki. Although it is a spunky little car, the Suzuki just does not offer enough, unlike the Kia which is only a $500 increase in price. Although it was a difficult decision, second place has to go to the Holden Spark. Since affordability is a prime factor in this contest, $2,000 becomes a significant issue when choosing between two great vehicles. The Spark is an interesting and unique vehicle that offers great value and technology, making it the top of its class. However, the Kia Picanto takes the cake in this competition for its thoughtful layout and affordable price. Also having the peace of mind that comes with a great warranty, Kia again illustrates their reliability.
|Current Model Holden Spark Photographs|
|KIA Picanto 2016 Model|