Saving money can sometimes be hard. But buying an affordable, well-made car so you can save money is much harder. Not all budget-friendly cars are worth buying, and sifting through the haystack to find the good ones is not as easy as you might think.
They say that a good rule when buying a car is to check if you can set aside 10% – 15% of your total monthly budget without feeling deprived of your car + other expenses, bills, and occasional splurges. If you can find an affordable, new vehicle to help you save more, then that would be great, wouldn’t it? No need to worry – we’ve compiled 4 of the best reasonably-priced, high-quality vehicles to jump start 2017 with a big, loud bang. So brace yourself, and prepare for some fireworks ahead.
Chevrolet was one of the first car manufacturers to produce the sporty SUVs, so we were first skeptical when they created the laid-back, mini vehicle, Chevrolet Spark. However, it didn’t take a lot of persuading for us to see that Chevy has done a fine job of balancing affordability and good quality in this vehicle. Indeed, it’s not as “sparkly” as their other high-end models, but with many features for such a fantastic price, the only complaint you can probably give is that it’s too small to fit in all your beer keg collection.
Initially marketed as Daewoo Matiz, the Chevrolet Spark was produced by GM Korea as a five-door hatchback in 1998. When General Motors company took over Daewoo Motors in 2002, they decided to market it under the Chevrolet badge, instead.
Roomy, nimble, and fun to look at, the Chevrolet Spark can comfortably seat four people inside without any problems (unless you’re extremely tall). This car was meant for city driving, and can do squeeze-ins and tight turns with relative ease — thanks to its mini stature.
Despite being the “smallest Chevy ever”, the Spark has 10 airbags, with Anti-Lock Brake System, Traction Control, Electronic Brake System, and Rear Vision Camera for added security. You can also add a lane-departure alert and forward-collision warning system in case you need more protection on the road.
The Chevrolet Spark has recently been upgraded, offering a sleeker appearance and better aerodynamics to improve efficiency. Three new colors have been added to the mix: Toasted Marshmallow, Splash, and Kalamata.
|Chevrolet Spark Variant||Price|
1.0L ECOTEC Gasoline, 5-Speed FWD, LS Manual Transmission
1.0L ECOTEC Gasoline, 4-Speed FWD, LS Automatic Transmission
1.2L ECOTEC Gasoline, 5-Speed FWD, LT Manual Transmission
2. Kia Rio
Performance without compromise – that’s the promise of Kia Rio. This subcompact car is fun to look at as it is to drive. Produced by South Korean manufacturer, Kia, the Rio was slated to replace the first-generation Kia Pride, which is actually a rebadged version of the Ford Festiva.
The Kia Rio is now on its third generation, and going strong as ever. In fact, it was awarded Semperit Irish Car of the Year and Carguide’s 2011 Car of the Year award. They were important milestones for the Rio, as it bested other more “acclaimed” and “popular” brands like the Range Rover Evoque without even batting an eyelash.
And don’t be deceived by the price tag — this car has some serious features to boast of. It offers crisp European-style lines, good quality cabin, and a smoother powertrain. The interiors are also quite elegant. You’ll immediately notice the well-made front seats, satin-finish bezels around the air vents, plus a brand new black center console. A large touchscreen display for the higher end models are also a plus.
We like how Kia avoided going in the direction of the typical “tall-trunk silhouette” used by Ford and its other competitors when they created the Rio. Yet despite this, that charming swagger is still there — particularly its five door hatchback.
Another feature worth noting is the additional noise-suppression foam added to its structure. This gives the cabin a quiet and cozy ambiance that’s well-suited for (occasional) nap times and mental decompression.
|Kia Rio Variant||Price|
Rio 1.2 LX M/T
Rio 1.4 EX A/T SEDAN
Rio 1.4 EX M/T SEDAN
3. Ford Fiesta
Did you know that the Ford initially wanted to name the car Bobcat before they decided to go with the name, Fiesta? And if you’re into mountain climbing, you might be interested to know that you need to stack 650 Ford Fiestas on top of one another to reach the height of Mount Everest. We think that’s extremely doable, since one Ford Fiesta is made every 86 seconds in the U.K. alone.
The supermini Ford Fiesta has actually been here for quite some time — almost 40 years, to be exact. And since that time, this small car has sold over 16 million units, making it one of the best-selling Ford models (behind the Ford Escort and F-Series).
Tiny but terribly fierce, Fiesta’s five-speed manual has an optional six-speed dual-clutch as an added option for drivers. It has many high-tech options like Sync 3 infotainment, Apple CarPlay, and many other features that are too long to be mentioned here. The interiors are sprinkled with upscale amenities like the ST-badged RECARO leather-trimmed seats, while the exteriors offer added options, such as panoramic roof, power-heated side mirrors, and integrated blind spot mirrors. If you’re looking for extra goodies, then Fiesta — particularly its higher versions — is the car you should go for.
Safety options are also excellent. Fiesta uses high-strength lightweight boron steel to help protect occupants during car crashes. It adds in a driver knee airbag between your knees and the instrument panel. Roll-fold technology also inflates between the window glass and the passenger’s head in case of a side collision.
Now on its seventh generation, Ford Fiesta comes in four body styles: 3- & 5- door hatchbacks, 4-door sedan / saloon, and a 3-door van. However, the 4-door sedan and 5-door hatchbacks are the most popular ones in the market today.
By the way, its sibling, Ford Fiesta ST, is also a force to be reckoned with. If you’re into motor sports, then this car is definitely for you. Eleven out of the twenty-six registered cars for the 2016 rally cross races were all Ford Fiesta STs, in case you didn’t know. It has been active in rallies, circuit racing, and rally cross racing over the years and has won numerous awards in all these categories as well.
Really, it’s hard for us to imagine why Fiesta is so affordable. And we’re still scratching our heads even today.
|Ford Fiesta Variant||Price|
Fiesta 1.5L Titanium A/T Sedan
Fiesta 1.5L Trend A/T Sedan
Fiesta 1.5L Trend M/T Sedan
Fiesta 1.5L Ambiente M/T Hatchback
We think Hyundai Accent fits with the company’s brand name and goals to a tee. The name “Hyundai” is actually a Korean word that means “modern”. When you combine them together, you get Modern Accent — something that perfectly reflects the car manufacturer’s commitment to create cars that are modern, innovative and well-made.
Hyundai’s perennial bestseller, the affordable Accent, is a subcompact car that has gone through four generations already. Yet despite the age, it still manages to impress everyone with its streamlined exteriors, cabin fit and finish, ample space, and reliable performance.
The Accent is considered one of the most reliable subcompact cars today, ranking 7 out of the 17 Best Subcompact cars by U.S. News Best Cars. And while it may lack many high-end features that the Ford Fiesta boasts of, its responsive brakes and good handling makes this vehicle gloss over average bumpy roads like there’s no tomorrow. And believe us, this feature comes in extremely handy when driving on Metro roads.
The gadgets are not bad as well. Its Bluetooth, hands-free phone system is a cinch to use, and so is its versatile audio system that allows you to navigate your music playlist via steering-wheel-mounted audio controls. Other features include satellite radio, tilt/telescoping wheel, and cruise control. And don’t fret about wasting too much gas – the Accent has good fuel economy ratings for its size and weight.
Hyundai Accent models come in L, GL, and GLS variants, with a choice of 2 transmissions: a 6-speed standard or a 6-speed automatic. Here’s a tip: If you need more room for all your cargo, choose the hatchback variant. Not only will it give more space to place all your things, it also has comfortable interiors to give you a more pleasant drive on the road.
|Hyundai Accent Variant||Price|
Accent 1.4 GL AT-CVT
Accent 1.6 GL 6MT (Dsl)
Accent Hatch 1.6 CRDi GL 6MT (Dsl)
Accent 1.6 CRDi GL 7AT-DCT (Dsl)