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Buying your first car? These cheapies are a great starting point

Honda Brio

Young South Africans have typically never bought Hondas. Not because they have not wanted one. but because these cars have always been unaffordable. Until now. The Japanese carmaker has finally entered the most active segment of the car market – ]T
comes from the Italian word for Verve’. Vigour’, ’cheerfulness’ and ‘energy’). Upfront it looks like a Jazz and. under the skin, it matches many of the Jazz’s credentials – quality, durability and safety among conscious motorists.

Geely LC Cross

The Geely LC Cross is a little car with purposeful, albeit pretty looks. We really like its interior, with its black leather seats and X switching. Inside, you’ll note the generous specs offered for the low asking price: power steering, air conditioning, electric windows all round, remote central locking. CD/MP3 radio with USB. rear park distance sensors. ABS and EBD braking systems and six. yes six, airbags. All this is backed by a three-year/100 000km warranty and 24-hour roadside assistance. What a deal.

Toyota Etios

When Toyota launched the Etios. the company’s execs informed us that this was a car that would make us smile. They were right. There is. of course, its pricing. But then we are also big fans of the 13-litre glove compartment (big enough to swallow a handbag or even a laptop), seven cupholders (which gulp down a litre each), simply enormous 595-litre boot and endless list of standard features… anything and everything from power steering to aircon. It’s safe too : ABS and dual front airbags are standard.

Ford Figo

WOW readers have adored the fabulous Figo since it was launched – we’ve had nothing but positive feedback. It’s easy to see why: it offers the space and practicality assotiated with larger, more expencive and it’s wonderfully comfortable. But now Ford has upped the ante with improvements to the interior (the grilles, wheels and lights) and extra interior features. For instance. Trend derivatives benefit from the addition of Bluetooth functionality. Fun and fashionable!

Suzuki Alto

We’ve decided that the Suzuki Alto is the Madonna of cars. No. it’s not constantly picking up very young boys (although it certainly could). But it is reinventing itself. In its latest guise it has taken on the form of a new entry-level model called the GA. which is the most affordable Suzuki on our market. While it’s entry level, it nevertheless comes with aircon. power steering and dual airbags. If you’re hitting the sales, fold down the rear seatback (for 754 litres of luggage space).

Nissan Micra

Unlike Thelma and Louise, most of us seldom embark on road trips (which is possibly a good thing; we all know about their sorry demise). Practically, this means that we need a city car – and the Micra is ideally suited to the job. As sassy as Thelma and as funky as Louise, the little Micra is ever so easy through busy roads and it makes even a novice driver look like a parking pro. It also boasts a huge boot! No we’re not kidding. This little ‘un gobbles up 265 litres of cargo.

Volkswagen Polo

Local isn’t always lekker. Remember the revelations this year, when we discovered that some of our beef biltong was actually (gasp) kangaroo? Thankfully car companies have more scruples than biltong makers; the Polo Vivo (manufactured in Uitenhage) remains year’its also become a good option if you want a beefed-up car (sorry, couldn’t resist). We say this thanks to the addition of a sized-up derivative called the Maxx. which boasts a raised suspension, twin exhaust tailpipes and 17-inch alloy wheels.