THe said Australia’s new car scene had boomed in recent years, with a clear shortage of affordable, high-quality vehicles.
Six years ago we had eight vehicles for sale under $15,000 – now half that number is $5k more.
Here’s a quick look at what you can buy brand new for under $20,000.
As a dominant player in the niche microcar segment, the Kia Picanto holds its own, with 3192 sold so far this year.
Unlike its competition here, the Picanto has an ANCAP safety rating – but it goes back to 2017 and has a four-star rather than five-star score.
It is powered by a 1.2-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to either a five-speed manual or a four-speed auto in base S guise. Note that this price is based on the manual, but the Auto S still comes in under $20k drive. Fuel economy is rated at 5.0L/100km for the manual on the WLTP combined cycle.
The smallest Kia comes with cruise control, a reversing camera, and a large touchscreen that does a lot with your smartphone. A widely effective autonomous emergency brake is also standard.
The biggest player in the small car segment, the MG3 sold 10,819 units year-to-date.
The MG3 has no ANCAP safety rating as of 2018.
It is powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a four-speed auto in the base variant. Note that this price is based on the cover, but with the Satnav the cover still comes in at under $20k to drive, as does the Excite – roughly, a cost of $20,490. Fuel economy is rated at 6.7L/100km on the WLTP combined cycle.
This little MG comes with reversing camera, leather-trimmed steering wheel with contrast stitching, LED daytime running lights and an 8-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay.
The Suzuki Baleno is now in run-out mode, meaning you’d better act fast if you want to get your hands on the pint-sized model. So far this year, 5362 Balenos have been sold across Australia.
Baleno has no ANCAP safety rating since 2016.
It is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a five-speed manual transmission in the base GL guise. A four-speed auto is available though for an extra $1000. Fuel economy is rated at 5.1L/100km for the manual on the WLTP combined cycle.
The Baleno comes standard with cruise control as well as touchscreen, Bluetooth, electrically adjustable mirrors and a reversing camera.
What a rave
Price: $21,490 ($19,690 MLP)
GT line photo
Slightly more popular than its smaller Picanto stablemate, so far in 2022, 3201 Rios have been sold across the country. Here, even though the drive actually costs more than $20k, we’re giving it an honorable mention because its list price is below our range.
As of 2017, the Rio has no ANCAP safety rating. Its last score was five stars – but that’s from 2011.
It is powered by a 1.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a six-speed manual transmission in the entry-level S form. A six-speed auto is available though for an extra $1500. Fuel economy is rated at 5.6L/100km for the manual on the WLTP combined cycle.
The smaller Kia comes with two USB charging ports, electric mirrors, and a jazzy rear lip spoiler, along with an 8-inch touchscreen, Bluetooth, and wireless Android Auto/Apple CarPlay.
Cheap Cars – 4 new cars under $20,000
|What a rave||$21,490 (drive away, MLP is $19,690)|
Pricing, specifications and performance figures refer to entry-level variants.