The question: ‘What is the cheapest new car?’ used to be answered with compromise, sacrifices on safety and drudgery. Nowadays the cheapest car has a 5 star ANCAP rating, standard air-con, power windows, keyless entry and phone integration. While some who long for the days of spartan motoring may be disappointed, new car buyers are spoiled for choice at the lower end of the spectrum in Australia. Stay tuned for cheapest car to maintain, cheapest to repair, most economical new cars, new car tips used car tips, and check out most reliable car brands.
2018 Mitsubishi Mirage – $12,250
The Mirage may be nearing the end of its life, having been with us since 2012, but it remains a compelling new car buy for such little outlay. The interior has a decent mix of contrasting materials, including piano black and feels modern and comfortable. The standard equipment list is impressive, as is the surprising amount of rear legroom. The automatic verison is $14,250 and a five year warranty comes standard. Now that Mitsubishi has been absorbed into the Renault-Nissan alliance, expect a new Mirage in coming years with a turbo three-cylinder engine possible.
2018 Holden Spark LS- $13,990
The Spark is a rare knockout for Holden these days, with neat styling, a modern interior with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto and it even handles great. Spark remains one of the best in its class, trailing Picanto only slightly for standard features, but offering arguably more enthusiasm and style.
Auto starts from $15,690 and is our pick of the two transmissions on offer.
2018 Kia Picanto S -$14,190
Kia’s Picanto has an outstanding list of standard equipment. Reverse camera, 7.0-inch infotainment screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, 5 star ANCAP rating, cruise control, trip computer and not just two power windows, but four. Add a 7 year warranty and it’s pretty hard to ignore the Picanto proposition. If you want automatic, the $15,690 is identical to its arch-rival from Holden.
2018 Holden Barina LS- $14,990
Having recently underwent a facelift, the Barina is a much fresher-looking small car, with alloys, reversing camera with sensors, 7.0-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, automatic headlamps, a 1.6-litre engine with 85kW and 155Nm and LED daytime running lights. The auto version is $17,190 and uses a six-speed unit rather than the Spark’s CVT.
2018 Honda Jazz VTi – $14,990
Honda’s funky Jazz is the master of space-efficiency, with a clever rear seat folding mechanism, lots of room and MPV-like packaging. Like most other Hondas, the Jazz is unbeatable for fuel efficiency, build quality and will last a lifetime. An automatic CVT Jazz is yours from $16,990.
2018 Mazda2 Neo – $14,990
For those who enjoy driving, this has gotta be one of the real bargains of the segment. The Mazda2 is arguably the most fun-to-drive car in its class, with crisp steering, great handling and a very eager and responsive SkyActiv 1.5-litre, direct-injection engine. When teamed with a great-feeling six-speed manual, it is much more exciting than it has any right to be. With the optional 6-speed auto at $16,990, it is still an outstanding vehicle in its own right too.
2018 Toyota Yaris Ascent – $15,390
Toyota is the go-to default car-of-choice for many Australians without giving it a second thought and the Yaris encompasses everything that has given Toyota that mantle. 5 star ANCAP, excellent build quality and solidity, quietness, fuel efficiency and decnet standard equipment make the Yaris Ascent an alluring car. Its 1.3-litre engine might be a bit anaemic and the four-speed unit in the $16,920 automatic verison might be a bit old tech, but it is a sound choice. Look out for an all-new Yaris in the next 12-18 months that should challenge the Mazda2 as driver’s choice.
2018 Hyundai Accent Sport- $15,490
Despite having been around since 2011, constant refreshments has kept the Accent as the best-selling car in its segment. The Accent Sport has a punchy 1.6-litre engine, reverse camera, alloy wheels and a very generous equipment list – all covered by a 5 year warranty. If you want your Accent automatic, that’ll be $17,490.
2018 Ford Fiesta Ambiente- $15,825
Ford’s feisty Fiesta may have slipped down the sales charts, but it is still a charming little tike with plenty of character and an excellent driving experience. The Fiesta utilises Ford’s Kinetic 2.0 styling language and world-renowned chassis engineering. While there was some recent problems with the PowerShift automatic gearbox, Ford tells us they have been sorted out now and there is a zippy manual on offer too. Be quick, because from 2019, only the scorching hot 2019 Ford Fiesta ST will be coming to Australia at this stage.
2018 Suzuki Swift GL -$15,990
Another very new car having only been launched last year, the third-generation Swift is as fresh and modern as you can get. It is light weight yet strong, using Suzuki’s HearTECT chassis and boasting a full 5 star ANCAP crash rating. It is very fun to drive, but the base five-speed manual is a bit doughy and will hopefully be upgraded to match six-speed efforts from Mazda and Kia rivals.
This car ties with Suzuki Baleno GL, and Honda City VTi for price, both of which are also worthy of consideration.