5 Best Cars for a Limited Budget
Cars are vitally important to the majority of us, especially if we don’t live in a built-up urban area with lots of readily accessible public transport facilities. As well as using them for domestic tasks (and de-stressing — it’s hard to beat hitting the open road to clear your head), they’re the way most of us commute to and from work, which is what allows us to pay for the thing in the first place.
As a consequence of their widespread usefulness and the persistent global demand for them, cars have wound up being a pretty expensive purchase in the grand scheme of things. So much so, in fact, that it’s usually the second-biggest thing most of us will buy, after securing the mortgage on a home. And because there aren’t many of us who can manage to save up the funds in order to spend tens of thousands of dollars at once, the vast majority of automobile purchases are going to require taking out a loan.
The kind of loan you’ll be offered will vary hugely on your credit score, but we’re not going to get into that right now. Instead, we’ll be focusing on how you can best spend your money when it comes to cars that sit on the lower end of the price spectrum. Low-budget cars are an enormous industry, with hundreds upon hundreds of dealerships devoting considerable amounts of time and energy to the process of undercutting their competition as much as possible. This has come about because the size of the population who need cars is a lot greater than the population of people who can afford mid- and high-range vehicles.
Consequently, deciding on which low-budget car to purchase involves wading through dozens of different issues, each of which you’ll need to consider thoroughly as a means of ensuring that you won’t find yourself stuck with a cheap car that doesn’t run properly. Cheap, in truth, is a word that goes a lot further than just how much something costs; it’s often used to describe a shoddy level of workmanship or production quality. For that reason, cheap and low-budget aren’t synonyms that can be used completely interchangeably. A low-budget car doesn’t need to be cheap — it won’t cost very much, but it also won’t necessarily need to sacrifice too much quality.
Trying to make your way through the colossal market for low-budget cars can be an exercise in frustration, especially if you don’t even know what it is you’re really looking for. That’s why we’ve put together a list of our favorite low-budget cars. These automobiles won’t break the bank, but they won’t break down on the side of the road either. We’ve prioritized versatility, reliability, and the reputation of the manufacturer in how we’ve judged the vehicles which feature on the list; as well as taking the price into account, of course.
Let’s get straight into it. Here are the 5 best cars available for people working with limited budgets.
1: Ford Fiesta
You may be surprised to find such a household name as the Ford Fiesta on a list of low-budget cars. After all, it’s so ubiquitous that it’s hard to believe that Ford would make it available cheaply. While in the past the Fiesta has always been reasonably priced, the direction Ford are heading inn is going to ensure that this year it’ll be easier to finance than ever. The company has been turning towards SUVs and trucks in their R&D departments, meaning less attention is being paid to models like the Fiesta or Focus. And in the case of the former, the result is that they won’t be produced anymore after this year, making its current price hit its lowest figure ever.
Of course, price isn’t the whole story. Fortunately, though, when it comes to the Fiesta, the remaining chapters are accounted for every bit as well as the price tag. The car is small but includes industry-standard safety measures, as well as an exciting sequential gearbox that makes use of dual-clutch transmission in order to emulate a fully-automatic diving experience. This car didn’t just build up it’s name by accident — it was consistently top-notch year after year, even as more and more features needed to be squeezed in to its compact size. It has been a consistently good performer throughout its entire lifespan, making it an excellent low-budget car that will prove suitable for a number of different situations.
2: Kia Rio
South Korean industry giants Kia have long had a major influence on the compact car market, and the Rio is the best budget option they present in their catalogue at the moment. Known for being cost-effective to maintain and durable enough to survive even heavy regular use without too many hiccups, their reputation is warranted. As a reminder of just how seriously Kia take the durability of their products, a 5-year warranty is offered which covers just about everything that could go wrong. The warranty will also expire after 100,000km if that occurs before the end of five years; but even so, it’s a big step up from the industry-standard 3-year protection.
The engine is small but perky, pulling 130bhp from its 4 cylinders in either a 6-speed manual of fully-automatic transmission layout. The difference between the sedan and hatchback versions only amounts to $200, which is a nice touch to see in a vehicle which was already performing well as a low-budget car. In addition, there are some technological features included that will make the automobile attractive to potential buyers; heated seats, a rear-view camera, and the functionality to support mobile devices via a Bluetooth connection are all included as standard in the most basic version of the car, making the Kia Rio an easy inclusion in our list of the best low-budget cars available on the market today.
3: Toyota Yaris
Similar to Kia, Toyota have spent the last couple decades building an unshakeable reputation for making top-quality, reliable automobiles. While their range is more expansive than Kia’s, their focus on keeping things simple and functional is every bit as sharp, and the Yaris is one of the very best examples of their overall design ethos they offer. An entry-level hatchback, the Yaris is zippy enough round the corners, and although it won’t get going too fast (the 106bhp engine isn’t the strongest around) it’s more than able to keep up with its counterparts on the road.
It would also be a mistake to attribute its small size to a lack of safety, even though that would be a reasonable conclusion to draw at first glance. The reality, though, is that the Yaris is ultra-safe to drive, despite being so manoeuvrable. Toyota’s full range of safety systems are included, including a mix of active and passive features. The focus is clear on preventing collisions, as pedestrian awareness, lane-keeping assistance, and autonomous braking all feature in one way or another. Comfort hasn’t been sacrificed, with heated front seats, high-powered windows, and a touchscreen dashboard display all accounted for.
4: Nissan Micra
The Nissan Micra is a certified classic in the small, compact car industry. Despite not really undergoing a great degree of change over its lifespan, the vehicle has continued to stay relevant, with a dedicated purchasing base and widespread appeal helping Nissan increase their position in the market. As far as low-budget cars go, it’s surprisingly powerful as well for such a tiny, inexpensive automobile offering 109bhp through a five-speed manual transmission. In a number of countries, the Micra was one of the most cost-effective cars available on the market during the early 2010s, but it has never been cheaply constructed, by any means.
The base model is safe, reliable, and straightforward. There aren’t many bells and whistles, save for a tilted steering wheel and a Bluetooth-capable sound system, but that doesn’t hurt the automobile’s driving experience one bit. In fact, buyers who are getting frustrated with the way cars are beginning to resemble fighter jets from the inside will find the stripped-back driving experience refreshing. The Micra wouldn’t have maintained such a stellar reputation for so many years if it wasn’t a really top-notch piece of engineering, and any list of low-budget cars deserves to give it a mention at some point.
5: Chevrolet Spark
Last but not least, the inclusion of a car from Chevrolet in a list of the best low-budget cars may surprise some readers, who are more likely to associate low-budget cars with the prominent Asian manufacturers — and in a sense, they’re not wrong. The Spark is actually manufactured inexpensively in Korea, where they know a thing or two about building ultra-safe cars. Even though its engine isn’t the most impressive one we’ve seen (only offering 98 bhp from 4 cylinders, which is surprisingly week), the car is nonetheless perfectly capable at the speeds it travels at, with a low center of gravity and responsive handling greatly helping to improve stability.
The 2019 Chevrolet Spark is a four-door design, helping to make it one of the more versatile low-budget cars out there; and while it is pretty tiny, the space in the interior has been used as economically as possible, meaning it doesn’t feel cramped in the slightest as you drive around. Safety is guaranteed with a ten-strong array of airbags, further improving its appeal to families. The final advantage the Spark offers is that it’s the least expensive model on this entire list of low-budget cars, and doesn’t seem to have sacrificed anything too serious in order to be sold for such a low price.
These are our top five low-budget cars available at the moment, but as ever it’s important to remember that you’re the only person who knows exactly what you’re going to be using the car for. Moreover, you’re the one who knows what kind of budget you’re working with. Rather than being a comprehensive guide to the entire low-budget car market, we decided that focusing on some of our favorite models and explaining what we like about them would probably be the best way to help you out as you begin the decision-making process.
Above all, you’d do well to remember that inexpensive doesn’t need to mean poorly-built. Every one of the five cars listed above stand out for their quality of manufacturing, so you can choose any of them with confidence. As a final word, if you’re having a hard time getting a new low-budget car because your credit score is holding back your car loan approvals, why not consider getting in touch with our friendly, knowledgeable team here at autoloans.ca? We consider every single application we receive, irrespective of the credit score at the top, and we’d be happy to discuss how we might be able to help you secure the loan you need.