Urban chic, Italian flair: 4 cool-car choices for under $20,000
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Our roads are full of vehicles such as the Suzuki Swift, Mazda Axela, and Ford Ranger, but what options do you have if you want to stand out from the crowd?
We’ve put together a list of cars that don’t follow the design status quo and are generally available for under $20,000.
The Citroen C4 Cactus small SUV started life in 2015 with a 1.2L turbocharged manual or turbocharged 1.6L diesel engine with six-speed ETG6 automatic gearbox.
The French car draws a lot of attention due to its avant-garde styling, which includes “pop-out” windows, large air bump trims constructed from thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), which clad the exterior of the vehicle and help accommodate a stylish glove-box.
Examples of the C4 Cactus manufactured between 2015 and 2017 are available for between $12,000 and $20,000.
The Alfa Romeo 159 is a midsized saloon which replaced the stylish 156 whilst maintaining the Italian manufacturer’s unmistakable triangular grill. In 2012, its final year of production, the 159 saloon was available as a 1.8L turbocharged manual capable of 147kW at 5000rpm, or with a Q-Tronic 2.4L turbocharged diesel engine. capable of 147kW at 4000rpm.
If you require extra space, the 159 is also available as a station wagon, with either the aforementioned turbocharged diesel engine or a much thirstier 3.2L which produces 191Kw at 6200rpm and consumes 12.3L per 100km...
The Alfa Romeo 159 is available on the used market for between $10,000 and $15,000.
The Suzuki Ignis is a micro SUV that looks small from the outside but has an abundance of space. There’s no doubt that the Ignis stays loyal to the Suzuki heritage - the slits in the C-pillars are inspired by the 1970s Fronte coupe and the headlight positioning by the first generation Cervo.
While the Ignis’ power isn’t going to break any records, all variants are economical — the GLX & LTD models come with a CVT gearbox and a 1.2L engine, which produces 66kW @6000RPM and burns 4.9L per 100km. The GLX is available in manual and is slightly more efficient, capable of just 4.7L over 100km.
You can buy a new Suzuki Ignis today from $18,990 (+ORC).
What’s now known as the Smart Fortwo was introduced by Smart, a division of Germany’s Daimler , in 1998, and proved to be popular in European cities thanks to a wheelbase of just 1810mm.
The car is currently in its third generation and offers several engine options including two petrol turbocharged variants and a diesel.
If you’re interested buying a used EV, there are some examples of Smart’s Fortwo Electric Drive available in New Zealand. Initially, Tesla provided the lithium-ion battery with a 17.6kWh capacity, which was capable of 135km of range (NEDC) fully charged.
Depending on which variant you choose, you can buy a Smart Fortwo for anything between $7000 for the 1L petrol and $18,000 for the EV.