First car bargains? Here's 10 of the best on a $10,000 budget
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There are plenty of thoughts that go through one's head when it comes to first cars. Many of these thoughts are emotional in nature for those buying for themselves. Alternatively, they're unemotional and logical for those buying for their kids.
Somewhere in the middle is a happy medium. And some of the cars listed below encompass this. Here's 10 of the best cars for first-time drivers and young drivers that you can .
It's always been the go-to answer for those wanting a solid car with a premium touch, and with ten grand in your pocket there are a few options on the table if you're after a Volkswagen Golf.
A healthy sixth-generation model like the turbocharged 1.4-litre TSI Comfortline example above can be yours without much fuss. Based in Auckland it's only got 61,101km indicated on the clock, with tasteful factory alloys and a more interesting colour than the standard silver among its good points. Click here to check it out.
Those after something a bit more interesting, however, should consider a fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf GTI. They're also quite commonly priced at the $10,000 mark. We found this low-kilometre example up for grabs for $9,980. Click here to check it out.
A great first car for anyone who wants to learn driving technique, with enough punch from its turbocharged 2-litre to have fun but not necessarily cause trouble while doing so. Just make sure the transmission is in good health. DSG automatics are particularly expensive to repair when things go wrong.
2. 2016 Holden Spark
It's with the greatest respect that I say that the wee little Holden Spark is the Golf's perfect opposite.
We're talking about a much smaller vehicle that competes in a much smaller segment of hatchback. Those ambitions about premium have been replaced with a push to give buyers as much value for their dollar as possible. But, that's not necessarily a bad thing.
Because they were so sharply priced new, you can get a low mileage current-generation Spark for $10,000 without much fuss. This Auckland-based blue beast has just 25,000km on the clock, and is priced at $9,990.
Apart from being reasonably new and surprisingly powerful (a 1.4-litre in such a tiny car is ample), the Spark's other big ace is its tech. This is one of the cheapest little cars you can buy that will come with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity as standard, via a nifty touchscreen. Click here to check it out.
The Nissan Tiida might be the closest thing to a cockroach in the modern motoring landscape. The natural excitement of plain unflavoured sponge cake combined with the raw thrill of completing a tax return.
No, the Tiida isn’t a terribly fun or interesting car. However, that in part makes it a perfect first-car candidate for the average young driver. Tiida’s are spacious, inoffensive to an incredible degree, economical, and absolutely everywhere.
The value for money is impossible to deny with these things. Note the year and kilometre count of this red Tiida — a 2012 example with 46,938km indicated — and factor its $8,251 price. You will struggle to find a Toyota Corolla, Mazda 3, or similar more established car that is as new and as cheap.
Speaking of Corollas, here's one! Sort of.
The humble Toyota Corolla has always been a stock decision for Kiwi buyers wanting dependability and reliability. And it still is — you just need to know all the different naming conventions.
'Corollas' coming from Japan arrive here with all sorts of different names attached. They can be badged as Auris', Allex', Blades, and as ... Corollas. Blades come with a big 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine and the Allex name is devoted to older pre-facelift models from the mid-'00s. 'Auris' models represent the best value in the bunch.
Priced at $8,990, the above Auris is the 180G S variant, which gives it a nice little bodykit and alloys. With less than 30,000km on the clock, it's a dependable buy. Click here to check it out.
Now for something a bit different.
The Mazda MX-5 has a cult following for its handling characteristics, its supporting community, and how accessible they are. And that accessibility has helped third-gen 'NC' models become available at just over $10,000.
Not that the MX-5 above is in budget. Nope, it's instead priced at $14,899 (sorry). Part of this comes down to its low 62,515km reading, its bodykit, wheels, and high spec. Click here to check it out. NC MX-5s of a more 'regulation' nature will be priced much closer to the magical 10. There should be an influx of listings as we approach Summer.
Manual models command a price premium but are worth the extra. And check too that the soft-top is in good order and not a leaky disaster waiting to happen.
We've already talked about the value of these little Hondas. Like the aforementioned Nissan Tiida, the Jazz (and its Japanese import cousin, the Fit) doesn't have the 'coolest' image. But, it's also a surprisingly practical thing to own.
A commodious boot, 'magic seats' in the second row, and the ability to be purchased well within budget as either a petrol or hybrid. For $10,000, a sporty petrol RS or fuel-sipping hybrid are well within reach. Nothing like having options.
The silver hybrid above has just 40,000km on the clock and is listed in Auckland at $9,750. Click here to check it out.
7. 2010 Ford Fiesta Zetec
The Ford Fiesta might be one of the most underrated drivers' cars out there. The Fiesta ST is lauded globally for its handling chops, but many of those comments also can be applied to the rest of the Fiesta range (plus that of the Focus).
This 2010 model in Southland is a Zetec, which explains the zany colour, lovely wheels, and sportier front fascia. Click here to check it out. Those wanting something closer to the big smoke could examine this 2012 model with less than 100,000km on the clock and a price of under $9,000.
Now, it's worth mentioning with these that Ford had a few issues with faulting automatic transmissions at the time. All the more reason to choose a manual, or at least to be vigilant and inquisitive about service history.
8. 2013 Kia Rio Sport
The Kia Rio used to be a four-wheeled nugget, barely worth a second look. However the third-gen model that came out in 2011 changed perspectives very quickly. Handsome styling mated to impressive handling and practicality quickly made the Rio a firm rival for cars like the above Fiesta.
This particular model, priced at $11,995, is a well-spec'd model with smart alloys, cruise control, Bluetooth and more. Two doors instead of four is less practical, but makes a handsome car even nicer to look at. Click here to check it out, or alternatively here's a 2015 4-door model based in Auckland.
9. 2010 Mini
A Mini might seem a wee bit risky as a first car. You're effectively buying a BMW after all, with BMW parts and service costs down the line if things turn sour.
However, few cars are as instantly recognisable and chic as the Mini range. This makes them eternally popular as first cars for young buyers. So if you must, doing it right will save you money down the line.
Buying as a new a model as you can afford is a good place to start. This silver second-generation model is a good place to begin, with a solid 72,709km on the clock. Click here to check it out. This low-kilometre Mini One (on steelies!) is also worth a gander.
Try to avoid early models with a CVT, as those transmissions are known to be fragile. The internet is your friend in regards to diving into the other potential issues to watch for.
And we finish on a classic among young drivers; the Suzuki Swift.
In particular, this is the Sport. Firmer suspension, a larger 1.6-litre engine, bucket seats, alloys, a body-kit and more make it a more satisfying steer and help combat some of those 'boring first car' blues.
First-generation Swift Sports are easily available in budget. You'll spend $6,000 for a high-kilometre example, and close to $10,000 for a mint low-kilometre example. But getting a second-gen model is a better bet. They're much safer with a stiffer construction and seven airbags, plus they've got a bit more go and are a bit bigger. This bright yellow example has 79,500km on the clock and is based in Auckland. Click here to check it out.