In honor of Youth Day and the events that took place in 1976 with the date being celebrated across the country today, we decided to take a closer look at our top 5 funky first cars for youth. The parameters for our selection were simple; affordable, frugal, cute and youthful. In other words, something that would appeal to a first-time buyer, but wouldn’t break the bank at the same time. Here’s our list in no particular order.
Fiat 500 Cult
The durable Fiat 500 has been with us for quite some time, with its current reign of over a decade. While specification and equipment may price this feisty city car out of reach for many first-time buyers, the 500 cult exists as the epitome of what the original Cinquecento was: affordable and compact mobility for the masses. The newcomer incorporates retro styling from its predecessor, while relevant technology makes this the perfect choice for the style-conscious, first-time buyer. The 0.9-litre Twin Air two-cylinder Cult can be had in the region of R200 000† For something more customised, take a look at the lowered roof Fiat 500 Dolcevita†
Suzuki Ignis 1,2 GLX
The Ignis has also been on the market for a while, albeit a few years less than the aforementioned Fiat. That’s why it’s a big believer in Suzuki’s success in our local market. Modestly equipped and with a unique aesthetic are only a small part of its charm, but the average claimed fuel consumption of 5.1 l/100 km is the most alluring aspect of the crossover city car. Due to its extra ground clearance, it can also handle quite a bit of unpaved road surface. The Ignis starts from R204 900 for the GL MT while the GLX ranges between R236 900 and R253 900 depending on the transmission. Our time with the Ignis goes back to 2017but the winning recipe for the model has not changed.
Kia Picanto 1,2 X-Line
At around R200 000 hangs the venerable Picanto range, which is also a long-established name in our market and serves as Kia’s entry-level model. The base spec Picanto 1.0 Start Manual starts at the low price of R195 995, albeit with very few features and niceties. Given the adventurous nature of the youth and the minimal driving experience they have navigating parkades, the pumped-up Picanto 1.2 X-Line would be our choice. We delve deeper into our experience with the sub-compact crossover in our driven review of the Korean model. A manual derivative can be: bought for R245 995†
Renault Kwid 1.0 Climber
The Kwid is arguably the best choice for new buyers and drivers and while those behind the wheel may gain a negative reputation for flooding the fast lane of the highway with pedestrian speeds, there’s good reason why it’s the obvious choice. is. The partnership between Nissan and Renault has delivered the CMF-A platform among many other mutually beneficial benefits. This shared cost and Indian production mean the Kwid is the cheapest model mentioned on this list of funky first cars. With a retail price of R170 400 for the base spec 1.0 Expression, it is certainly the best bang for the buck, though our choice would be the economical but slightly more expensive Kwid Climber which has a ride height of 184 mm. Depending on transmission preference, this can be purchased within the region of R200 000 new.
Suzuki Swift 1,2 GL
The final pick in our list of top 5 funky youth first cars is another compact Suzuki. The Swift offers thrifty efficiency, good looks and a surprisingly spirited driving experience, although we’re sure most of its buyers wouldn’t be as thrilled behind the wheel as we journalists are. With a claimed fuel economy of just 4.9 l/100km, it will also ensure no bank breaks getting to and from youthful experiences. While the basic spec manual GA starts from R189 900, our pick would be the R207 900 1.2 GL middle child which offers good value for money with expected fewer features than the top spec GLX.