Here are 12 cars that are the most gizmo-packed in terms of safety and convenience features (from new) for less than R250 000. Take a look…
If you are in the market for an out-of-the-box purchase that costs less than R250 000, you have many options to consider but you will have to make some difficult decisions on what car will give offer you the most in terms what you will get for your money. If outright practicality (in terms of people-carrying ability or loading capacity) is not high on the priority list and you're effectively looking to find a vehicle with the most "big-car features" in a "small car (compact) package", which is what so many consumers are looking for, what should you consider?
We created this list to help you narrow down your search, particularly if safety and convenience features matter to you. To make it onto this list, a car must have at least 4 airbags as standard as well as ABS and stability and/or traction control. The cars are then ranked, according to the convenience features they offer. The cars with the most comprehensive list of convenience features appear higher on the list, while cars with less or more optional features will appear further down the list. All the cars on this list are priced under R250k (May 2018).
The features considered for this list include satellite navigation, USB and auxiliary ports, Bluetooth functionality, cruise control, multifunction steering wheel, electric windows and park distance control.
Renault Sandero Stepway 66 kW Turbo Dynamique
The facelifted Renault Sandero Stepway Dynamique is a value-oriented proposition that’s difficult to ignore at R201 900 – it comes equipped with ALL of the aforementioned convenience features and is powered by a 0.9-litre 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine with 66 kW and 135 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels and the claimed fuel consumption is 5.4 L/100 km. As a bonus, the Stepway is quite practical with a 292-litre luggage bay, as well as a split-folding rear seatback that can free up more loading capacity.
Watch our video review of the Renault Sandero Stepway 66kW Turbo Dynamique below!
Opel Adam 1.0T Jam
If you are looking for something more fashionable, the Opel Adam 1.0T Jam is a boutique city car that should be worthy of your attention. Priced at R248 662, the Adam Jam offers a total of 6 airbags as standard and comes fitted with a reverse-view camera, along with front and rear park distance control.
The 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine is a peach too and delivers punchy performance with 85 kW and 170 Nm of torque transferred through a 6-manual transmission. Fuel consumption is claimed at 5.1 L/100 km. Luggage space is rated at 170 litres, expanding to 484 litres with the rear seat bench folded down.
Toyota Aygo X-Cite
Toyota introduced the Aygo X-Cite to South Africa in 2017 and it comes fitted with a total of 6 airbags as standard along with electronic stability control and ABS. The Aygo X-Cite is also equipped with a retractable soft-top roof, giving it some added flair. Other notable features include 15-inch alloy wheels, a touchscreen infotainment system with Bluetooth and USB functionality, electric windows and electrically adjustable mirrors.
The Aygo X-Cite is powered by a 3-cylinder, 1.0-litre engine with 51 kW and 95 Nm. A 5-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels and Toyota claims an average fuel consumption figure of 4.4 L/100km. The Aygo X-Cite is priced from R193 100.
Look at specification details for the Aygo X-Cite
Buy a new or used Toyota Aygo on Cars.co.za
Renault Captur 66 kW Turbo Blaze
The entry-level Renault Captur Blaze is priced at R236 900 and is well equipped with features such as 4 airbags, stability control, ABS, cruise control, electric and heated side mirrors and an R&Go infotainment system with Bluetooth capability and 2 USB ports.
The Blaze employs the familiar 3-cylinder, 0.9-litre turbopetrol engine with 66 kW and 135 Nm of torque and mated to a 5-speed manual transmission with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 5.4 L/100km. Load volume capacity is rated at 377 litres which is expandable to 1 235 litres with the rear seats folded down.
Watch our video review of the facelifted Renault Captur below!
Buy a new or used Renault Captur on Cars.co.za
Facelifted Renault Captur (2017) Video Review
Renault Captur 66 kW dCi Dynamique (2017) Quick Review
Renault Captur 88 kW Dynamique (2015) Review
Crossover Group Test: Suzuki Vitara, Hyundai Creta & Renault Captur [with Video]
Honda Ballade 1.5 Elegance
As an alternative to the Polo sedan or Toyota Corolla Quest, you can also consider the mid-range Honda Ballade Elegance manual priced at R241 800. The Ballade was updated in 2017 with a new look and improved interior feel. A total of 6 airbags are standard and features niceties such as alloy wheels, multifunction steering wheel, rear camera and cruise control. The boot is large, offering 536 litres of space.
A naturally aspirated 1.5-litre petrol engine producing 88 kW and 145 Nm of torque is found in the engine bay and Honda claims an average consumption figure of 5.9 L/100 km. A 5-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels.
Look at specification details for the Honda Ballade range
Renault Clio 66 kW Turbo Dynamique
Renault’s popular Clio benefited from a facelift late in 2016 with exterior and interior updates. Powered by a 0.9-litre, 3-cylinder turbopetrol engine offering 66 kW and 140 Nm of torque, the Clio Dynamique is a well-sorted compact city car. A 5-speed manual transmission drives the front wheels and Renault claims a fuel consumption figure of 5.5 L/100 km.
The luggage bay is sizable at 300 litres, expanding to a useful 1 146 litres with the rear seats folded down. The Renault Clio 66 kW Turbo Dynamique is priced from R246 900. The Clio 66kW Turbo Dynamique was a finalist in the Compact Hatchback category of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards — powered by WesBank.
Look at specification details for the Renault Clio 66 kW Turbo Dynamique
Find a new or used Renault Clio on Cars.co.za
Volkswagen Polo Vivo
New for 2018 is the Volkswagen Polo Vivo. It essentially last year's Polo made to be a bit more budget-friendly and the good news is that the whole lineup comes in below R250k. The 1.6-litre Highline and turbocharged 1.0 TSI GT come with 2 airbags, stability control and alloy wheels. Cruise control is optional on all models but comes standard on the 1.0 TSI GT. Practicality-wise there's 280 litres of boot space and the rear seats fold down to offer up 952 litres.
The Polo Vivo range starts at R179 900 for the 1.4 Trendline hatch but to get decent standard spec you'll want to push to the 1.6 Highline at R214 900. The 1.0 TSI GT retails for R245 000.
Check out this video of the differences between an Old Polo and a New Polo Vivo
The quirky Fiat Panda made a comeback in 2017 with 4 derivatives on offer (including two 4x4 versions) and most of them are priced below the R250 000 cutoff. A 2-cylinder, 0.9-litre turbopetrol engine with outputs of either 63 kW or 66 kW on offer with 145 Nm of torque. The range starts with the Panda Easy at R199 900, the mid-spec Panda Lounge is priced at R214 900 and the higher-spec Panda 4x4 is priced from R245 900. A total of 4 airbags, ABS and stability control are fitted as standard.
Smart ForTwo/ForFour Passion
The Smart ForTwo and ForFour offer consumers something different. The new 3rd-generation Smart models were launched in South Africa in 2016 and seem perfectly suited to the urban commute. In Passion trim, the specification is adequate with a number of optional features on offer.
Both the ForTwo and ForFour Passion are powered by a 1.0-litre, 3-cylinder naturally-aspirated engine offering 52 kW and 91 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual transmission is available for both derivatives while the ForFour Passion can also be had with a 6-speed automatic transmission. Pricing starts at R196 105 for the ForTwo Passion and R201 149 for the manual ForFour Passion. The automatic ForFour Passion is priced from R231 917.
Honda Jazz 1.2 Comfort
The Honda Jazz 1.2 Comfort was a finalist in the 2016/17 Compact Hatchback category of the Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank and it’s a formidable offering in terms of space, practicality and reliability. The Jazz covers the basics in terms of features, but nice-to-have navigation and cruise control are not offered. Six airbags are standard, however.
A naturally aspirated 1.2-litre engine (with outputs of 66 kW and 110 Nm) is mated with a 5-speed manual transmission and the claimed fuel consumption figure is 5.6 L/100 km. In terms of space, there’s plenty, with a loading bay offering 363 litres expanding to a generous 1 881 litres with the rear seats folded down. The Honda Jazz 1.2 Comfort is priced from R243 500.
Peugeot 208 Active
The Peugeot 208 Active is not as popular as some of the other cars on this list, but it’s a decent offering nonetheless with a reasonable level of specification. Cruise control is one of the stand-out standard features and the luggage bay offers 311 litres of space, expanding to 1 152 litres with the rear seats down.
The 208 Active is powered by a 1.2-litre, 3-cylinder petrol engine with 60 kW and 118 Nm of torque. A 5-speed manual gearbox put those numbers to the tar with a claimed fuel consumption figure of 4.3 L/100 km. The Peugeot 208 Active is priced from R224 900.
Volkswagen Move Up!
The Up! has been popular locally and there is an Up! to suit a variety of tastes. The Move Up!, priced from R185 100, is basic, but you can spec it (up!) with features such as park distance control, cruise control, alloy wheels and heated front seats. If you love music, you may want to consider the Up! Beats priced from R201 500, featuring a banging 300W BeatsAudio sound system. Alternatively, you can also consider the Cross Up! priced at R201 500.
All Up! models are powered by a 3-cylinder 1.0-litre petrol engine with 55 kW and 95 Nm of torque driving the front wheels through a 5-speed manual transmission. Claimed fuel consumption is 4.6 L/100 km. Luggage space is rated at 251 litres and 959 litres with the rear bench folded down.