More and more buyers are looking for a little bit extra from their small hatchbacks, such as a modicum of added ground clearance and eye-catching off-roader inspired kerb appeal. If you're in the market for a new car, here’s how you can get "a lift" while sticking to a budget of under R200k.
If you’re looking for a car that's slightly raised because you travel on dirt or badly maintained roads or just like the "ready-for-action-looks" of a faux-4x4 crossover then we’ve compiled a list of interesting models for you to consider. R200k doesn’t go very far, but thankfully a few manufacturers have got creative with their standard models and given them a "raise".
Prices are accurate as of July 2020.
Suzuki S-Presso - From R139 900
The new S-Presso came to market earlier this year its local sales tally has yet to kick off in earnest. Now, with its first full month on sale during Level 3 lockdown, the pint-sized Suzuki was a raging success with the sales tally reaching 555 units in June 2020. Suzuki has won numerous Budget Car titles at #CarsAwards) and the Indian-built S-Spresso should continue to find favour with many more buyers in these cash-strapped times. It's powered by a 1.0-litre petrol engine that develops 50 kW and 90 Nm of torque and can be had with either a 5-speed manual or 5-speed automated-manual transmission.
There are 3 derivatives on offer for the S-Presso including GL, GL+ and a range-topping S-Edition.
The S-Presso GL (manual only) is equipped with front electric windows, remote central locking, rear parking sensors, 14-inch steel wheels and manual airconditioning.
The mid-spec GL+ derivative (manual and AMT) gains a 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability, integrated reverse camera, Bluetooth and a USB and auxiliary port.
Moving on to the range-topping S-Presso S-Edition (from R152 900), this derivative gains styling elements such as wheel arch cladding, side body cladding, silver upper grille garnish, front skid plate and silver trim finishes seen on the centre console and doors. Safety specification includes 2 airbags and ABS with EBD. Ground clearance is claimed at 180 mm.
2. Mahindra KUV100 Nxt 1.2 G80 - From R148 999
The updated Mahindra KUV100 Nxt came to market in 2018 with the range comprising petrol and diesel-engined models. It's surprisingly spacious inside with plenty of areas to store odds and ends. The ground clearance stands at 170 mm and its high-profile 185/65 14-inch tyres should render it quite competent at negotiating small obstacles, certainly gravel roads. The KUV100 Nxt G80 K2+ is powered by a 1.2-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine with 61 kW and 115 Nm and mated with a 5-speed manual transmission. The KUV100 comes equipped with 2 airbags and ABS with EBD. If you wish to increase the level of specification in your KUV100 Nxt, then K6+ or K6+ #DARE derivatives are a good bet at just under R200k.
3. Renault Triber - From R177 900
Renault recently welcomed its new Triber budget 7-seater people-mover to market earlier this year and with a ground clearance of 182 mm and some rugged plastic cladding, the Triber boasts some crossover appeal. The Triber makes use of a naturally-aspirated 1.0-litre petrol engine and is equipped with a 5-speed manual transmission. Outputs are pegged at 52 kW and 96 Nm of torque.
Key features include a removable third row of seats which increases load capacity yo 625 litres, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay functionality and air conditioning ventilation for the second row. 2 airbags are standard with 4 airbags offered on the top-spec Prestige derivative. Rear parking sensors are a useful feature when parking.
The range-topping Triber Prestige breaches the R200k barrier with a price of R202 900, but even so, it's still worth considering.
4. Suzuki Ignis GL – From R188 900
The Suzuki Ignis offers buyers something a little different in this segment of the market. The Ignis is powered by a naturally-aspirated 1.2-litre petrol engine that develops 61 kW and 113 Nm of torque with the front wheels driven via a 5-speed manual transmission. As we discovered during its test period with us, the Ignis offers perky performance in the city and its interior is relatively spacious for its size.
The Ignis GLX is equipped with the features such as a Radio/CD player (can upgrade to a touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto), rear park distance control, climate control air conditioning, LED headlights and daytime running lights, 2 airbags, ABS with EBD and brake assist. The Suzuki Ignis GLX was also a semi-finalist in the Budget Car category of the 2018/19 Cars.co.za Consumer Awards – powered by WesBank.
The entry-level Ignis GL is the previous #CarsAwards champion and is priced from R188 900. Ground clearance on the Ignis is 180 mm. Watch our video review below for more details...
5. Haval H1 – R202 900
Recent price increases mean that the Haval H1 now exceeds the price limit for this list but we are leaving it here for now because it's still a vehicle you should have on your shortlist if your budget is hovering around R200k. Also, with a bit of haggling with a Haval dealer, you might still be able to secure a deal for under R200k. With the local arrival of Chinese SUV brand, Haval, in South Africa in 2017, its parent company GWM rebadged its M4 as the Haval H1. The H1/M4 is a reasonable rendition of a crossover-hatch. It’s made more to look the part than act it, but it's reasonably equipped and, yes, good looking.
Those daytime running lights are standard, as are the roof rails and 16-inch wheels, plus a 5-year/100 000 km warranty and 2-year roadside assistance that sweetens the deal. There’s good ground clearance (185 mm) and the H1's 1.5-litre petrol engine produces 69 kW and 130 Nm and uses a 5-speed manual transmission to drive the front wheels.