A lot of car manufacturers are creating budget models aimed at financially-conscious individuals, so owning a car is easier than ever. But don’t get fooled -- despite being affordable, these cheaper cars don’t skimp on quality. A number of these can give you more bang for your buck than a lot of their expensive counterparts. In this list, we rounded up the top 10 most affordable car deals you can get right now, from #10 to #1.
Plenty of these vehicles are hatchbacks as compact models comparatively cost less to manufacture. However, there are also minivans and pickup trucks that cost less than some sedans and hatchbacks, so if you need a vehicle for a larger family, then this list has also got your back. Note that the prices listed on this round-up come from the November 2016 sales figures, as they’re some of the most updated available prices.
- Honda Brio
- Kia Picanto 1.0 EX
- Chevrolet Spark
- Mitsubishi Mirage GLX
- Chery QQ3
- Lifan 520 1.3 DX
- Toyota Wigo 1.0 E
- Geely LC GB
- Hyundai Eon GL
- Suzuki Alto 800
At #10 is the Honda Brio, the brainchild of a Japanese brand well-known for slightly more expensive cars compared to its compatriots. However, even this carmaker can’t resist the market for hatchbacks. It’s comfortable, spacious, and enough for an average-sized family. Its boot space isn’t the biggest, but it’s sufficient for essential storage. This car drives 13 kilometers on just a liter of gas via its 100-horsepower engine and is buttery smooth and easy to maneuver. Expect to shell out around P609,000 for the manual version of his vehicle.
Next in line is an affordable and reliable car from the South Korean automaker, Kia. The Kia Picanto 1.0 EX is the company’s most affordable vehicle that only costs P575,000. But it doesn’t lose out on specs. It offers a 69-horsepower engine suitable for both city driving and a speedy ride along the expressway. Despite its compact size, it can fit about four adults with no problem. In South Korea, this vehicle goes by the name Kia Morning.
The US Brand Chevrolet isn’t planning to lose out on the war of the cheapest car. Its contender, the Chevrolet Spark, is an entry-level subcompact hatchback that boasts a powerful 66-horsepower engine. Its tiny size may seem like it can’t fit more than 2, but it’s a surprisingly comfortable four-seater. Prices start at P548,000 for the manual version -- not bad for a US brand more known for its million-peso pickups as opposed to cheap cars. Its maneuverability is outstanding, and it’s great for city driving. Manila traffic will feel crazy comfortable with a car that doesn’t break the bank.
Another Japanese brand joins the fray with an entry-level beauty by Mitsubishi. It’s Mirage GLX is a -- surprise, surprise -- hatchback worth P533,000. But this tiny car isn’t just an ornament on your garage, as its incredible 77-horsepower engine outraces other cheap cars. The Mirage brand has been around since 1978 but was no longer in production by 2003. Fortunately, the brand revived in 2012, just in time for the rise in popularity of hatchbacks.
The Philippines knows Chery as a Chinese producer of cheap cars. Because they specialize in affordable vehicles, they’ve got at least three more that cost less than P500,000 right now. A characteristic shared by Chinese cars on the list (spoiler alert: there are three of them -- as if you were surprised) is the amount of criticism they receive over allegedly being design copycats of more established carmakers. In Chery’s case, the company has been sued over claims that the WW3 looks like the Chevrolet Spark. But at P499,000, you can’t complain much, as it can be challenging to come by affordable and powerful cars. The Chery QQ3, in particular, boasts an 85-horsepower engine that can top 155 kph, an impressive feat for a compact car.
There are plenty of cheap cars on the market right now, that about half of this list costs less than P500,000. This P498,000 sedan is the first car produced by Chinese manufacturer Lifan in 2005. Its latest version, launched in 2011, is a manual-transmission, five-seater car that tops 155 kph. It’s more than capable of traversing through the metro, highways, and expressways all over the country. Critics have accused Lifan of copying the design of the Citroen Elysee, but the manufacturer insisted that the 520 is original.
It’s not only Chinese brands that are pouring everything to reign as the best budget carmaker. The Japanese giant Toyota has also dipped into the cheap cars market with the Wigo, a P473,000 hatchback that seems to be a common choice among Uber drivers on this side of the globe. The vehicle -- a three-cylinder, fine-speed manual hatchback -- was made in Indonesia via Toyota’s tie-up with Daihatsu as part of the country’s program for designing low-cost cars. And you thought Mi Goreng is the only thing Indonesia exports to us. This vehicle is the perfect first car. It’s reliable, fast, smooth, and most importantly, affordable.
Also competing in the crowded Chinese cheap cars market is automaker Geely with the LC, a P449,000 hatchback that critics say is a copy of the Toyota Aygo -- which shouldn’t be confused with the Wigo, but at this point, aren’t a lot of hatchbacks each other’s lookalikes? Although Geely claims that this car looks like a panda. Maybe judge for yourself in the pic above. It’s genuinely comfortable, but a small car in both footprint and interior. If you aren’t hauling a family of 6 on the daily, then this car will do the trick at a low cost.
The South Korean carmaker, Hyundai, doesn’t plan to lose on the cheap car game. You may have seen the Hyundai Eon hatchback from the Uber ride you just took (If it’s not the Wigo, that is. Usually, it’s one of these cheap cars). This lightweight, tiny city car can reach up to 140kph on a 54-horsepower engine. It was introduced in India in 2011 before reaching our sandy shores in 2012 and targeted a budget-conscious market explicitly. At P438,000, this adorable hatchback can be considered the cheapest vehicle that a car sales agent can offer you. Well, except for...
Who would’ve thought that the cheapest of the cheap cars in the Philippines would be from a Japanese carmaker? At P398,000 (P438,000 for the deluxe version), the Alto 800 from Suzuki undercuts the -- primarily Chinese -- competition for as much as P50,000. This hatchback’s performance is not too shabby either, with top speeds of 145 kph via a three-cylinder engine. It’s a small car that gets you from one place to another, and if that’s all that matters to you, then you’re in for a fantastic, low-cost ride.
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