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The 5 Best Budget Cars in Australia in 2024

Looking for an affordable ride in Australia? Discover the top budget-friendly cars of 2024 in our comprehensive guide.
Published on December 7th, 2020
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas

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Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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If you’re on a budget, finding a car that ticks all the boxes can feel like a challenge. However, there’s still a wide range of new car options available on the market that won’t break the bank. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore five of the best affordable cars in Australia for 2024, whether you’re looking for a city runaround, small SUV or electric vehicle.

Kia Picanto

The Kia Picanto is a versatile and practical choice for budget-conscious drivers in Australia, especially those who frequently navigate city streets. As a compact car, the Picanto is perfectly suited for urban environments, offering agility and manoeuvrability in tight spaces. There are four versions available to drivers in Australia: Sport Manual, Sport Automatic, GT-Line Manual and GT-Line Automatic.

Kia Picanto
Kia Picanto

Price: The Kia Picanto is one of the most affordable new cars you can buy in Australia, with a starting price of around $17,890 and driveaway estimate of $20,690 for its Sport Manual model before on-road costs. Even its most expensive variant, the GT-Line Automatic, comes in at a very manageable $21,290 RRP and $23,490 driveaway price.

Features:

  • Safety features: the 2024 Kia Picanto comes with six airbags, autonomous emergency braking (AEB), lane-departure warning, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring with braking, and rear cross-traffic alert with braking. However, it's important to note that it does not currently have an ANCAP safety rating.
  • Internal tech: the Picanto has a colour LCD touchscreen and Bluetooth multi-connection feature, allowing you to seamlessly connect two smartphones simultaneously. Wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay with voice recognition gives you easy access to navigation, messages and your favourite playlists.
  • Boot capacity: the Kia Picanto offers 255 litres of cargo space, which can be expanded to 1010 litres with the rear seats folded down.
  • Additional options: the Picanto is available in seven colours, with Clear White as standard and other options available at a $520 extra cost. GT-Line models come with premium seats, six-way seat adjustment and soft-touch front armrests.
  • Warranty and support: the Kia Picanto comes with a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty, providing peace of mind for years to come. Additionally, benefit from roadside assistance and capped-price servicing, ensuring that your Picanto is always well taken care of.

MG3

MG’s MG3 is one of Australia’s best-selling light hatchbacks. Its contemporary design and affordable price tag make the MG3 an attractive choice for urban drivers seeking a stylish and practical vehicle. First released in Australia in 2016, a new version is slated for release in mid-2024. There are three MG3 models currently available to drivers in Australia, all automatic: Core, Core with NAV and Excite.

MG3
MG3

Price: The driveaway price of the current MG3 model starts from $18,990 for the MG3 Auto Core. The Core with NAV starts at $19,490 and the Excite at $19,990. However, the price for the new 2024 model is expected to be $5,000 more expensive.

Features:

  • Safety features: the MG3 has six airbags and proactive safety features designed to keep you protected on the road. These include electronic stability program, emergency brake assist and active cornering brake control systems, which help you maintain control in various driving conditions. However, it's important to note that it currently does not have an ANCAP safety rating.
  • Internal tech: the MG3 comes with an 8-inch colour infotainment touchscreen, placing all essential controls conveniently at your fingertips. Apple CarPlay integration syncs your iPhone with the car's system, and there is a four-speaker audio system featuring 3D Sound Field technology.
  • Boot capacity: the MG3 offers ample storage space with 307 litres of roomy boot space, which expands to 1081 litres when the rear seats are folded down.
  • Additional options: you can customise your MG3 with a choice of four car colours, with white and black available for no extra cost and silver and metallic blue available for an additional $500. If you opt for the Excite model, you will enjoy additional features such as 16-inch two-tone machined alloy wheels, body-colour door mirrors with integrated turn signals, a rear spoiler and a six-speaker audio system.
  • Warranty and support: the MG3 comes with a seven-year unlimited kilometre warranty, along with anti-perforation and paint warranties. Plus, benefit from MG Roadside Assist for added peace of mind on your journeys.

Hyundai i30 Hatch

The Hyundai i30 Hatch is a practical compact car that offers a blend of style, performance and technology. With its sleek design, comfortable interior and advanced safety features as standard, it is a popular choice for urban commuters and small families looking for a reliable and versatile vehicle. There are three versions of the standard i30 Hatch available in Australia: the i30, the i30 Active and the i30 Elite.

Hyundai i30 Hatch
Hyundai i30 Hatch

Price: The Hyundai i30 Hatch has a list price of $24,000 and estimated driveaway price of $26,290 for its standard manual variant, and $2,000 more for its automatic version ($26,000/$28,290). Prices are higher for the Active and Elite versions.

Features:

  • Safety features: the Hyundai i30 boasts advanced safety features under the Hyundai SmartSenseTM suite, including forward collision-avoidance assist, blind-spot collision warning, lane-keeping assist, smart cruise control and driver attention warning. The car has also been awarded a five-star ANCAP rating.
  • Internal tech: the Hyundai i30 comes with an 8-inch multimedia touchscreen display that supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, as well as a 6-speaker audio system.
  • Boot capacity: the Hyundai i30 has a spacious interior for a car of its size, offering 395 litres of cargo capacity that expands to 1301 litres with the seats folded down, accommodating all your storage needs.
  • Additional options: you can personalise your Hyundai i30 Hatch with a choice of six different colours, with Polar White as standard and other colours available for a $595 additional cost. i30 Elite models also come with 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen display with 3D navigation, Bluetooth device connectivity and a wireless charging pad fitted into the centre console.
  • Warranty and support: the Hyundai i30 comes with a five-year unlimited kilometre warranty, complemented by a lifetime service plan and roadside support for the first 12 months. You can extend your roadside assistance coverage with each scheduled service completed at an authorised Hyundai Service Centre, ensuring ongoing support throughout the lifetime of your i30.

SUV: Ford Puma

SUVs are often associated with higher price tags, but it is possible to find reasonably priced options in Australia for under $40,000. Classed as a light SUV, the Ford Puma is a popular choice for those looking for a bigger car on a budget. With its stylish design, compact dimensions and practical features, the Ford Puma offers versatility and functionality for city drivers and small families. The car has three variants: the Puma base model, the ST-Line and the ST-Line V, all with automatic transmission.

Ford Puma
Ford Puma

Price: The Ford Puma base model has an estimated driveaway price starting from $35,697. An ST-Line model has driveaway prices starting from $38,139 and the ST-Line V from $41,467.

Features:

  • Safety features: the Ford Puma comes equipped with a comprehensive suite of standard safety features to ensure peace of mind on the road. These include airbags, collision warning, road sign recognition, electronic stability control, rear parking camera, AEB, driver attention alert, lane departure warning, speed limiter and parking sensors. Additionally, the Ford Puma has achieved a five-star ANCAP safety rating, underscoring its commitment to passenger safety.
  • Internal tech: features include a six-speaker sound system, an 8-inch colour touchscreen display, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Ford AppLink integration, along with built-in satellite navigation and an infotainment system with voice-activated controls.
  • Boot capacity: the Ford Puma offers ample cargo space, with a capacity ranging from 410 litres to 1170 litres when the back seats are folded down, providing versatility for transporting cargo of various sizes.
  • Additional options: the Ford Puma has eight different colour options, with Blazer Blue and Frozen White available at no additional cost and other colours available for an extra $700. Enhance your driving experience with optional packages such as the Park Pack, which includes adaptive cruise control, automatic park assistance and blind-spot braking, available for an additional cost on standard and ST-Line models. The hands-free power liftgate with smart keyless entry is also available as an optional extra. The ST-Line V variant offers the option to add the Park Pack and a panoramic sunroof for added comfort and convenience.
  • Warranty and support: the Ford Puma is backed by a five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Additionally, Ford National Roadside Assistance is included with your vehicle purchase, providing added peace of mind on your journeys.

Electric: MG4 Excite 51

Electric vehicles (EVs) are growing in popularity across the globe, and Australia is no different. Launched in 2022, MG’s MG4 is an attractive option for budget-conscious drivers seeking an affordable entry point into the world of electric cars. In Australia, there are currently four MG4 models available, with the entry-level Excite 51 variant one of the cheapest EVs on the market.

MG4 Excite
MG4 Excite

Price: The MG MG4 Excite 51 has a driveaway price starting from $39, 990. Other variants of the MG4 are available from $44,990 (MG4 Excite 64), $46,990 (MG4 Essence 64) and $52,990 (Long Range 77) driveaway.

Features:

  • Battery range: the MG4 boasts a range of up to 350km per charge, tested under standardised Worldwide Harmonised Light Vehicle Test Procedure (WLTP) conditions. However, keep in mind that real-world driving results may vary due to factors like driving habits, battery condition and environmental conditions.
  • Safety features: equipped with MG Pilot Driver Safety Technology, the MG4 offers nine active driver safety features, including speed limit assist, 360-degree camera, lane assist, AEB and adaptive cruise control. While it doesn’t include blind spot detection and rear cross traffic alert features, the MG4 has been awarded a five-star ANCAP safety rating.
  • Internal tech: the MG4 features a 7-inch digital cluster, 10.25-inch touch screen display, iSMART Lite functionality and compatibility with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and a four-speaker audio system.
  • Boot capacity: the MG4 provides ample storage space, with a boot volume of 363 litres with seats in place and a generous 1177 litres with seats folded, ensuring versatility for various cargo needs.
  • Additional options: the MG4 Excite 51 has seven colour options, with Dover White available at no extra cost and other options available for an extra $700. Additional features are also available on other MG4 variants, such as electrically adjustable seats, satellite navigation and voice control is available on the Essence 64 and Long Range 77 models.

All prices and information correct as of April 2024.

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