Conquer the urban jungle: What’s the best city car you can buy for $20,000? – News

Today’s First Drive Report of the new Suzuki Swift Hybrid got us thinking; What other great city cars are there for those who drive around town daily?

A good city car should be easy to drive, easy to park, easy to see, economical and snappy enough to cut through traffic and make incomprehensible lane changes in the blink of an eye. Here are five cars we think do the job just fine – for under $20,000.

1.Mazda Axela/Mazda3 SP 20S 2014

Let’s start with the traditional “anti-Corolla” choice – the Mazda3.

Also known here as the Mazda Axela due to its popularity as a Japanese import, the outgoing 3 combines charming styling that has aged gracefully with an exceptional chassis and solid interior material quality. Its small portions and long list of technologies make it a formidable contender for city living supremacy.

The arrival of a new Mazda3 means you can get a pretty nice previous generation model for less than $20,000. Lower-end sedan variants with higher miles can be found for less than $15,000, with higher-end models like this SP 20S being in the higher price bracket.

It comes with air conditioning, radar cruise control, lane keeping assist and some neat visual touches like red stitching and bigger wheels. Registered in Auckland, it has only 51,419 km on the odometer and its price is $19,700. Click here to check it.

2.Fiat 500 2014

Want something with even more style and much easier parking capabilities? Well, say hello to the Fiat 500.

The 500 has been a model for over 10 years, but you wouldn’t necessarily know that. Ironically, its retro styling has stood the test of time beautifully, both inside and out. Specifically, the tiny 500 is devilishly simple to park due to its small dimensions and relatively large greenhouse.

The problem? Well, a lot of the models for sale in New Zealand are manuals.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, however. Manual variants will be more reliable than versions equipped with the single-clutch automatic while also being smoother to drive.

This particular 500 has 63,000 km on the odometer and a two-tone cabin (with a manual stick). Click here to check it.

3. Kia Picanto X-Line 2020

Take the 500, add an extra dash of practicality, a few tablespoons of probable reliability and a hint of SUV and you’ve got this Kia Picanto X-Line.

These little things are fabulous fun to ride and look adorable with their chunky styling and low profile tires. And, for such a small car, the build quality is very impressive. You could be forgiven for thinking you were in a car a few sizes up.

Right now, Kia dealerships nationwide are slashing prices on all-new Picantos (a facelift is in the works). For less than $20,000, you can pick up an X-Line (a little SUV lookalike with cladding, a cute faux bash plate, and more) or a GT-Line (a hot hatchback cosplayer with a bodykit and trims). red highlights in some models).

This X-Line is listed in Auckland and only has 25 delivery kilometers listed. Click here to check it.

4. Suzuki Swift RS 2018

Yeah. Now we come to perhaps the most inevitable entry on this list; the Suzuki Swift.

These are popular for good reason. They’re great value, usually loaded with gear, are known to be built like tanks, and they’re fun to drive. The current-gen Swift ups all of those basics to 11…but particularly in the tech. Most models come standard with radar cruise control and lane keeping assist. The autonomous emergency braking system, meanwhile, is one of the best in the business in our tests.

With $20,000 in hand, you’ll be able to afford either a pristine second-generation model or a current model with a few miles on it. A current Swift Sport is very tempting, but around town I think the three-cylinder Swift RS like this is even more fun.

It’ll be more fuel efficient, cheaper to run, and that engine will sound wonderful when you give it the beans. Click here to check it.

5.Toyota Prius PHEV 2012

Finally, we have the probably most common car in the New Zealand urban jungle; the Toyota Prius.

Forget the jokes and the jokes, the Prius are excellent everyday drivers. Quiet, comfortable, reliable, easy to drive, very cheap to operate…they tick just about all the boxes required to be great city dwellers. Just keep in mind that you are vulnerable to legions of strangers randomly jumping into your car and asking “are you my vehicle?” »

Prices for decent third-generation Priuses start well below $15,000. But if you have $20,000 to spend, it’s worth considering getting the Prius plug-in hybrid (PHEV) instead. These were not sold new here, but are sometimes imported from overseas. You can spot one by its extra chrome highlights.

As well as being a bit more fuel efficient than a standard Prius (they can also run purely on electricity), a surprise benefit is the ride quality. Due to the added weight, Toyota fitted the PHEV with a softer suspension. This one is a little off budget at $20,480, but it only has 47,570 km on the clock. Click here to check it.