One of the early victims will be the car, with repayments likely to soar and with pretty much everything else it takes to run them, fuel, tyres and repayments, expected to get more expensive. It’s a terrifying prospect. We have found three popular cars and placed them next to a perfect downgrade option that will save you a buck while keeping the Joneses clueless about the pocket dosh situation.
VW Polo vs VW up
Coming in at a snip above its admittedly larger sibling, it’s the Polo of the future, actually.
The VW Polo is a firm favourite with young upstarts and small families. Its room for four-to-five with a cavernous boot married to a wide variety of engines, including petrols and diesels, and a largely accessible price tag makes it one of the most sought after vehicles in its segment. Just below the Polo, and its Vivo ancestry sits the VW up! Before you dismiss us as smoking our socks, the VW up! is one cleverly designed, 3.5 meters long and 1.6 meters wide little car. Built up, the wheels are placed at the furthest points of the four-corners and space is incredibly maximised. It can be had in three or five-door shape and can comfortably swallow four adults at a squeeze. It’s adequate for the small nuclear family though. To exploit its load carrying capacity you’ll need to drop its foldable rear seats and this is not too bad.
It’s powered by a 1.0-litre three-cylinder engine with outputs of 55kW at 6200rpm and 95Nm at 3000rpm, and it’s attached to a 5-speed manual transmission. It’s a fairly robust level of go that it possesses, and although it sounds a little gruff on the ears, it reaches and maintains highways speeds with a respectable keenness. The winning ticket of its mechanicals is the ridiculously small of amount of fuel it sips on.
Expect Bluetooth hands-free calls, music streaming and message readout. A CD player is available so is radio and an AUX point. No USB port though.
VW Polo R226 899
VW up! R166 299
Savings (R60 600)
Opel Adam vs Mini Cooper
There is no need for the downgrade to put the brakes on your expressive personality.
Mini is largely responsible for the successful creation of the small luxury hatchback and over the years the brand has grown in leaps and bounds in cementing its social standing as choice wheels for the nations trendy and excitable, and it has become quite big and quite expensive. However, Opel has come in with its cute as a button Adam hatch to fill the vacancy left by Mini of an equally funky, highly personalize-able, hashtag friendly but chiefly, affordable take on the segment. It has the garish colour schemes, the mismatched paints, zany surfaces and all and they’ve insert a clever little engine that is both spunky and frugal.
As engines go the Adam has one of the finest, totally frugal 3-cylinder turbo engines out there. It makes a healthy 85kW and 170Nm and its power is delivered phenomenally. Combine this with the Adam’s petite dimensions and you’ll be darting about everywhere with a wide smile
Expect Bluetooth integration, CD/Radio, AUX, USB port and a colourful LCD.
Mini Cooper One 3-dr hatch – R290 500
Opel Adam – R206 500
Savings (R84 000)
Mini Cooper 5-door or Clubman vs BMW 3 Series
Mini may have lost to the battle to Opel but it claws its way back into contention at an at the expense of an unexpected foe.
This may sound preposterous to some but Mini has not one, but two aces up its sleeve to rival a big establishment. Easily, both are among the rational of all Minis on sale. The 3-door is understandably teenage, and the Countryman s no mini car. Enter the Cooper hatch 5-door, and Cooper Clubman. Both are an accomplishment in creating for family friendly Minis, and have rich amounts of cabin room that fit full size humans with great ease. They also boast usable boots too; the Clubman separated by a groovier pair of doors that open to the side like a delivery truck opposed go the regular, up-swinging variant of its harem sister. And because both cars can be fitted with the same kind of gadgets that give BMW owners that smug face they carry around, essentially these can be described as the smallest BMWs in the land.
In Cooper S form, there is a turbo 2.0-litre engine up-front that leaves 141kW and 232km/h under your right foot, transforming both into ballistic little things that can’t touched by a 320i on its best day. Manuals and automatic transmissions are offered more so than a peer 320i would ever be. To really justify the change, both cars are available in standard Cooper form and are powered by an even more economical 1.5-litre 3-cylinder engine they share with a 318i.
There is no clear point of departure in terms of kit between these Minis and peer BMW 3 Series. Almost every conceivable BMW toy, including HUD (Head-Up Display), can be wired in there through a comprehensive options list.
BMW 318i Manual – R488 600
Mini Cooper One 5-Dr – R300 500
Savings (R188 500)