These are South Africa’s Best Used Car Buys

South Africa’s leading automotive platform Cars.co.za (please hyperlink) has announced its inaugural Best Used Car Buys. It’s based on the test team’s vast experience with cars, SUVs and bakkies in the new- and used-vehicle markets, as well as model and pricing data collected on an ongoing basis.

“We prefer to position this as a Buyer’s Guide rather than an awards programme,” explains Consumer Experience Manager, Hannes Oosthuizen, “because there are so many variables at play when it comes to choosing a used vehicle. Given the current economic climate, we have placed emphasis on value for money, durability, good after-sales service and fuel efficiency.” 

“We are in the fortunate position to have a lot of data from our previous Cars.co.za Consumer Awards programme that is still very valid, but of course, there are nuances that need to be considered when looking at the marketplace with a ‘used-car lens’,” he says.

“For example, a solid product that wasn’t priced quite right when new, or which, for whatever reason, didn’t garner many sales in the new-car market, may subsequently have suffered significant depreciation. In light of that, it may make a lot more sense as a used-car buy.

“The opposite of that is when an award-winning vehicle goes on to be in high demand in the used-car market. When the asking prices of such a model become too inflated compared with other models in its segment, it becomes less appealing as a used-car buy,” Oosthuizen adds.

“In these tough economic times, where household budgets are tight, careful consideration should be given to which car you buy, and it is our hope that this Buyer’s Guide, which will be updated annually, will become a solid starting point for people on their car-purchasing journey.”

Best Buys Under R125 000

  • Entry-Level: Kia Picanto 1.0/1.2 (also consider Hyundai Grand i10 1.25)
  • Compact Hatch: Ford Fiesta 1.4 Ambiente (also consider VW Polo Vivo 1.4 Comfortline, Renault Sandero Dynamique)
  • Compact Family Car/Crossover: Ford EcoSport 1.5 TiVCT
  • Sedan: Hyundai Accent 1.6 GLS/Fluid (also consider Kia Rio 1.4)

Best Buys Under R150 000

  • Entry-Level: Suzuki Ignis 1.2 GL (also consider Hyundai Atos 1.1 Motion, Kia Picanto 1.2)
  • Compact Hatch: Honda Jazz 1.2 Trend (also consider Opel Corsa 1.0T Essentia)
  • Compact Family Car: Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium (also consider Opel Crossland X 1.2T Enjoy)
  • Sedan: Kia Rio 1.4 Tec (also consider Hyundai Accent GL/Motion)

Best Buys Under R200 000

  • Entry-Level: Toyota Starlet 1.4 XI (also consider Suzuki Swift 1.2 GL, Hyundai Grand i10 1.2 Fluid)
  • Compact Hatch: Honda Jazz 1.5 Elegance (also consider VW Polo 1.2 TSI Comfortline (previous-gen))
  • C-segment Hatch: VW Golf VII 1.4 Comfortline (also consider Ford Focus 1.5 Trend)
  • Compact Family Car: Renault Duster 1.6 Dynamique (also consider Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium, Hyundai Creta 1.6 Executive)
  • Family Car: Nissan Qashqai 1.5 dCi Acenta (also consider Hyundai ix35 2.0, Mazda CX-5 2.0)
  • Sedan: Suzuki Ciaz 1.5 GL (also consider Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Executive)

Best Buys Under R250 000

  • Entry-Level: Toyota Starlet 1.4 XS (also consider Suzuki Baleno 1.4 GL, Kia Picanto 1.2 X-Line)
  • Compact Hatch: VW Polo 1.0 TSI Comfortable (also consider Kia Rio 1.4 EX, Opel Corsa 1.0T Essentia)
  • C-segment Hatch: VW Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline (also consider Mazda3 1.6 Dynamic, Opel Astra 1.4T Sport)
  • Compact Family Car: Toyota Urban Cruiser 1.5 Xs (also consider Ford EcoSport 1.5 TDCi Titanium, Hyundai Creta 1.6 Executive)
  • Family Car: Nissan Qashqai 1.2T Acenta (also consider Mitsubishi ASX 2.0 GLS, Hyundai Tucson 2.0 Premium)
  • Sedan: Mazda3 1.6 Dynamic (also consider Hyundai Elantra 1.6 Executive, Kia Pegas 1.4 EX)
  • Double-Cab: Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCI XLS (also consider Isuzu KB250 D-Teq HO)

Best Buys Under R300 000

  • Compact Hatch: Honda Fit 1.5 Comfort (also consider VW Polo 1.0 TSI Highline, Peugeot 208 1.2T Allure)
  • Premium Hatch: BMW 118i (also consider Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI/35 TFSI, VW Golf 1.4 TSI Comfortline)
  • Compact Family Car: Kia Seltos 1.6 EX (also consider Suzuki Vitara 1.6 GLX, Opel Crossland X 1.2 Cosmo)
  • Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Active (also consider Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto, Kia Sportage 2.0 Ignite+)
  • Premium Sedan: BMW 320i (also consider Mercedes-Benz C180, Audi A4 1.4 TFSI)
  • Performance Car: Ford Fiesta ST (also consider Suzuki Swift Sport)
  • Double-Cab: Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCI XLT (also consider Isuzu KB/D-Max 250 HO X-Rider)

Best Buys Under R400 000

  • Premium Hatch: BMW 120i (also consider Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI/35 TFSI, VW Golf GTI)
  • Compact Family Car: Kia Seltos 1.5D EX+ (also consider Toyota Corolla Cross XS, Peugeot 2008 1.2T Active Auto)
  • Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Dynamic (also consider Toyota RAV4 2.0 GX Auto, VW Tiguan 1.4 TSI Comfortline Auto)
  • Performance Car: Mini JCW (also consider Renault Megane IV RS, Audi TT 2.0 TFSI)
  • Double-Cab: Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 Raider 4x4 (also consider Ford Ranger 2.2 TDCI XLT Auto, Isuzu KB300 D-Teq LX)
  • Executive SUV/Crossover: Volvo XC60 D4 Momentum (also consider BMW X1 sDrive20d, Audi Q3 2.0 TDI)

Best Buys Under R500 000

  • Premium Hatch: BMW 118i M Sport (also consider Audi A3 Sportback 1.4 TFSI/35 TFSI Auto, Mercedes-Benz A200)
  • Compact Family Car: Kia Seltos 1.4T GT-Line (also consider Toyota Corolla Cross 1.8 XS Hybrid, Hyundai Grand Creta 2.0 Elite)
  • Family Car: Mazda CX-5 2.0 Individual Auto (also consider Toyota RAV4 2.0 VX Auto, VW Tiguan Allspace 2.0 TSI Highline 4Motion)
  • Sports Car: Jaguar F-Type 3.0 V6 Coupe (also consider Mazda MX-5, Ford Mustang 5.0 GT)
  • Hot Hatch: Ford Focus RS (also consider Hyundai i30N, Renault Megane IV RS)
  • Double-Cab: Toyota Hilux 2.8GD-6 Raider 4x4 (also consider Ford Ranger 2.0D XLT Auto, Isuzu D-Max 300 LX 4x4)
  • Executive SUV/Crossover: BMW X3 xDrive20d (also consider Audi Q5 2.0 TDI / 40 TDI, Land Rover Discovery Sport 2.0i4 D HSE)
  • Adventure SUV: Toyota Fortuner 2.8 GD-6 4x4 Auto (also consider Ford Everest 3.2 LTD Auto, Mitsubishi Pajero Sport 2.4D 4x4)
  • Luxury Sedan: Lexus ES 250 EX (also consider Volvo S90 D5 Inscription, Mercedes-Benz E220d Avantgarde)

Factors Considered

To give some structure and to reflect buying “hot-spots” in the market, the Cars.co.za team applied the following guidelines and methodology in determining the 2022/23 Cars.co.za Used Cars Buyer’s Guide.

  • Only vehicles seven years and younger were considered.
  • Only vehicles with less than 100 000 km on the odometer were considered.
  • Brands that previously performed consistently well in the Cars.co.za Ownership Satisfaction Survey were given preference.
  • At the time of determining the list, stock of the particular model would have to be available on Cars.co.za within the above-mentioned parameters.
  • Fuel consumption was a very important factor.

“We hope that this Buyer’s Guide will, at the very least, point consumers in the right direction. Personal brand and design preferences will of course always play a role in the decision-making process and, for that reason, we’ve also listed alternatives to consider,” explains Oosthuizen.

“It is also important to note that the usual rules when shopping for a used car remain as applicable to our selected vehicles, as to any other models on the market. Buy from recognised, established dealerships with a proven reputation, make sure the vehicle’s service history is complete, and always undertake a test drive to avoid any nasty surprises,” he concludes.