Some buy cheap because that is all they can afford, others buy cheaper because that is all they need. The low end of the car market has become crowded, the carmakers adding extra features while keeping prices low. Up to now, the Datsun Go has been the best value for money on the market. Now the newly re-released Hyundai Atos is seriously challenging that position.
There are a few cheaper cars on the market, but they are pretty basic. Like the Datsun, the Atos offers big car extras in a small, economical package, but at a couple of grand less.
At R59 800*, the Atos gives you pretty much what you would need if your needs are met by a compact car. If you want bigger at that price, you would have to go second-hand.
Many smaller cars skimp when it comes to safety. The Atos does not. You get ABS brakes, front airbags both sides and a high brake light in the back for better visibility when you stop. You also get central locking, which is a key safety feature for when you are about to get into or out of your car. Although the Atos is a popular student car, it is popular across the board. For families with children, the Atos offers the peace of mind of the class-leading ISOFIX child-safety seat attachments.
So your Atos is safe, but is fun to drive? The Atos is way cool, with aircon and other cool features as well. You get a touchscreen infotainment system with Carplay. It has Bluetooth and can be controlled via the multifunction steering wheel. It even gives you voice control. Furthermore, you get electric windows, a USB port and a 12-V power outlet.
The Atos is a small car. No argument about that. Yet it boasts boot/load area of 263 – 989L. It is good looking as well, wheels in the four corners giving it a solid look, curvy roofline and pronounced headlights radiating some attitude.
And does it go a bit? It has a naturally aspirated 1.1-litre four-cylinder engine giving 50kw power and 99Nm torque, and it can take you up to an expensive 150km/h. But the Atos is easy at the pump, with fuel consumption at a miserly 5.5/100km.
Say you are a student just starting at varsity. The one thing you won’t have to worry about is the warranty on your car. At seven years/200 000 km, you can probably finish your PhD before it runs out.
The Atos is up there giving the most car for your buck. Go and have a look, take the Hyundai Atos 1.1 Motion MT for a test drive. We think you will be impressed.
*Price correct February 2020