Alright folks. Here we have another installment of what car to purchase with a fixed budget. This time around, we’ll set the imaginary budget to RM50,000, but with a twist. We won’t be choosing any Proton or Perodua models.
The Sensible Choice
The cars listed below are easy to maintain, with no major drawbacks. Like Chris’s said, a PPG (put petrol & go) car. Please do not forget the usual maintenance like engine oil change, tire change, brake pads, coolant, gearbox oil, etc. Periodic maintenance is necessary to keep a car healthy and road-worthy.
1. Toyota Corolla Altis (MY06 – MY09)
For a budget of RM50,000, you can get one of the most reliable cars on the road, the Toyota Corolla Altis. The Corolla Altis may not have the most interesting powertrain combination, nor will it win any beauty contests. But with proper maintenance, the Corolla Altis will outlive you, your kids and your grand kids. The engine choices you’ll get are only limited to the 1.6 L or the 1.8 L ones, and the only transmission choice you’ll get is the archaic (yet dependable) 4-speed automatic (some 1.6 L models do have a manual option!). Despite its age, the Corolla Altis is built to last, with the interior free of any rattles. Handling may be a handful, but the Corolla Altis is meant to carry passengers with excellent reliability and decent comfort. (CW says: Faded plastic headlight covers are an eyesore, but those are easily replaced. Paint may not have fared too well either)
Price Range – RM42,000 for the MY06 model till RM49,800 for the MY09 model
2. Honda Accord 2.0 (MY04 – MY06)
The seventh-generation Honda Accord may be 10 years old, but given Honda’s track record, expect it to last at least another 10 more years with proper maintenance. For your RM50,000 budget, you can get a 2004 Honda Accord 2.0 up to a 2006 Honda Accord 2.4. Unlike the other aforementioned archaic 4-speed automatics however, the Accord comes with a better 5-speed automatic, making it one of the first few D-segment sedans to have that. For the extra grunt, the 2.4 L Accord is a better bet, with roadtax hovering just below RM800 anually. We did not include the MY07 facelift model, since prices of the facelifted model still costs more than our imaginary budget of RM50,000. (CW says: Try and get the 2.4L variant, it’s the better car, light coloured interior will need a thorough steam-cleaning though)
Price Range – RM40,900 for the MY04 model till RM48,000 for the MY06 model
3. Toyota Yaris (MY05 – MY07)
We initially wanted to choose the Toyota Vios for this spot, but we figured that there are already enough units of the Toyota Vios on our roads, so we decided against it. Coming in as cheap as RM38,000, the Toyota Yaris is the hatchback variant of the Vios and many parts are shared with the ever-popular Toyota Vios, which should help ease maintenance and running costs. Since the Yaris faced stiff competition from the Honda Jazz, used units are not as abundant as the Vios, which also reflects on the number of Yaris you see on the road daily (unless you own one). The only variant available is the Yaris 1.5 L, mated to an ancient 4-speed automatic.
Price Range – RM40,000 for the MY04 model till RM46,000 for the MY07 model
4. Nissan Grand Livina (MY08 – MY12)
If a sedan doesn’t cut it for you, and you have kids to ferry around, then the Nissan Grand Livina is right up your alley. Launched back in 2008, the Nissan Grand Livina was rather successful for Edaran Tan Chong Motor. Engine and transmission wise, you’ll get either the choice of a 1.6 L or a 1.8 L, with the 1.6 L engine having a manual transmission option. Like the other cars listed here, the automatic gearbox here is also a 4-speed automatic. Browsing through used car sites shows that you can also get variants with the Impul bodykit, if you fancy that. For all intents and purposes, the 1.8 L should be your top pick.
Price Range – RM46,000 for the MY08 model till RM49,000 for the MY12 model (1.6)
5. Suzuki Swift (MY08 – MY12)
Yes, we did notice that the cars we listed here so far are rather boring. No one will take a Toyota Corolla Altis for a spirited weekend Genting drive. For that sole purpose, we present the Suzuki Swift. Why the Suzuki Swift you may ask? For starters, it’s easily the best car to drive in this list, with the car being nimble and fun to drive. Besides that, when done up nicely, the Suzuki Swift can be quite a looker. Sure, you’ll have to sacrifice a bit of boot space to enjoy driving, but for us, it’s worth it. The warmer Suzuki Swift Sport does share the same basic architecture as this Suzuki Swift, albeit with a manual transmission and a tad bit more power (not to mention revised shocks as well). Also, we picked the Suzuki Swift simply because it is the underdog when compared to the Perodua Myvi, in terms of sales. There’s simply just too many of them (Myvi, not Swift) on the road.
Price Range – RM42,00 for the MY08 till RM49,000 for the MY12
Alternatively, you can also opt for the MY08 Nissan Sylphy, MY03 Toyota Wish, MY08 Honda City or even a MY06 Toyota Hilux depending on your needs. Stay tuned for the part 2, where we will be sharing some rather mental cars for the same budget! Yes, we did mean mental and not metal.
CW’s sub-RM50k ‘Sensible’ Honourable Mention: Ford Focus 2.0 Sedan
Yup, for less than RM50k, you can now get a top-of-the-line, full spec 2010-11 Ford Focus 2.0 Ghia automatic with all the bells and whistles, including a nice leather interior. The depreciation has already occurred, so for less than RM50k, you get a nice, comfortable used daily runner that still looks good inside and out, and drives well. Here’s one worth checking out locally: http://www.mudah.my/Ford+Focus+2+0+AT+GHIA+FULL+SPEC+2010-29875994.htm
[Images courtesy of Wikipedia and Google]