new student car

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The African PetrolHead: ‘My top five budget-friendly student cars’

Petrolhead and YouTuber Ishmael shares his top five student-savvy car picks – all at a pocket-friendly price of less than R200 000.

new student car

Image: Canva

South African-based YouTuber and student Ishmael Batsirai Kasvosve loves cars so much that he started his own car-themed YouTube channel.

Known to his fans as “The African PetrolHead”, he spends considerable time in car dealerships and at car shows.

The 29-year-old also works with industry leaders to review car models. Ishmael truly knows the specs of a good car.

Speaking to The South African, Ishmael shared a list of his top five student-savvy car picks.

He also highlighted the importance of checking the safety features offered by a car.

Toyota Aygo

Toyota Aygo

Ishmael’s first pick is the Toyota Aygo. The Aygo 1.0, starting from R182 000, is a reasonably priced car that aims to offer both quality and practicality.

“Toyota is a very reliable brand, I strongly recommend it,” says Ishmael.

He says the Aygo’s claimed fuel consumption of 4.3 litres per 100km means more money in your pocket rather than your petrol tank.

Additionally, the Aygo boasts a wide variety of colours.

“It’s pretty cute, they’ve got some nice exterior colours such as yellow and purple.”

Hyundai Atos student car

Hyundai Atos

The Hyundai Atos offers a full range of comfort features, safety basics and a 1.1-litre petrol engine.

“They’re making really good cars for their price bracket, the consumer actually benefits,” says Ishmael.

The Atos comes with key safety features including central locking, electric windows, ABS brakes and dual front airbags.

Hyundai claims fuel consumption of 5.7 litres per 100km, with a starting price of R165 900.

VW up!

VW Up!

Volkswagen (VW) presents a distinctive design with the Up!, but as well as its attractive styling, Ishmael is a fan of the engineering quality of the car.

“VW is a really cool car, nice engine and fairly priced,” he notes.

Priced from R171 200, and with its engine producing a solid 55kW of power, the Up! balances affordability and usefulness as an entry-level option.

Although Ishmael points out a downside in the cost of servicing, he maintains the VW Up! is a good buy.

“With German brands, you can’t go wrong in terms of reliability. It’s more expensive in terms of servicing, but generally, you’re getting a good deal.”

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

The Suzuki Swift not only comes at an affordable price, but delivers in road manners.

“The Suzuki Swift is solid on the road and it’s reliable,” notes Ishmael.

Suzuki Swift claims an impressive fuel consumption of 4.9 litres per 100km, with a starting price of R171 900.

Ishmael is a big fan of cars that are well equipped, pointing out that the Swift offers plenty of comfort basics, such as air conditioning, DAB and Bluetooth.

Nissan Micra Active student car

Nissan Micra Active

“The Nissan Micra Active is a spacious car and it has a good fuel efficiency figure,” says Ishmael.

Nissan claims a fuel efficiency of 5.2 litres per 100km, which proves quite economical.

With a starting price of R190 700, the Micra Active is not the cheapest option. However, Ishmael emphasises that it has to be one of his top choices due to value for money.

He advises buyers to remain mindful of the model range, as Nissan Micra offers two distinctive ranges.

“It has to be a Micra Active, because the standard Micra comes in at a little over R200 000.”