15 of the Best Small Cars Under $40,000 in Australia

By Alexi Falson on 17 Oct 2023
image for 15 of the Best Small Cars Under $40,000 in Australia While large SUVs and utes tend to dominate sales charts, there is still a heap of action in the world of small cars priced under $40,000 here in Australia.

Not only is a small car typically a cheaper option to buy, they’re also a far more user-friendly package for town driving, more fuel-efficient, easier to park and can charm your socks off once you get behind the wheel.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at 15 of the best small cars priced under $40,000 here in Australia to give you a better look at your options.

Volkswagen Golf

2023 volkswagen golf r

Starting from $36,290*

One of the most famous names in the small car game, the Volkswagen Golf, has matured quite a lot in recent years, and while prices have risen, you can still get your hands on two variants of the Golf in hatchback and wagon form for under $40k.

Toyota Corolla Cross

2023 toyota corolla cross gx

Starting from $33,980*

Fancy a charming and practical compact SUV powered by one of the most fuel-efficient engines on the market? Well, that’s exactly what you can expect from the Corolla Cross, with the entry-level GX and GXL - including two hybrid variants - priced under $40,000, making for one of the most compelling small SUV options.

Hyundai i30 Sedan

2023 hyundai i30 sedan

Starting from $24,000*

While it’s technically classed as a small car, the Hyundai i30 Sedan offers a cabin and boot space that rivals far larger packages, making for one of the most practical and well-equipped small cars priced under $40,000 on the Australian market.

Subaru Crosstrek

2023 subaru crosstrek australia

Starting from $34,990*

Fancy a small car under $40,000 that is happy to keep going when sealed roads stop and the Great Outdoors start? Subaru has designed the Crosstrek to be polite around town and a strong performer for its size and stature off-road, making for a great option for adventurous families.

Kia Cerato

2023 kia cerato

Starting from $26,290*

If you’re looking for a small sedan package, the Kia Cerato combines the company’s impressive value propositions with a long warranty, with all members of the family - including the range-topping GT - priced under $40,000 here in Australia, giving you access to a long list of features.

Suzuki Swift

2023 suzuki swift

Starting from $22,490*

Just a few minutes behind the wheel of the Suzuki Swift and you’ll be convinced the age-old saying that good things come in small packages is absolutely true. The Swift doesn’t offer a heap of power, though it makes for a zippy little town car that is perfect for a daily commute.

Nissan Qashqai

2023 nissan qashqai

Starting from $33,890*

Nissan has given its funky Qashqai a major overhaul for the latest model year, with two out of a total of four variants on sale here in Australia for less than $40,000, which offer a decent amount of interior space and a long list of features as standard to keep you happy.

Ford Puma

2023 ford puma

Starting from $30,840*

Ford’s updated Puma is a seriously heavy-hitter in the world of compact SUVs, combining the user-friendliness of a small SUV package with Ford’s clever interior designs and a generous safety equipment list as standard.

Peugeot 2008

2023 peugeot 2008

Starting from $38,945*

It might surprise you to find out you can get behind the wheel of Peugeot’s funky and charismatic little SUV, the 2008, for under $40,000, with the entry-level 2008 Allure just making the cut thanks to its $38,945 price tag.

Mazda CX-3

2023 mazda cx-3

Starting from $23,510*

If you’re looking for one of the most affordable compact SUVs on the market, look no further than the Mazda CX-3 range, which offers buyers a long list of variants to pick from, including a base model that picks up a handsome layout that won’t leave buyers feeling short-changed.

Mitsubishi ASX

2023 mitsubishi asx

Starting from $23,990*

On the note of affordability, the Mitsubishi ASX has cemented itself a reputation as one of the best long-term prospects for small car buyers, combining extremely attractive list prices with Australia’s longest warranty program that extends to ten years when serviced within the Mitsubishi network.

Kia Seltos

2023 kia seltos gt line

Starting from $29,500*

The Kia Seltos makes for a funky and surprisingly capable little SUV package that is great for couples, with three variants - including the entry-level S, Sport and Sport+ - available for under $40,000 here in Australia.

Hyundai Kona

2023 hyundai kona

Starting from $26,600*

Hyundai has given its charming little Kona a massive overhaul, and the end result has made it one of the sharpest small SUVs on the market, which includes a new entry-level model with a fuel-efficient hybrid powertrain.

Renault Captur

2023 renault captur

Starting from $33,000*

Renault’s baby of the range, the Captur, comes competitively priced here in Australia, with three out of four variants priced under $40,000, which adds a 9.3-inch infotainment display, surround-view camera and even leather upholstery in the higher-spec variants; almost unheard of at this end of the market.

Toyota Corolla

2023 toyota corolla

Starting from $29,270*

We wrap up our list with perhaps Australia’s favourite small car, the Toyota Corolla, which for the latest model year, can be optioned in hatchback and sedan form and with Toyota’s extremely fuel-efficient hybrid engine tech, with all members of the family priced under $40,000 here in Australia.

Request a Quote

If you’re tossing up your best options in the world of small cars, be sure to reach out to one of our car buying specialists who can help find you a great price on your next car.

* Prices accurate at time of writing.


Alexi Falson

Alexi is an automotive journalist and road tester hailing from Byron Bay. He has an affection for both cars and motorbikes, a great admiration for the simplicity of old-school engineering, and a fascination of new technology making its way to modern cars. When he's not road testing, you'll find him surfing, hiking or helping people find their dream cars.

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