10 Cars You Can Buy That Won't Break The Bank

By Alexi Falson
Updated on 28 Nov 2022 First published 04 Feb 2021
image for 10 Cars You Can Buy That Won't Break The Bank With macroeconomic trends driving the prices of almost everything north, it’s refreshing to remind yourself of the bargains that remain here in the Australian car market.

Nowadays, the term ‘cheap and cheerful’ doesn’t apply solely to compact hatchbacks, either.

There is a heap of affordable sedans, SUVs and utes hitting the market in recent years, providing buyers with a great car option that won’t break the bank in the process.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the best value propositions on the Australian market.

Kia Picanto

Kia Picanto

Taking the honours of Australia’s cheapest car, the Kia Picanto’s little hatchback platform is a great option for those in the market for a charismatic little companion.

Priced from $15,990, the Picanto is proof that good things do indeed come in small packages, with the 1.25-litre four-cylinder engine returning fuel economy figures of just 5.0L/100km.

Standard equipment for the base model includes cruise control, automatic headlights and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay & Android Auto.

Mazda 2

Mazda 2

Mazda’s cheapest car in the lineup is a fantastic little hatchback that boasts a generous equipment list and one of the best interiors you’ll find on this end of the market.

Priced from $21,390, the Mazda 2 comes powered by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder that produces a decent amount of power (82kW/144Nm) and returns impressive fuel economy figures of 5.4L/100km.

The interior is surprisingly practical for a vehicle of its size, with the cockpit receiving Mazda’s sophisticated cabin design with a heap of entertainment and safety equipment as standard.

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki Swift

Suzuki’s zippy little Swift is by far the most entertaining vehicle on our list to get up and moving, which is made more impressive by its affordable price tag.

For the latest model year, the Swift lineup is priced from $23,490, and while it might miss out on the turbocharged engine powering the Swift Sport, the base model is still a great little car for work and play.

Selling points for the Suzuki Swift include the impressive 4.6L/100km fuel economy figures, the 242L boot, five-star ANCAP safety rating and the generous equipment list that features 16-inch alloys, LED lights and cruise control as standard.

Mitsubishi Triton

Mitsubishi Triton.webp

Buying a vehicle on the affordable end of the market doesn’t mean you have to drive a compact hatchback, and the Mitsubishi Triton is proof of this fact, taking the title of Australia’s cheapest ute.

The Triton lineup kicks off from just $24,240, offering buyers a 4x2 cab chassis platform with a manual transmission that is a great workhorse without breaking the bank.

Braked towing capacity stands at 1800kg for the base model, with fuel economy figures standing at a lofty 11.4L/100km from the 2.4-litre petrol engine.

Best of all, the Triton receives Mitsubishi’s class-leading 10-year warranty program that ensures peace of mind for a decade, if serviced within the network.


MG MG3 Auto

MG’s MG3 hatchback is one of the best options for buyers looking for a compact city car that won’t break the bank, with drive-away prices standing at an impressive $18,990.

Power comes supplied by a 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that returns fuel economy figures of 6.7L/100km, with boot space measuring in at 307L which makes for a versatile little hatchback platform.

Standard equipment for the MG3 includes a set of 15-inch alloys, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and an 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, with a seven-year/unlimited KM warranty sweetening the deal.

Toyota Corolla

Toyota Corolla

You can’t have a list of the best, and most affordable cars available here in Australia without mentioning a heavyweight of the segment, the Toyota Corolla.

In its latest model year, the Corolla bares a price tag of $25,395 for both hatchback and sedan variants, with the option of a hybrid engine across every grade level making for one of the most versatile line-ups available.

Everything from the generous equipment list, five-star ANCAP safety score and jam-packed  safety suite make the Corolla a seriously attractive value proposition from pretty much every angle.

Suzuki Baleno

Suzuki Balen

The cheapest horse in the Suzuki stables is yet more proof of the fact the company is an expert at creating great cars that won’t break the bank.

The Baleno is Suzuki’s compact hatch platform that, in spite of its size, offers an impressive amount of space inside the cabin and provides a large boot measuring in at 355L, well-ahead of most of its competitors.

The Baleno’s 1.4-litre four-cylinder engine returns fuel-efficient figures of 5.1L/100km on a combined cycle, with a five-year/unlimited KM warranty with five-years of capped price servicing included as standard.



The idea of a compact SUV priced on par with hatchback rivals might have seemed crazy just a few years ago - right up until the point MG introduced its ZS SUV to the Australian market.

With drive-away prices standing at $22,990 for the ZS Excite, the ZS is an exceptional deal for buyers in the market for an SUV without breaking the bank.

Standard equipment for the ZS Excite includes a set of 17-inch alloys, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control and 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay, with a seven-year warranty included as standard rounding-out a great deal for those in the market for a compact SUV.

Hyundai i30 Hatch & Sedan

Hyundai i30 Hatch

The Hyundai i30 range has a heap of value on offer for buyers looking for a hatchback or sedan, with the deal sweetened by Hyundai’s long ownership program and a wonderful interior design that offers a heap of space.

The i30 range kicks off from $23,720 for the hatchback and $25,690 for the sedan which are, in their own right, some of the best-driving packages featured here on our list.

The engine performance, fuel economy figures, suspension packages and overall driving comfort are outstanding on Australian roads, and make for a wonderfully-sophisticated package from a brand focussed on giving customers a good value deal.

Toyota HiLux

Toyota HiLux

We’ll wrap up with another great option of ute for Australian buyers, the Toyota HiLux.

Prices for the the HiLux range kick off from $24,225 for the entry-level Workmate 4x2 with a manual gearbox, which offers up 122kW/245Nm from a 2.7-litre four-cylinder petrol that returns impressive fuel economy figures of 7.1L/100km.

Braked towing capacity figures for the base model stand at 2,500kg which give the entry-level HiLux enough power for the majority of jobs on site, and make it a great option for those looking for a ute that won’t break the bank.

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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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