Sedans under $30k
Let’s face it, hatchbacks and SUVs aren’t for everyone, and those seeking a spacious four-door with a boot may not necessarily have the space – or budget – for something the size of a Commodore or Passat
Thankfully, there are plenty of options on the market that should tick the box for sedan seekers, and some offer a surprising amount of space for the money asked. In fact, the sub-$30k region is a rich hunting ground in the sedan category, with more than a few offerings that we’d happily recommend.
If you’re planning on carrying more than one passenger a lot of the time, it’s cars like the Civic that provide what you need – acres of cabin room. The Civic’s back seat is one of the roomiest in the segment and even outdoes some cars from bigger size classes. On top of that, it handles very nicely, is powered by a willing turbo 1.5-litre and possesses exceptional build quality.
The Impreza is an interesting car for two reasons. One, the entire range comes in under the $30K barrier. Two, every model is equipped as standard with all-wheel drive – something no other brand does in this segment. Above that, value-for-money is good, the back seat is exceptional for passenger space and comfort , it drives well and it’s a fairly handsome thing too.
This is one for the keener drivers, but also those who value sharp design and quasi-premium cabin presentation. The G25 Evolve just sneaks in below $30K if you opt for a manual transmission (the automatic is just outside that price bracket), but it’s the most affordable way to get the 2.5-litre engine – which is far more likeable than the weak 2.0-litre that sits below it. It also happens to be a joy to drive.
The Cerato has come a long way, and the current generation is a particularly impressive offering from both a value and design point of view. Standard equipment levels are healthy at the Sport+ level, though its 112kW 2.0-litre is a little lacklustre in this day and age. A shame, then, that the much livelier 150kW 1.6-litre turbo of the Cerato GT is priced north of $30K, but on the plus side the Sport+ is blessed with exceptional ride comfort and solid handling nevertheless.
Want something on the larger side but have a limited budget? The Skoda Octavia is remarkable for being a midsize four-door with a $27.8K price that competes with most small cars There’s lots of inherent value here, though the 110TSI also happens to be a stoutly built and great handling car as well.
Just like the Skoda, the base model Camry offers heaps of metal for your money. Even more so, in fact, given it exists on the larger end of the ‘midsize’ scale. It’s equipment levels are basic, but if you’re looking for the biggest sedan available in the sub-$30K price bracket, the Camry is very hard to beat.