5 decent used cars you can buy for under $30k

5 decent used cars you can buy for under $30k

OneShift Editorial Team
OneShift Editorial Team
28 Oct 2014

Often we ask ourselves what we would buy if given a certain budget. So we challenged ourselves with this question, what can we find on the used car market that costs under $30,000? Easy? However, it has to be fun to drive, practical, doesn't depreciate faster than a sinking ship and something our Mum or missus would approve.

Here's our list of what 30 grand gets you.

1. Suzuki Swift Sport

The previous generation Suzuki Swift Sport is easily one of the most well-loved hot hatchbacks in the local market. It is easy to drive and live with, cheap to run, and thanks to the lively chassis and good grip, also a hoot to drive on the B-roads. Some are equipped with an automatic gearbox too, making the car even easier to drive. But it's the manual variant that sees more popularity here with the boyracer crowd. In addition, the Swift Sport is a practical and reliable everyday car. It's reasonably comfortable and the five doors means it keeps the missus and Mum happy.

Due to their popularity, there are many cars to choose from even at this price range, with most appearing to be very clean examples with plenty of COE left. Check them out here.

2. Renault Megane RS 225

The Megane RS 225 is one of Renault’s most focused effort in creating a hot hatch. The RS boasts a turbocharged 2.0 unit that is boosted to give 222 bhp and a whopping 300 Nm of torque. The FWD chassis struggles to cope with the torque whenever your right foot mashes on the accelerator or when the tarmac is a tad damp. The torque steer though harmless gives a good giggle whenever the car is launched. The Megane RS 225 is one of the few manual hatchbacks that offers a rewarding driving experience.

These cars are not common on the market, but there's an Ultra Blue one for sale in our classifieds.

3. Honda Civic (FD)

The FD Civic is undoubtedly one of Honda’s best effort in recent years – good looks, great to drive, and affordable to run. The 2.0 manuals are the best of the lot, the punchy 155 bhp DOHC i-VTEC engine is responsive and rev-happy, while the 5 speed gearbox shifts well. The automatic gearboxes are decent too, good news for those lazy to shift their own gears. The car drives and grips well, and the plethora of modifications available allows you to have the car just the way you like.

At this price bracket, there is a range of FD Civics available. Most are automatics while a few are manuals, and there is a range of engine capacities, from 1.6, 1.8, to the 2.0. Some have a decent amount of COE left too.

4. Subaru Legacy (BL/BP)

The Subaru Legacy is one of the best family cars out there for car enthusiasts. The engine and drivetrain is bulletproof, the interior is well put together and spacious, but yet the car is a hoot to drive and has endless modification possibilities. For those wanting more boot space, there is the wagon. Both the sedan and wagon are great lookers despite being more than 10 years old. The earlier engines, namely the 2.0 i, 2.0 R, and 2.0 GT packs 138, 150, and 245 bhp respectively.

There are plenty of early Legacy’s in the market - a proof of the car’s reliability. There are many variants to choose from, with some having a decent span of COE left. Check them out here.

5. Honda Integra DC5

This is a wild card, but a good one at that. The DC5 (especially the Type R variant) was perhaps one of the best handling FWD car you could buy back when it was new. Its 158 bhp K20A motor is peppy, the five-speed box offers slick shifts, while the steering provides great feedback. In addition, it is a practical car with usable rear seats and can be a comfortable daily driver.

There are many Integras within this price range, with a good mix of autos and manuals, see here for the list.

What's your list of affordable cars below $30,000? Let us know in the comments section below!

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