Feature Friday: The cheapest cars from 9 different countries around the world


In a country where cars are the second largest investment after properties, one can be a car owner with just over RM 20k with the Perodua Axia 1.0 Standard E. At RM24,900, the compact hatchback which comes equipped with a spartan interior and steel wheels is an ideal learner’s car and it’s no wonder then, why it’s seen in the drones at driving schools nationwide.

But what about those from our neighbouring countries? We looked beyond our borders to find out which car commands the lowest price tag in their respective countries in bog standard form. In short, what is their Axia Standard E equivalent?

Singapore and Indonesia

Car prices in the city state are notoriously known to be among the most expensive in the world, the 1.0 Standard G Perodua Axia automatic is the cheapest new car at ‘just’ SGD 63,800. That’s approximately RM 200k after conversion; not including the infamous cut-throat Certificate of Entitlement (COE)!

In Indonesia, with a mere Rp 92,550 mil (approx RM 29k), you can bring home the most affordable car in the country in the form of a 1.0-litre Daihatsu Ayla with a manual transmission which, as some of you may know, is the car that our beloved Perodua Axia is based on.

China

The largest automotive market in the world is home to numerous domestic brands, ranging from jointly-formed manufacturers to one of their largest manufacturer formerly known for building fridges. In the Middle Kingdom, the title for the most inexpensive car goes to the Jiangnan TT.

Not to be confused with a certain coupe from Ingolstadt, this hatchback is based on a second-generation Suzuki Alto from the 1980’s where it retains the original Alto’s 3-cylinder 800 c.c. engine, paired to a 4-speed manual transmission. Additions made by the Chinese included roof rails and a single cup holder. So, 20,800 yuan (RM 13.2k) buys you a time capsule from the 1980’s – perfect for those with a taste for nostalgia?

Japan

In the land of the rising sun, Kei-cars are known to come with the lowest price tags. For now, two such cars lay claim to the title – the Daihatsu Mira e:S and Toyota Pixis Epoch.

Equipped with the same powertrains, they’re propelled by a 660 c.c. engines mated to a Continuous Variable Transmission (CVT), together with Vehicle Stability Control (VSC) as standard. Priced at 842,400 yen (RM 31.7k), these two cars could possibly be the basis of the next-generation Axias (the current Axia is based on the first generation Mira e:s).

Australia

Mitsubishi’s little town-trotter is a firm favourite among the frugal-minded from Down Under. The 3-cylinder Mitsubishi Mirage can be had at just AUD $12,250 (RM 40.4k) and despite the meager price tag, it comes with Hill-Start Assist!

Back home, the Mirage was offered by Mitsubishi Motors Malaysia in late 2012 from RM 55-63K range, but it’s no longer on sale. Although, a used example will only set you back RM 25K.

United States

It’s not all V8 muscle cars and huge pick-ups in America, motorists on a budget in the US seem to have a liking for the Nissan Versa. More commonly known as the Almera in Malaysia, USD 11,900 (approx RM 50.5k) is all you need to buy a brand new example of the Versa.

It shares the same 109 hp, 1.5-litre petrol engine as the Almera with several differences; it adopts a seven-speed CVT gearbox, together with the incorporation of the Vehicle Dynamic Control (VDC) with Traction Control System (TCS).

The United Kingdom

The Perodua Nippa (Kancil) and Kelisa were once the cheapest cars sold in the UK. With Perodua now dormant in the UK, it’s the Dacia Sandero reigns supreme.

At 6k pounds Sterling (approx RM 33.3k), this cheap and cheerful Romanian hatchback has its components sourced from Renault’s parts bin. There’s a catch to it though, the base spec Sandero has no air conditioning – not ideal for summer drives. The Dacia Sandero is also the most inexpensive new car to buy in Europe!

India 

Lastly, let’s look at India where the Tata Nano is not only the cheapest new car within the nation but also the entire world. Touted as the 1 Lakh car (approx RM 6.5k) in 2008, bare essentials such as power steering and air conditioning were omitted. However, that did not stop the car from getting over 200k bookings via a ballot system in March 2009.

At present, its price tag has ballooned to 2.69 Lakh (RM17.5k) and despite the added luxuries in later Nanos, the microcar has lost its lustre. Torrid safety and image issues have hurt sales, and Tata is looking to axe this once revered, budget means of transportation.

Note: Prices were taken directly from the manufacturers’ website in their respective countries. No additional options were selected. Exchange rates are based on conversion rates on 7/10/2017.


Travis Chang

Travis Chang

While his day job is as exciting as a certain beige saloon, he knows a thing or two about cars and motorsports. The true definition of motoring nirvana according to him is a clear and twisty tarmac surrounded with mesmerizing vistas, followed with a track list of indie tunes on the stereo. Any cars will do fine, not so for big MPVs which he loathes...
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