TG Guide to Budget Cars | Top Gear
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BBC TopGear
  • TG Guide to Budget Cars
    On a tight budget? This lot are the smallest and cheapest cars you can buy. There’s a verdict for every car featured and you’ll find more info by clicking on each model name. Oh, and don’t forget our Car Chooser, that’ll also help you find the right one…
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  • Fiat 500
    Fiat 500: Will probably look better with your missus driving it, but still, not much cooler on the road at the moment. Retro can be awful, but here it's all good.
  • Fiat Panda
    Fiat Panda: Compact city car that makes as much sense in Tufnell Park as Turin. Ziptastic new 100HP proves that you don't need a zillion horsepower to have fun.
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  • Ford Ka
    Ford Ka: After 12 years, the Ka has finally been replaced. This one's OK, but will have to fight hard to steal sales from the funkier Fiat Panda, and maybe even the Fiesta.
  • Hyundai i-10
    Hyundai i-10: Hyundai's getting as dull as the WRC because everything it turns out is really quite good. i-10 city car is as good as most others in the class.
  • Kia Picanto
    Kia Picanto: Korean supermini that used to be OK, but you can now get a Fiat Panda for similar money. And that's a much better car.
  • Mitsubishi i
    Mitsubishi i: Japan is crowded, so it has lots of small cars. None, though, are quite as cool as this. Practical four-seater that stands out, with a name that'll confuse anyone.
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  • Peugeot 107
    Peugeot 107: Another prong of the C1/Aygo/107 triumvirate, the perky little city car weighs in cheap, and sticks to the theme. No-frills motoring for the masses.
  • Proton Savvy
    Proton Savvy: Another improbable, unconvincing motor from Malaysia. It may be very cheap, but with quality as bad as this, it's still not cheap enough to warrant buying one.
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  • Smart ForTwo
    Smart ForTwo: All new car that won't disappoint previous fans because it's still as small. Interior much improved, but has lost some of the sparkle and character of old.
  • Renault Twingo
    Renault Twingo: At last, we get one of these in the UK! But it lacks the pizzazz of the old one. The new engine's great, but overall it isn't as special as we'd hoped for.
  • Suzuki Alto
    Suzuki Alto: Suzuki has spotted a not-quite-wide-enough gap in its line-up between the Swift and Splash and filled it with this. A Tata Nano for people who value their legs.
  • Suburu Justy
    Suburu Justy: Those hoping for a renaissance of the 4WD '80s hatch will be disappointed. This is just a rebadged Daihatsu Sirion, with predictably outdated results.
  • Toyota Aygo
    Toyota Aygo: As the third and final car of the PSA/Toyota joint city car venture, little separates it from its siblings, but Toyota's reliability record is a big plus.
  • Toyota iQ
    Toyota iQ: Tiny little city car to take on the Smart ForTwo. Difference is, this seats three-and-a-half big people quite easily.
  • Volkswagen Fox
    VW Fox: Doesn't have the character of the Lupo, but has tons more space and is just as cheap - so it works as a VW for those on a budget. Brazilian build quality a tad iffy.
  • Chevrolet Matiz
    Chevrolet Matiz: Cute, cheap (and cheap-feeling) runabout, with the oomph to keep up in town, thanks to a new 1.0-litre engine. Has the street cred of a limping donkey.
  • Citroen C1
    Citroen C1: Citroen's version of the 'B-Zero' PSA/Toyota city car. As good as the other two, but with more engine choices, (including a zingy 1.4 diesel) and still the cheapest.
  • Citroen C2
    Citroen C2: With the arrival of the cool-looking 3dr-only C2, Citroen voyages off on a funk odyssey. Offers low running costs and a fun attitude, but can it impress the kids?
  • Daihatsu Sirion
    Daihatsu Sirion: Lovely 'mini that doesn't deserve to be kneecapped by the previous car's lumpen image. Space is great, style is interesting, engines are sprightly.

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