Those who have the money for something a little more exciting or rather more premium than the average first-car budget would allow, you could find some excellent used options that don't cost the moon (anymore). As for the select few who can afford new or nearly-new premium cars, the world is your oyster. Here is some of the best premium cars across the varying segments.
New premium hatchback: Audi A3
The first choice would be the A3 because the A1, albeit extremely attractive, is quite expensive for its size. The A3 offers much more in terms of space for not that much more money. Pricing starts from R561 000 for the handsome Audi A3 Sportback 35TFSI (this means it has a 1.4-litre turbocharged engine with an 8-speed automatic transmission.)
Used: Audi A3 models are generally smiled upon because Audi has been recognized time and time again for their excellent customer service. Would not suggest older models, 2017 and onwards will do just fine, but still capping mileage at 70 000 km, because you don’t want to worry about mechanical problems just yet.
New premium sedan: Lexus IS
The recently-refreshed IS competes with the Teutonic Trio, namely the A4, C-Class and 3 Series. If you like to stand out and be seen in a dynamic, beautifully designed, hand-crafted car with an excellent after-sales reputation, the IS is the one. All models now feature hybrid powertrains for excellent fuel economy. Pricing for new Lexus IS models start from R871 000.
Used: Previous-generation, used IS models, with less than 70 000 km on the odometer, can be found from as little as R339 900.
New premium compact SUV: Volvo XC40
Apart from being extremely gorgeous and calm, the XC40 is equipped with the best in semi-autonomous safety equipment which is user-friendly, and its interior is sublime and minimalistic. The entry-level XC40 T3 Momentum (1.5-litre turbo with 110kW) is not too badly priced at R635 500.
Used: If you’re looking for a used Volvo XC40 model, they’re still pretty pricey because they’re all relatively new. Volvo's no doubt hold their values, even though you hardly see alot of them on the road.
New premium mid-size SUV: Audi Q5
Filled with beautifully designed, minimalist tech and all the luxury you need, the Q5 makes a serious style statement. The Audi Q5 40TDI quattro (with a 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine) starts from R852 000. (The sophisticated Audi Q5 Sportback is launching locally in November 2021 if you’re keen on something a bit more sporty-looking than the family-orientated Q5.)
Used: Look for used Audi Q5's no older than 5 years. Its styling is on point, and it offers enough space for your closest friends, plus luggage space for plenty of necessities. Audi is well-known for excellent customer service, and parts and servicing are comparatively affordable too.
New premium large SUV: Land Cruiser Prado
The recently-refreshed Land Cruiser Prado, from R997 500 for the 2.8GD TX model, offers excellent value for money along with serious off-road prowess. The newly-launched Land Cruiser 300 is also an excellent choice, but it’s much pricier than the Prado.
Used: Toyota Land Cruiser Prado models (from 2017 and up) with low mileage can be picked up at around R730 000 and up, which isn’t bad, considering how much car you get for your money.
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