If you have $5,000 to spend, there are some very appealing cars within reach. Family hatchbacks, popular sports cars, convertibles and high performance classics such as the VW Golf GTi are all possibilities.
A lot depends on your requirements of course. You may be looking for something economical to run and cheap to insure if you’re buying your first car having recently passed your driving test, or maybe you’re wanting to stick to something not-too-dissimilar to the car you learned to drive in so you can concentrate on putting the rules of the road to practice in real life.
You might fancy a sports car as a ‘high days and holidays’ fun car, you might be looking for a dependable work horse that will serve you for several years, or you might hanker after a performance classic.
Let’s see what the options are in some different categories for when you go to look for a new car.
‘Starter’ car for young people
- Vauxhall Corsa
The Corsa is a supermini of decent size with a grown-up feel. It’s reasonable on fuel and running costs and will be among the lower priced cars to insure. It’s a safe car, too, with the maximum NCAP score of five stars.
Corsas can be found at various price bands, and $5,000 should secure a tidy example. Diesel and eco models might even help to cut fuel and insurance costs.
Family work horse
- Ford Focus
Quite possibly the used car bargain of them all, relative to what you’ll get for the money. The Focus is a practical and low-cost car to run and is a pleasure to drive. There are usually many to choose from, prices are reasonable, and there are several different trim levels and engine options with both diesel and petrol variants.
- VW Golf GTi
The forerunner of the ‘hot hatch’ brigade and still the most desirable of the lot all these years later. It combines practicality, comfort and sensible running costs with stacks of fun and flexibility. The 2.0 liter engine in models in the $5,000 bracket make it a very quick car; 0-62mph in less than seven seconds.
Take your time, check used car sources carefully and wait for a suitable car to become available and you’ll have a lot of motoring enjoyment for reasonable money.
- Mazda MX-5
A classic from the moment Mazda launched it, this compact convertible is great fun and combines reliability with affordability. It has an easy-folding fabric roof or you can go for the hard top version.
There’s a good chance that even an older model will have been well looked after with a lower mileage as they are often bought as ‘fun cars’.
Faster family cars
- Skoda Octavia vRS
Like the hot hatch VW Golf GTi and its brethren, the faster family car offers practicality, space and affordability combined with driver appeal in the form of high performance and sharp handling. The Skoda Octavia vRS sports the same 2.0 197bhp engine of the Golf GTi above, making this Octavia a quick car with 0-62mph in a shade over seven seconds.
Check likely cars carefully – a full service record is vital as is evidence the car has been looked after. An independent inspection might be a good idea.
Naturally, there are other choices in the categories above. In the performance bracket cars like the Audi TT are possibilities, whereas in the convertible market you might fancy a VW Beetle. $5,000 can get you a very good car if you look carefully.
What is your budget for a new car? Would you consider any of these cars? Why or why not.
Photo courtesy of: olivermonschau