First time drivers or parents buying their offspring their first set of wheels are the majority of the market seeking out second-hand hatchbacks. Second-hand doesn’t necessarily mean purchasing an old banger either; due to depreciation, you can snap up a really decent, well-maintained car, often with some kind of warranty. Listed below are 5 brilliant hatchbacks, perfect as a second-hand buy for around the $5000 mark.
Honda Civic GLi
Honda are renowned for making solid cars with reliable engines. The civic is a great little run-around, and it’s modest 1.6L 4-cylinder engine offers 120HP, plenty of power to hit the highways. There’s a choice of either 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. This hatchback is also fairly economical for its time of manufacture (1995-2000) at 34+mpg on the highway and 27mpg around the city, however many owners have said they usually average 35mpg. It also features electric windows, power steering, airbags and remote locking. Reliability is fantastic, so much so, people have been known to neglect its scheduled services, so make sure you find one with all the right stamps in the service book.
Citroën Saxo VTR
Like the Civic, the Saxo VTR comes with electric windows, power steering, remote locking and airbags. The VTR offers great body styling and semi-bucket seats to support your body around corners. Mileage is around the same as the Honda, and although only 100HP, it’s just as fast. For the money you get a great looking car – just make sure you check the service history before buying.
Volkswagen Golf 1.4L
The Germans are renowned for their extremely well made and efficient machines, and the Volkswagen is no exception. This makes them pricey so let’s look at the 1.4L. Although a little slower than the above cars, you have the advantage of returning over 41mpg. Finding a low mileage second hand Golf is pretty tricky, as they are so bullet-proof – you’ll see loads at the 100,000+ mile mark. So whilst this is encouraging to know, it’s best to spend your whole budget on a car with fewer miles on the clock. You should be able to pick up a solid 1997 model that features remote locking, power steering, CD, anti-theft, heated seats, air-con, and electric mirrors – definitely one of the better hatchbacks.
Vauxhall Astra 1.6i LS
Vauxhall’s Astra has always been a favourite with students and first time buyers because they are fairly cheap second hand. In fact, a late nineties model with only 35,000 miles on the clock can be had at around the $5000 budget. If you are lucky, you may be able to find a facelift model with alloys and tinted glass. Features include electric front and rear windows, power steering, air bags, central locking and electric wing mirrors. With only 85HP, it is surprisingly quick and will return a brilliant 40mpg.
Hyundai Excel X3
For just under $5000 you can pick up an Excel X3 Sprint, which in yellow or white looks stunning – in fact, the body looks meaner than the Citroen VTR. With its twin-cam 1.5L engine, it allows for confident overtaking whilst returning great mileage. It comes with all the mod cons as listed in the cars above, but for the $5000 budget, you can pick up a 2001, low mileage, great looking car. Check out the Hyundai Excel features and prices here – it is definitely one to track down.