The under $50,000 segment, although realistically represents the bulk of the car market, is often overlooked as it doesn't necessarily feature the optimum performance or styling like the majority of high-end brands. Although, with a little bit of research it's quite possible to find some exceptional options, which wont necessarily break the bank. Here's our top 5!
#1 - Golf GTI
Overview: The GTI has long been at the top of the affordable hot hatch and compact car list. Although facing much stiffer competition in recent years, the 2015 model, with updated styling and increased performance specs, is said to be the best GTI yet, and has been rated the best car under $50,000 by many publications. Solid fuel efficiency, an astounding power-to-weight ratio, and attractive styling ensured great success for VW with this year's model.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||5.8 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||6.6 litres/100km (DSG Transmission) (Although likely to be higher when you're in such a zippy car)|
|Engine||1984cc inline-4, DOHC, turbo
#2 - Ford Focus ST
Overview: The Focus ST screams value for money. It looks fantastic, it has a great build, and the performance specifications are fantastic. Although nothing extravagant, the ST has been gifted with updated styling, a drawback from preceding models in the past. Under the hood sits a zippy 2-litre engine with just enough roar for any suburban gent.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||6.5 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||7.4 litres/100km|
|Engine||2,0 Turbo Four MPFI
#3 - Mazda 6 Sedan
Overview: In Australia's ultra competitive medium car segment, the new Mazda 6 has dominated with simple styling, a plethora of technical upgrades and great efficiency. What's better? All of the package upgrades Mazda offers (Touring, GT, Atenza) are under 50k. Meaning you you can get a tonne of extras like reverse camera, sat nav, alloys, lane assist and much more at an affordable price point.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||8.4 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||6.6 litres/100km (Diesel gets 5.4L/100km)|
|Engine||2.5-litre four-cylinder petrol (or 2.2 litre diesel)
#4 - Skoda Octavia RS
Overview: After being acquired by the Volkswagen group, Skoda have begun releasing some improved models. Enter the Octavia Rs; the sedan version, is Skoda's fastest vehicle to date, thanks to the use of Volkswagen's GTI performace engine under the food (the perks of being owned by a mega-group). For under 50k, you get Euro styling and impressive performance, and from what I've heard, a smile on the face of everyone who gets behind the wheel.
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||7 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||6.5 litres/100km|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol
#5 - Renault Megane RS 275 Trophy
Overview: Yes this technically isn't under 50k, but we wouldn't include it if we didn't think it was worthy. THe RS Trophy edition is the fastest front wheel production in the worlnot by 0-100 acceleration, but by lap times. This is certainly a driver's car, and we wouldn't recommend it to anyone that's looking for absolute comfort and technical features. Although for those who want to go fast (probably the majority of you), do a little research on this one, and maybe go for a test drive...(although there were only 100 released in Australia).
|Acceleration (0-100km/h)||6 seconds|
|Fuel Consumption||7.5 litres/100km (realistically will be 10 litres pus)|
|Engine||2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo
What do you think we missed? Let us know in the comments below!