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Here are the safest budget cars for 2019!

14 August 2019


Do you wish to buy a safe car that won’t blow your budget? Well, your wish is our command – just keep reading! We’ve got a list of wheels approved by the Automobile Association (AA) for both safety and affordability.

The AA compiled an Entry-Level Vehicle Safety (ELVS) Report that assessed safety features on entry-level vehicles for 2019.


The ELVS Report findings:


  • The good news: There have been improvements to the safety of entry-level vehicles.
  • The bad news: There was a 12,5% increase in the average price of entry-level cars since their last report.

The report considered the safety features of 27 vehicles available in South Africa currently priced under R180 000. The vehicles were categorised into three groups based on their safety ratings according to the AA survey.


How did the safety ratings work?


The vehicles were crash-tested as part of the Global NCAP (New Car Assessment Programme) initiative #SaferCarsforAfrica. Points were awarded according to the safety performance of the vehicles. The vehicles were tested based on the following features:

  • the Anti-Lock Braking System (ABS);
  • Electronic Stability Control (ESC); and
  • the number and location of airbags.

In addition to scoring the vehicles purely on safety features, the ELVS Report also considers safety weighed against affordability. In this scenario, the safety score achieved by the vehicle is expressed relative to its cost to get an overall Safety/Affordability Score.


The top 4 safe and affordable cars:


  1. Volkswagen Take up! (from R159 950)



Engine Capacity: 999 cc (1.0 L)

Transmission: Manual 5-speed

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Consumption: 4.6l / 100km

Seats: 4

Safety features: The Volkswagen Take up! has airbags for both the driver and front passenger, as well as side head and thorax airbags for the driver and the front passenger, along with ESP (Electronic Stability Programme), ABS and ASR! The Take Up! is one of the safest vehicles in its class and have been awarded an impressive 5-Star Euro NCAP Safety Rating.


2. Toyota Aygo 1.0 (from R174 900)




Engine Capacity: 998 cc (1.0 L)

Transmission: Manual 5-speed

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Consumption: 4.3l / 100km

Seats: 4

Safety features:  As standard, all Aygo vehicles have ABS, four airbags, ESP, ISOFIX child-seat mounts and a system that monitors tyre pressures.


3. smart fortwo (from R174 900)




Engine Capacity: 999 cc (0.9L)

Transmission: Manual 5-speed

Fuel Type: Petrol

Fuel Consumption: 4.1l/ 100km

Seats: 2

Safety features: The smart fortwo has high-tech front and side airbags, ABS and an optional forward-collision warning system, which can sense an imminent impact and warn the driver to take emergency action.


4. Renault Sandero 66 kW turbo expression (from R184 900)




Engine Capacity: 898 cc (0.9 L Turbo)

Transmission: Manual 5-speed

Fuel Type: Unleaded

Fuel Consumption: 5.2l / 100 km

Seats: 4

Safety features: The Sandero has excellent safety features like Hill Start Assist (HSA) for an ultimately effortless drive. It offers ABS, ESP with Emergency Brake Assist (EBA), 4 airbags (2 front + 2 side on the Stepway Plus model) and 3-point rear seatbelt restraints ensure safety is standard.


The ELVS Report Conclusion

According to the AA: “Price is, unfortunately, a driving factor in people’s decisions to buy vehicles. What we would like to see more of is people considering other elements of the vehicles they intend buying such as safety features, which can mean the difference between life and death.”

The next time you purchase a new set of wheels, put safety and affordability first by keeping the AA’s approved cars in mind. Safe driving!


AA entry-level vehicle safety report for 2019 results:


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