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The cheap and cheerful new cars to check out today

Without burning a hole in your pocket, these cars offer modern technology, safety and fun driving dynamics.

The Sandero and Stepway have received a new turbocharged engine and flagship trim level called ‘Journey’
The Sandero and Stepway have received a new turbocharged engine and flagship trim level called ‘Journey’ The Sandero and Stepway have received a new turbocharged engine and flagship trim level called ‘Journey’

The Dacia Sandero and Stepway have recently been given a new turbocharged engine and a posh new trim level.

However, the basic Sandero starts from £13,795 and if you exclude the little Citroen Ami, makes the Sandero the cheapest new car in the UK.

But, does buying a cheap car mean you lose all sorts of driving enjoyment? Is there a trade-off in terms of refinement, on-board technology and performance?

Here is our guide to the cheapest new cars you can buy in the UK today.

Kia Picanto £15,020

The Kia Picanto is one of the best city cars around offering great looks, equipment levels and Kia’s 7-year warranty.
The Kia Picanto is one of the best city cars around offering great looks, equipment levels and Kia’s 7-year warranty. The Kia Picanto is one of the best city cars around offering great looks, equipment levels and Kia’s 7-year warranty. (Adam Warner)

Source: Kia press UK

The Kia Picanto is the sister car to the Hyundai I10 but with a smaller price tag and a seven-year, 100,000-mile warranty. The Picanto is fun to drive and a good-looking city car with a practical 5-door body style that gives decent rear head and legroom – making it one of the most spacious city cars around.

A basic ‘2’ specification will cost you just over £15,000 and comes with a 1.0-litre 66bhp petrol engine. Standard equipment includes air conditioning, front and rear electric windows, steering wheel audio controls and electrically adjustable heated door mirrors.

Fiat Panda £14,740

The Fiat Panda is offered with a Cross version that comes with four-wheel-drive. The Panda is a mild-hybrid only.
The Fiat Panda is offered with a Cross version that comes with four-wheel-drive. The Panda is a mild-hybrid only. The Fiat Panda is offered with a Cross version that comes with four-wheel-drive. The Panda is a mild-hybrid only.

Source: Stellantis media

Next on this list is Fiat’s more mature successor to its retro-styled 500, the Panda. The Panda has been in its current generation since 2012 and in that time it has grown a reputation for being a sensible and wise choice among city car buyers.

Available as a mild-hybrid only, the Panda can also be optioned as a four-wheel-drive Cross version.

The standard car’s starting price of £14,740 gives you air conditioning, Bluetooth, USB, DAB radio, electric front windows, body-coloured door mirrors and black roof bars.

MG3 £14,320

The current MG3 is starting to feel out-of-date. However, just before the all-new MG3 arrives later this year, the current model can still offer great value for money.
The current MG3 is starting to feel out-of-date. However, just before the all-new MG3 arrives later this year, the current model can still offer great value for money. The current MG3 is starting to feel out-of-date. However, just before the all-new MG3 arrives later this year, the current model can still offer great value for money.

Source: MG press UK

The current MG3 has been around since 2013 and with the next generation just around the corner, it means that this first-generation car is now cheaper than ever.

Underneath, the MG3 uses a 1.5-litre petrol engine that produces 105bhp and even though the power unit is a little archaic in a world of turbocharged power and electrification, the MG3 is still a fun car to drive, with direct steering and little body roll around corners.

Inside the MG3 is starting to show its age with cheap-feeling materials and not a lot of sound deadening, however, you can pick up an entry-level car for just £14,320.

The basic Excite model comes as standard with an 8-inch touchscreen, rear parking sensors, Apple CarPlay and a four-speaker audio system.

Citroen C3 £13,995


Since Citroen axed the C1 city car, a new entry-level model of the C3 was introduced – called the C3 You!
Since Citroen axed the C1 city car, a new entry-level model of the C3 was introduced – called the C3 You! Since Citroen axed the C1 city car, a new entry-level model of the C3 was introduced – called the C3 You! (AGNIESZKA_DOROSZEWICZ)

Source: Stellantis media

The current C3 has been around since 2016 and even after many years – it’s still looking fresh.

The Citroen C3 is a supermini more than a city car but that doesn’t mean a larger price tag.

Citroen decided to axe its budget city car, the C1 and in favour introduced a new entry-level model in the C3 range.

The C3 You! costs £13,995 and comes as standard with LED headlights, DAB digital radio, Bluetooth and a five-inch touchscreen.

The C3 has always been a left-field choice due to its oddball styling and French character. The drive may not be as sharp as something like a Suzuki Swift, but the Citroen offers great value for money with a combination of style and charm.

Dacia Sandero £13,795


The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale with a price tag of £13,795 for the entry-level Essential model.
The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale with a price tag of £13,795 for the entry-level Essential model. The Dacia Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale with a price tag of £13,795 for the entry-level Essential model.

Source: Dacia press UK

When Dacia came to the UK in 2013, the Sandero was the cheapest new car on sale. Over a decade later it still wears the crown for affordability.

With the exception of the dinky Citroen Ami quadricycle, the Sandero is the cheapest new car on sale at just £13,795 for the basic Essential model and comes with air conditioning, cruise control and speed limiter, Bluetooth, DAB radio and body coloured bumpers.

The Sandero shares its underpinnings with the current Renault Clio which gives the car a sophisticated setup when it comes to driving characteristics.

As the Dacia is a budget car, the build quality is lacking in places but fuel economy is excellent and you can get the Sandero with a Bi-fuel version – which can run on LPG.

The latest trim level of the Sandero – the flagship Journe – costs from £15,795 and is available to order now. However, even though it’s dearer to buy, the Sandero Journey still represents great value with automatic air conditioning, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera, a navigation system with an eight-inch touchscreen, six speakers and 16-inch alloy wheels.