Tipped: cheap cars for beginners | Car

Have you just got your driver’s license in your pocket and are you looking for a good ‘beginner’s car’ that remains friendly to the wallet even after purchase? Or do you need a not too expensive second family car? Three handy and compact occasions for beginners in a row: the Peugeot 107, Fiat Panda and Renault Twingo, selected and assessed by AutoWeek.

1. Peugeot 107 XR 1.0

Peugeot 107 XR 1.0. © AutoWeek

At the beginning of this millennium, PSA and Toyota joined forces and came up with the triplets Toyota Aygo, Citroën C1 and Peugeot 107. It turned out to be an instant success, with the result that the used car offer seems almost inexhaustible. We opted for this € 3250 copy, which comes from Germany.

On the morning of our arrival, the small black occasion suddenly suffers from a small incontinence problem: a coolant leak! That is quickly resolved provisionally and so we can still go on the road. The car soon turns out to be a nice driving iron, of course viewed in light of the (limited) size and engine power. The seat is lower than in the Panda and the Twingo, steering, switching and coupling are nice and direct and not too light and the relatively large track gives stable driving characteristics, even in faster corners. The cheerful and fierce three-cylinder roll does the rest. With 68 hp on a car weight of 765 kilos, you will not be short of anything.

The space in the front gives that feeling as well, but rear passengers have significantly less room for heads and legs. Remarkably enough, the 107 is the only one qualified as a five-seater. The same applies to the luggage compartment: both with the rear seats up and down, the 107 has the smallest volume, while nothing is allowed on the hook or on the roof. No, a pack mule is not the 107. You do have the choice of a three- and a five-door (the Twingo is only three-door, the Panda always has five).

View the specifications of all Peugeot 107 versions, collected by AutoWeek.

This 107 in XR trim is not luxurious either: central locking, electric windows and air conditioning are absent. “What’s not on it can’t be broken,” the seller says cheerfully. That’s right, but the car itself has already been broken: the rear bumper has clearly been repainted and on the tailgate we see glue residue in the form of the word ‘Citroën’. So there is a C1 valve on this 107!

When we drive back after the photo shoot, the engine temperature light turns red again, only to go out a little later. ,,French charm”, we giggle, until we have to turn somewhere and the indicators no longer work. Could coolant have leaked onto the electrical circuit or something like that? Fortunately, the home port is reached quickly, after which the seller will soon take care of his used car. ,,I give a one month warranty on this Peugeot. If the customer is not satisfied, I simply buy it back.”

Peugeot 107 XR 1.0.
Peugeot 107 XR 1.0. © AutoWeek


Brand and type: Peugeot 107 XR 1.0

Seen at: Royal Occasions, Lelystad

Technical data

Engine: 3-cyl. in line, 998 cc

Max. ability: 50 kW/68 hp at 6000 rpm

Max. couple: 93 Nm at 3600 rpm

Luggage space: 139 l/712 l

Max. trailer braked: N/A

Top speed: approx. 157 km/h

(All data according to manufacturer’s specification)

2. Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky

Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky.
Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky. © AutoWeek

After the primal Panda, which gave new impetus to the term ‘basic means of transport’, his successor had big shoes to fill. The second generation of the Italian bear succeeded gloriously in this. Not only did he make it to Car of the Year 2004 – his predecessor only came second behind the Ford Escort in 1981 – but with its smooth five-door body, original details, sparkling paint colors and significantly more luxury and comfort than the original Panda surpassed him on all fronts.

Although this type has been out of production for nine years, you still see it very regularly, which is reason for us to go out with such an ogre again. We opted for an also black 1.2 Sky, which is waiting for a third owner in Dronten. On paper it is a promising occasion, especially after our adventures with the 107. Although it is a year older, the odometer reading is lower, the equipment is more extensive and it is still a lot cheaper.

While taking the photos, we discover even more typical Panda features, such as the easy entry in the front and back and the higher seat. Sports enthusiasts can better ignore him, because the fairly high carriage wants to lean over in bends and the steering is also light. And we haven’t even turned on the City function yet.

In addition, this four-cylinder is the least powerful of the three occasions portrayed, while the carriage that catches a lot of wind is as good as the heaviest. In short: the agile nature of the 107 is strange to this Panda. Sporty Pandas are there, by the way, but both the 100HP and the tough 4×4 versions are real enthusiast cars.

View the specifications of all Fiat Panda versions, collected by AutoWeek.

Back to our direct object, because we haven’t talked about the equipment yet. With air conditioning, panoramic roof, light sensor, front electric windows and electrically adjustable exterior mirrors plus a normal-looking, fully equipped dashboard, this is an occasion with an excellent price-performance ratio. Also in terms of interior space, this veteran still participates well (rear passengers are better off having long necks than long legs) and if the luggage space (206 to 775 liters) is insufficient, know that he can pull 800 kilos with brakes.

The only hard point: its safety. Not only is the Panda the only one that lacks side airbags, when it took office in 2003 it scored three Euro NCAP stars, already an average score at the time. For the rest: a great cart!

Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky.
Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky. © AutoWeek


Brand and type: Fiat Panda 1.2 Sky

Seen at: Car company Bangma, Dronten

Technical data

Engine: 4-cyl. in line, 1212 cc

Max. ability: 44 kW/60 hp at 5000 rpm

Max. couple: 102 Nm at 2500 rpm

Luggage space: 206 l/775 l

Max. trailer braked: 800 kg

(All data according to manufacturer’s specification)

3. Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique

Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique.
Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique. © AutoWeek

Should you skip the brand dealer with a small purse? Not if it’s up to Renault dealer Bochane in Deventer, because that’s where this Twingo is for sale. The white occasion demands the greatest sacrifice from your bank account, although the difference with the 107 is small. The compact Renault also has by far the highest mileage, but on the other hand, it is the youngest of the bunch. ,,The last owner – the car had two – drove her daily highway kilometers with it: Deventer-Almelo vice versa”, explains our host. The advantage of this is that the car hardly wears. And it shows, because the overall condition is excellent. You can only see the experience by the odometer reading.

Like the Panda II, the second generation of the Twingo also had the difficult task of making its special predecessor forget. Where the Italian has succeeded nicely, the Frenchman failed. While retaining some typical Twingo I details – such as the design of the dashboard – the Twingo II introduced in 2007 felt much more serious than the cheerful cart that had been there since 1993. It was not the price, because it even started under € 8000! Think about that today.

This copy was not that cheap, because it listens to the name 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique. So that’s promising! But does that come true? Well, dynamic is a big word, because in terms of conception, this Twingo looks more like the Panda than the 107. Here too, a somewhat higher entry and sitting. Steering, shifting and coupling are just a little less tight and direct. However, the performance of the four-burner engine is at a higher level. And for those who want (even) faster, there are the 100 hp versions, up to RS versions!

View here the specifications of all Renault Twingo versions, collected by AutoWeek.

Just like the outside, the interior makes a good impression: no rattles and creaks, the materials used are neat (but not groundbreaking) and although it is quite compact, the furniture still feels quite mature. It is also the largest car: it offers the largest interior width at the front and rear, while also providing the most generous legroom. In addition, the two separate rear seats (a real four-seater!) can be moved individually by 10 centimeters, so that the MPV content of its predecessor has been preserved. In addition, the luggage space is the largest.

In terms of equipment, the Twingo is of Panda level, as far as safety is concerned, it is at 107 level. All in all, we think the Twingo is the best car, but the Panda has the best price-performance ratio. And the 107? That one is the most fun to drive. The choice is yours!

Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique.
Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique. © AutoWeek


Brand and type: Renault Twingo 1.2-16V Eco2 Dynamique

Seen at: Renault dealer Bochane, Deventer

Technical data

Engine: 4-cyl. in line, 1149 cc

Max. ability: 56 kW/75 hp at 5500 rpm

Max. couple: 107 Nm at 4250 rpm

Luggage space: 230 l/951 l

Max. trailer braked: 350 kg

(All data according to manufacturer’s specification)

Tipped: cheap cars for beginners | Car
Source link Tipped: cheap cars for beginners | Car

Back to top button