South Africa's cheapest car is a made-in India model
The cheapest passenger car in the South African market is actually an Indian car. Yes, Bajaj Qute, the quadricycle that has created quite a ripple in the global auto industry regarding safety standard, regulations etc, is the most affordable car in South Africa, one of the largest car markets in the African continent.
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The Bajaj Qute is available in South Africa at a price of 75,000 Rand, which is equivalent to $5,300 and ₹387,278. The Bajaj Qute has seen wide popularity in the South African market with this highly affordable price tag.
Despite a micro passenger car-like design, the Bajaj Qute is actually a quadricycle. It gets a sequential gearshift technology that operates like a motorcycle's transmission system. However, it has a clutch that is operated by a foot pedal like a car, instead of a hand-operated one available in the motorcycles.
The Bajaj Qute is powered by a small 216 cc petrol engine that produces just enough power to make it feel like a sub-250 cc motorcycle. The small powertrain is capable of churning out 10.83 hp of power output and 18.9 Nm of peak torque. The Bajaj Qute is capable of running at a top speed of just 70 kmph, which makes it well capable of running in and around the city, but risky for highway drive, considering the build quality, almost no safety and the speed limitations as well, as on the highways the usual speed of the vehicles remains at around 120 kmph.
A major concern for the Bajaj Qute is the rollover risk. The vehicle is lightweight and it has a smaller engine as well. Along with the overall build quality, it makes the vehicle risky for topping over very easily, especially at the turnings.
However, in the bumper to bumper traffic of the cities, where the usual speed of the vehicles remains much lower than the highways, this seems a practical vehicle. It appears like a motorcycle with a roof and four walls around it.
However, despite being a cheap offering, one can get a second hand Volkswagen Polo or a Hyundai i10 as well, at the same price. These vehicles would offer more safety, better performance and peace of mind as well.