Do you prefer style over substance? And funkiness over function? Is limelight something you crave? And would you flaunt a fancy key ring? Then stay here. You have narcissistic motoring tendencies and you’re on the right page. Offered up are 13 cars under $35,000 guaranteed to grab attention — to you, hopefully, as well as your car.
1. Abarth 595 ($33,500 plus on-roads, as applies to all prices listed) The Abarth brand on a Fiat 500 means it’s ultra-stylish on the cafe strip and chilli-hot on the track. Other fun ’n’ funky Fiats include the 500C convertible and the small and eccentric Panda. Vibe: Vroom, vroom, come up to my room.
2. Alfa Romeo Giulietta ($24,550) Alfas start with low price tags these days, although most people haven’t twigged. Your amazing shield-shaped grille and what it suggests — racy Italian cars and even racier Italians — will melt the hearts of onlookers. Vibe: Romeo and Giulietta.
3. Audi A1 ($32,250) This petite hatch is the only luxury German under $35,000. There’s also a $26,500 variant but, being manual-only, it’s just a showroom tease. Hint: Try not to wave your key ring in people’s faces. Do it with subtlety. Vibe: Green with envy.
4. Citroen DS3 DStyle Cabrio ($30,990) France’s eye-dazzling answer to the Mini comes as a coupe or, here, as an open-top — so people can see you. Vibe: Vive la quirk.
Citroen DS3 DStyle Cabrio has a fold-away roof.
5. Ford Falcon XR6 Ute ($30,440) Rugged, outdoorsy and patriotic are among the signals sent by driving the last versions of the Blue Oval and Red Lion utes. Get collector’s-item kudos while tricking them up to your heart’s content. Vibe: Hey, true blue.
6. Hyundai Veloster ($24,490) Stunning from all angles, as shown on the cover, and even practical with its nifty kerbside rear door. There’s also a swanky Plus model ($29,490) and the $32,990 Turbo, for extra spurt. Vibe: Gangnam style.
7. Jeep Patriot Blackhawk ($25,500) A big, brash Jeep, with just about every surface, inside and out, coloured black. Vibe: Channelling Henry Ford.
8. Kia Pro_cee’d ($29,990) Apart from this dynamo, Kia has two other budget eye-poppers — the $24,190 Cerato Koup and $24,490 Soul, an out-there yet practical box on wheels. Vibe: Spelling, but not styling, impaired.
9. Mini Cooper Paceman ($34,190) Made by BMW, it gets a place for its badge, sportiness, styling and, well, for being a Mini. The Mini’s lovable, retro looks come for as little as $24,500, in the One model. Vibe: Chic ’n’ cheeky.
10. Nissan Juke ($22,090) No cookie cutters used here. The zany Juke is part of the tiny, inexpensive and unashamedly urban-SUV revolution. Think Ford EcoSport and Holden Trax. Vibe: Beaufort Street.
11. Renault Clio RS200 ($29,240) Like the Egyptian queen, all Clios look hot — even the $16,790 starter model. But the RS200 versions are molten. Vibe: Not in denial, but France.
Renault Clio RS200
12. Skoda Fabia RS ($27,190) With similar underpinnings to the pricier VW Polo GTi and Audi A1 Sport, here’s a hot little Euro hatch with plenty of cred. Vibe: Fabia-lous.
13. Suzuki Kizashi ($28,990): Despite being a mid-size sedan — cars that often blend in than scream out — this has killer looks to go with a killer name. Kizashi = an omen or a warning. Vibe: Yakuza car (in black).
Of course, true narcissism is a serious psychological disorder, so I’m being tongue in cheek. I rejoice in auto diversity, especially cars such as these 15 fun machines
Abarth 595 via fiat.com.au/595-fiat-launches-abarth
Citroen DS3 DStyle Cabrio via citroen.com.au/new-cars/ds3-cabrio
Kia Pro_cee'd via kia.com.au/cars/small-cars/pro_ceed-gt/hatch/colours-gallery
Renault Clio RS200 via renault.com.au/vehicles/clio
© The West Australian
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