Summer is finally here – though you’d never guess that looking out of the window at our offices today – and with temperatures up and plenty of sunshine in the pipeline, it’s a good time to have air conditioning.
We’ve rounded up five of the most affordable small cars that feature air conditioning as standard, so whether you’re trying to cool down a sweltering cabin or demist a rain-fogged interior, you’ve got the car for the job.
UK’s cheapest car: Dacia Sandero 1.2 75 Laureate – £7,995
The Dacia Sandero may have hit headlines for being the country’s cheapest car, but opt for one of the most basic models and you’ll be stuck with drab white paint, black painted bumpers and no radio or electric windows, let alone air conditioning.
Showing just how basic this hatchback is, only the top trim levels include air conditioning. Stick with the entry-level 1.2-litre petrol model and you’ll have to stump up £7,995 for a model with air conditioning. This isn’t the most economical supermini, however, with annual car tax setting you back £130 and claimed fuel consumption standing at a mediocre 48.7mpg.
Brand new city car: Vauxhall Viva 1.0 75 SE a/c – £8,490
The Viva may feature a name resurrected from the past, but this car is firmly from 2015 with nearly all models including the requisite air conditioning to cool the cabin in summer and keep the windscreens fog-free in the cooler months.
£8,490 is enough to bag you an air con-equipped Viva, and with this five-door model offering 62.8mpg official fuel economy, annual car tax of just £20 and a nippy nought to 62mph time of just 13.1 seconds, it should be a wiser purchase than the bargain basement Sandero.
Chic but sturdy city car: Skoda Citigo 1.0 60 SE – £9,135
Skoda is a brand that has built its reputation on the back of no-nonsense machinery and while the Citigo offers cute styling and a comfortable interior, you can’t argue with the price tag. Just over £9,000 will secure you a model with air conditioning that matches the Viva for economy and car tax bills.
The Citigo’s less powerful engine does mean that it takes a lengthy 14.4 seconds to accelerate to 62mph, so if you plan to carry two or more passengers regularly, you may want to opt for the more powerful version of the Citigo’s 1.0-litre petrol engine.
Stylish five-door city car: Hyundai i10 1.0 66 S Air – £9,575
Just like Skoda, Hyundai has built a name for itself for offering strong value for money small cars. While the i10 still offers low pricing, it’s a much more desirable machine than its slightly drab predecessor, with chic exterior lines along with a spacious, high quality interior.
Fuel bills and car tax should prove inexpensive too, thanks to 60.1mpg claimed economy and emissions that put the i10 into the £20 tax band. Acceleration from the lowly 1.0-litre motor does leave a little to be desired, though, with it needing 14.9 seconds to lumber from a standstill to 62mph.
Striking, easy-to personalise city car: Citroen C1 1.0 68 Feel – £9,595
The C1 may cost you a little more than the similarly stylish Citigo and i10, but neither of those models can compete with the C1’s fuel-sipping claimed economy. An official figure of 68.9mpg means that trips to the petrol pumps should be few and far between.
A side effect of the impressive economy, is that the C1 falls into the free car tax band, meaning that you won’t have to delve into your pocket every year to tax the C1. Acceleration on the other hand, is average for the class, with the 1.0-litre motor taking 14.3 seconds to punt the C1 to 62mph.