Best Cars Under $50k

A colleague recently asked us to recommend the best cars under $50k. As an independent car buying service, we are thrilled to be asked to put our thoughts and recommendations forward.

A car is a very personal purchase, and what works for one buyer may not work for another. To come up with our top picks, we created a checklist. The checklist measures a car’s worthiness to be on the list. We factored in the impact of COVID how the microchip supply is having on the industry and availability. Plus, our industry knowledge and the result, Red Plum’s Top Cars For $50k!

Checklist To Qualify

1. Quality build

2. Reliability

3. Well designed externally and internally

4. Warranty, where possible 5yrs

5. 5 Star ANCAP rating

6. Resale value

Red Plum’s Top Cars For $50k

The list is in alphabetical order because without meeting the criteria, a car wouldn’t qualify. The small to medium SUV is the most sought-after model; therefore, they are well represented.

  • Audi A1 Sportback
  • BMW X1
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Mazda CX5
  • Mitsubishi Triton 4 x 4
  • Subaru Forrester
  • Toyota RAV4 Hybrid
  • VW Tiguan

Audi A1 Sportback

The Sportback is a stylish modern design. It is fun, has a responsive drive, good technology interface and safety with a three-year unlimited mi warranty.


BMW creates a good-sized small SUV that looks and drives beautifully and has the level of finish you would expect from a European prestige make. Three-year unlimited mi warranty.

Hyundai Tucson

Sharp looks inside and out, packed with technology and safety. Good room in the rear for children and safety seats or three adults. Five-year unlimited mi warranty.

Mazda CX5

Up until recently, the CX5 was the leader in the mid-size SUV market. It is stylish, with excellent performance and packed with all the tech and safety you could want, except for a tiny omission, wireless charging! Five-year unlimited mi warranty.

Subaru Forrester

The updated 2022 model is a serious contender to the CX5 and the RAV4 Hybrid. Upgraded head-turning styling, even better safety features, plus a self-charging hybrid system is now available—a five-year unlimited mi warranty.

Toyota RAV4 Hybrid

There is a reason this car has become the most sought-after car in its field. It ticks all the boxes except the wait time for delivery. We are advising ten months, but we anticipate an extension of time with Toyota’s recent announcement about factory closures. Five-year unlimited mi warranty.

Mitsubishi Triton Ute 4 x 4

This popular 4 x 4 represents excellent value in this class; the drive is comfortable around town yet has excellent 4 x 4 credentials. The technology interfaces and finishes are of a high standard. A 5-star ANCAP rating and a ten-year warranty!

VW Tiguan

An attractive, stylish SUV with a European pedigree without a prestige price tag. Great digital styling and technology, driveability and sophistication.Five-year unlimited mi warranty.

Looking for a new car with a $50k budget

With a $50k or less budget, cars on the list, including Government charges, are within this budget through our car buying service. To discuss buying a car through our service or to find out why using a car broker makes the process easier and faster, particularly during the current conditions. Please get in touch with us to discuss your new car needs.

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