How low should you go when buying a subcompact car in the Philippines?

Updated Oct 28, 2022

We outline how cheap you can go when you’re buying a subcompact car in the Philippines.

Sub-compact are the most affordable car options but how low could you go when buying a subcompact car? Check out the following post on to get the answer!

1. Why should you choose a subcompact?

Individuals on a budget when buying an automobile will consider options, but a sub-compact may be the go-to option. There are many subcompact cars in the Philippines that are very affordable that can be had for less than P500k, but is it worth it? 

Compared to other cars that have more than enough features and elbow room, these options are the budget lunches without extra-trimmings. So, now why are they so tempting over more dependable options? Keep in mind that these cars are meant to be functional without the exclusive features of higher enders. These are the main selling points of these options.

  • Average employees and white-collar workers can afford it, and this is the staple of the motoring masses. So, it’s a people’s car that is for everyone who needs it.
  • It’s a functional no-fuss auto that gets people everywhere and is the prime people mover in metros not more expensive options. Fast becoming a second option to get about in bad traffic conditions.
  • Most preferred auto for carpools, uber-like services because they are cheap and easy to maintain compared to more expensive options.
  • Filling up is cheaper with more miles on the gallon compared to other options.

subcompact cars in the philippines

Average employees and white-collar workers can afford it, and this is the staple of the motoring masses

If you've understood thoroughly the pros & cons of choosing a compact car in the Philippines, now the question is how low can you go when buying a subcompact car and what are the other factors to consider.

2. Is cheaping out too much bad?

Cars are a fact of modern life, and we need it for mobility and other uses, plus riding awful public transport is not a desirable option! Should we spend what we can or save money by getting more affordable options?

A choice between a quality buys or something that is just serviceable and forgets about the extras for better subcompacts cars. Then which should be prioritized when finalizing the deal?

Subcompacts are the lowest rung on the car ladder because this class is not a premium model but developments to make it competitive is in the works!

subcompact cars philippines

Sub-compacts are the lowest rung on the car ladder

Another factor is many new automakers like Chinese car brands are making a better option that is almost the same price range. Surprisingly they have better engines and features than those sub-compacts in the P500K range. gives out some examples that are rather obvious.

2.1. Comparison table: Toyota Wigo vs BYD FO

Toyota Wigo vs BYD FO
 Model Passengers Price Displacement EBD
Toyota Wigo 1.0 G AT 4 P561,000 1,000 cc No
BYD F0 GL-I AT 5 P598,000 998 cc Yes

Look at the table; it shows how the Wigo is without an Electronic Brake Force Distributor that is found in only a few subcompact cars in the Philippines. The BYD FO is a bit expensive but has safety features that the Alto nor the Eon has. Does this sole feature negate a lesser equipped sub-compact, that depends on it? Find our in-depth review for the Toyota Wigo 2018 for better understanding of this vehicle.

BYD FO angular front

The BYD FO is a bit expensive but has safety features that the Alto nor the Eon has

2.2. Comparison table: Hyundai Eon vs Haima 1 Deluxe

Hyundai Eon vs Haima 1 Deluxe
 Model Passengers Price Displacement EBD
Hyundai Eon 2018 4 P526,000 800 cc None
Haima 1 Deluxe 4 P499,000 1,000 cc ABS/ESC

It’s the same thing again with the Hyundai Eon 2018 and the Haima, which shows how small the difference is and you get EBD and more passengers. Side by side the saving looks great but how does the sub-compact perform in the end? For your information, the Haima 1 is also in the list of the best-priced vehicle under P500k nationwide.

It’s safe to say that get the least option is good but overall utility and performance will get worse in time. Small cars are easily maintained; but as they get older, more maintenance is needed. How low should you go when buying a subcompat car and is it even an option to consider, when referencing the tables.

haima 1 angular front

Opting for the Haima 1 and you get EBD

3. Is a subcompact car worth financing?

Here’s where it gets a bit iffy because you’ve got to decide how much will be financed to buy the car. Or is it worth the trouble to do so, and are you prepared to pay monthly payments on a car that lacks EBD or bigger engines.

Perhaps a better sub-compact alternative or a model with better specs is opted for. That really depends and these factors might be significant.

subcompact car philippines

A sub-compact will cost more through any kind of auto loan unless a good deal is worked out

  • A sub-compact will cost more through any kind of auto loan unless a good deal is worked out. For example; scrimping on an automatic transmission to get a manual one when AT is much better in traffic!
  • If the buyer is such a scrooge and decides on buying the base model, without the extra features for a comfortable ride. Eventually, most sub-compacts that are low rung in the car class will show its bad side. Worse is the realizing in the end what an error in judgement it was.
  • So you need a ride; anything will do, but later safety and maintenance issues have become a pain. This is an ouch moment; when you’re stuck with a sub-performing sub-compact until its paid.
  • A sub-compact is opted for because it is fuel efficient and cost less to fill up. Wrong move since saving on gas will not pay for the monthly dues on the car. In time, small engine and its non-top grade component will make it a money pit.

Everything is up front now and all this happen when “how low can you go when buying subcompact car” is taken literally to the last cent! Be smart and examine all options first.

>>> Related: Kia Rio 2014 for sale

4. Some sub-compacts to get without going to low

Just to stress the point that going for less is not optimal, but there are other option that yield good performance.

Best subcompact cars to buy in the Philippines 2018
 Model Price Why is it a good option?
BYD FO Gli AT P598,000
  • EBD
  • 5 passengers
Toyota Wigo 1.0 G AT P561,000
  • Automatic transmission
  • Power features
Hyundai Eon 2018 P550,000 4 passengers
Haima 1 Delux P499,000
  • ABS & ESC
  • 4 passengers

These alternative options do cheap out but have features that make the price worth it over standard Japanese or Koreans sub-compact mainstays. Should you try “How low should you go when buying a subcompact car” with alternatives with better safety options with a lesser or higher ticket price.


5. Conclusion: Is cheaping out worth it?

Will you go for a subcompact car in the Philippines that has more safety options or settle for a standard package but get the bare basics for a low price. Is it “how low can you go when buying a subcompact car” and get saddled with some issues? Are you willing to pay more for a no-fuss car that should be dirt cheap, then go over these car buying tips on to find the answer. Good luck!

Norjan Ismail Abbas

Norjan Ismail Abbas


Norjan enjoys writing about various topics, and car is among them. Don't ever ask him which his most favorite car is since he has none. He believes each car is beautiful in its own way.

View more