That’s some really nice photography there.
The good photos are good because of photoshop, the bad because, well, it’s obvious really!
I agree with the others, Mitsubishi Lancer is the winner, well done to them.
The interior photography ‘on the run’ is not as professional IMHO as the traditional in-situ photos sans bespectacled metrosexuals.
Surprising to see the Focus come in last. Perhaps if it was the Trend variant reviewed (which is under 24K drive away) with the stronger 2L mill, the result would be different.
my thoughts exactly. and where is lancer?
The lancer is just awful. Its in dire need of an update.
Its called a proven tested design, something VeeDud is yet to learn
So why exactly does the Mazda rate so well with its “older” design and the Lancer fails a mention?
I’m going from my experience driving the “new” lancer. It was the base spec one but still, it was scary how old it felt, the steering was floppy, the engine was uninspired and the interior was very meh.
Its odd, Mitsubishi shouldnt be making a car like that when you consider the Evo is in their line up. Maybe my disapointment is magnified because I had higher expectations of the car before actually driving one.
I think you’ll find the Lancer isn’t there because it’s a sedan, not a hatch. But, the Astra isn’t there either?
Dont they still do the hatch? I dont think thats the reason, The 4 reviewed are the top 4 in the segment. The lancer doesnt sell as well as these 4.
Forgot the hacth
Timing belt on the i30? I own a current model Elantra and am 99% sure it has a timing chain that requires no replacement. I thought the i30 would be the same.
the 1.8 Nu engine has a chain your right… CA amend
I assume you have absolutely no interest in cars if you own a Hyundai Elantra.
Give him the benefit of the doubt. Elantras are bought because they’re inexpensive. I’m sure that if he improves his budget, he will welcome a different car to his garage.
But for the same price as a Elantra you can get a fantastic to drive three or focus (trend or above though)
It’s about priorities. And personal preference. And one could say neither the 3 or Focus have the style/showroom appeal or features as the Elantra.
Hey we’re second guessing this persons circumstances. Many of us have been there, you get the car you can afford and get the best deal on, even if you love cars, sometimes you need the best transport your dollar will buy.
I would love to buy the 3 but end up with Elantra, with limited budget I got Elantra at 20450 while the 3 need 2 more grands. My next car will be Mazda for sure!!!!
I had $32000 in my pocket and could have bought the Golf but I chose the Premium Elantra coz’ it has everything on it and I reckon it’s one of the most beautiful cars on the road. I think it’s about “CHOICE”.
i assume the same with you if your reading a comparo between base model c segment cars
These aren’t small cars by the way, they are medium (or in US speak, compact) cars.
mate i’m not going to refute what you’re saying but all i can say is go test drive the car and check it out in person before saying such remarks. I love my cars and have spent about 2.5k on top of what i paid for the Elantra to make it that extra bit special. So yes you can be a car nut and drive a Hyundai too.
mate, just give up, will ya! You have no taste in cars if you by a Hyundai.
I thought all the kids went back to School last week ? … don’t you have some homework or something to do FanBoi ?
You reply to someone posting about a feature of their own car on an automotive website and you have assumed they have no interest in cars?
You’re correct. This new model has a timing chain and actually even the 6 speed auto is a fully sealed unit and requires no maintenance during the life of the car. The i30 is a no brainer in this test. Most refined, best interior, best warranty, best quality, best ride.
Hi wayne77 (and others).
You’re absolutely correct, and thanks for the spot – the i30 does get a timing chain and not a belt. The two Hyundai dealers we phoned to get prices were not working to the correct schedule. The text is now updated to the correct pricing, and shows a clear advantage to Hyundai with regards to scheduled servicing. That said, the Mazda3 remains the best car here, with the i30 remaining a firm second, and the consumer pick for those who don’t necessarily value excellent steering and handling.Regards,Daniel DeGasperideputy editorCarAdvice
The i30 remains a firm second? How does it “remain” and “firm” second when article clearly says “choosing between the Corolla and i30 for the silver is difficult” and does not say which one you eventually picked for second?
“Yet the Hyundai offers the best cabin, refinement, and packaging of the four, but not markedly inferior dynamics.” In other words, the Hyundai offers these advantages, which more than gap the dynamic deficit to the Corolla. “Yet” and “but” are designed to make the outcome clear…
10.6L/100km seems very high for a 1.6 engine.
not when its 1.3 ton, small engines in heavy cars just dont cut it, unless your manipulating ADR’s. I see another test got a 4 cylinder santa fe in the 11′s while a V6 sorrento tested by the same mob got low 10′s…go figure huh?
You’re right matt, it’s a torque power to weight equation. To much strain on the motor means it’s working to hard to move the body. NO economy. Most car companies don’t expect people to buy these small engines, they are mostly there for two reasons, price advantage and to please governments.
Lots of people buy these engines, just not in Australia.
Most Australians have no idea how to drive efficiently, I’m always seeing people braking for no reason, then stabbing the throttle to make up speed. Australians often brake on freeway ramps too and most brake hard to stop at yellow lights instead of going through or they drive slowly towards green lights, then have to stop (its ALWAYS more efficient to accelerate hard and make it through, then stop, wait & then go).
Also plenty of people have no problem driving cars normally with that Focus level of power/Torque/weight without making the car work hard and getting decent economy. Look at medium cars around 10-15 years old like a 2000 model Crapry or 626 – about 1300kgs and 90KW, people get around fine in those without revving the engine.
This 1.6 engine is actually more powerful than the base model 1.6 in the European market MONDEO and I heard they were planning to put a 1.0 in the Mondeo over there soon.
Yes those smaller engines will most likely be turboed. My comment on what they expect people to buy is based on a TV interview with a Ford engineer. Once was known in this country as stripped, entry level cars. The primary purpose is to get people in the show room.
Those old cars you mentioned often aren’t running things like AC, Power steering, or Cat or any of the current range of pollution gear. They are unstressed.
I think your driving habits are a bit suss. The most economical way to drive is being consistent. NOT braking heavily or stabbing the accelerator to beat the lights. You need a flow, get to speed with out winding the engine up, and get to a higher gear as soon as practical Then be gentle, if you keep your distance from others you have time to anticipate and decelerate, with out much braking. It becomes like a rubber band effect. You do this you rarely come to a complete stop and rarely get stressed. It’s about being aware of what the other nong is doing. That way you can be safe and maintain a good speed with out hammering either the brake or the throttle.
The base European Mondeo is NOT turboed and only has 85KW. The proposed 1.0 is turbo but it only has 74KW and whilst already fitted to Euro Focus it is slower than our 92KW 1.6 Focus. The 1.6 Focus we get here which you think is underpowered, is actually a mid-range model in Europe and they don’t offer the 2.0 Petrol we get here in some/all parts of Europe at all.
A 2000 Model Crapry or Mazda 626 has power steering, AC and a Cat. You’d have to go back into the 1980s and earlier to find a medium sized car without that equipment.
Gunning the engine to make it through a set of changing/short cycle lights IS far more economical than going slowly, then getting stuck on the red, stopping, idling, waiting for change, THEN accelerating off.
because it has to be canned up hills and to keep up with the others
I bought the Focus back in September and in a hilly area and metro – stop start – driving we get an average of 8L/100km.
Its a great little car… horses for courses with the interiors but I preferred the Focus interior over the Mazda.
In this price range we are a little spoilt for choice – but in the end it was the handling of the Focus that sold me – its like an overgrown go cart sometimes!
This is the same problem with the Cruze which also has poor real world economy. They are just after a low ADR figure for marketing purposes but the engine has to work a lot harder hence worse fuel economy. So it is a Lose-Lose situation.
It is interesting they did not even think the Cruze was worth being in this comparison.
ahhh yeah, If you have driven one you would know why it wasnt worth the effort. Poor gearing, poor interior, poor performance and poor seating. Now that is a woeful vehicle, just as well the hire car giants keep buying them, because apart from bogan girlfriends and brand snobs, not many do.
Yeah the base cruze is atrocious, gearbox, engine, interior build, just about the lot. But the seating is actually quite good (at least on newer models), it’s more comfortable than all here bar the i30. And the 1.4T models are about on par with the 3 for handling and drivetrain (manual only, auto is horrible), but are a bit better on road noise and ride comfort. With the new models bringing better engines and price cuts they might be worth a look. Still, if it were my $22k I’d personally save a couple more thousand for the 2.0L focus or the new golf or astra.
Not when its being thrashed to within an inch of its life by a journalist.
I have a Hyundai Elantra with the same 1.8 Nu engine as in the i30 and this engine has a timing chain (not a timing belt) which does not need to be replaced. So the i30 (and the Elantra) is a better value buy than originally thought!
Great review – kind of shows why the Mazda 3 sells so well. I think the i30 timing belt statement is incorrect. Maybe its the serpentine belt that needs replacing which may need the upper engine mount removed? Why else would it be so dear to replace a fan belt?
even that would only be 5 minutes. It’s probably the right price for replacing a timing chain. Most cars though you don’t do that.
When its a timing belt change and the engine mount is in the way, the water pump is changed while the timing cover is off. It seems the nu does not have a timing belt so im just trying to figure out what they are talking about. It doesnt make sense.
this is a great comparison. i like that you guys are taking on board comments such as how much it is driveaway and legroom with the seat in a position that the average driver sits in. my pick would be either the 3 or the i30 the focus interior looks to cheap.
What guy is 5’8″? – it was good that they put the hight in but in other tests, like on Drive It, they just push the seat back and try and get in.
Answer, not many, should set the seat at least for a 6 footer.
The average person is less than 6 foot. 5’8″ would be very close to the average height for a male, average female would be less than 5’8″.
They should be using cms anyway, Australia ditched imperial measurements about five decades ago.
It says 5’10.2″ – 178.4 cm - still shorter than I would have expected. I deal with the public all the time and most I encounter seem to be around my hight 188cm (from, 180 plus and disconcertingly I seem to be looking up more to clients hight) That being said, there have been articles recently that stats haven’t been updated with enough frequency. I guess the other part of the picture is we have taken so many asians into the country that they will scew the average down.
The Toyota is the best car here because it has Lexus technology.
a torqueless 1.8 is not lexus quality
…you took very obvious the bai. smh
Shut your mouth, I’ll troll however I like.
Admitting your a troll = Fail
GTFO of this thread, you Toyota fanboi.
This 1.8 is a Lexus quality. Where do you think Lexus got the 1.8 engine in the CT200 from? Plus it only puts out 142NM in the Lexus, though the car ends up with more overall thanks to the electric hybrid system.
It would go the same way as the sales do.Mazda3,Corolla,i30 3rd but heavily discounted to market.Surprised the base Focus didn’t perform better.
Handling and feel it was the best, looks and dash – what can you say? They were wrong when it was released.
huwtm on the review you are right to say that.You never get complaints about the reliability and build quality of Hyundai.
However at the moment there is unhappy Hyundai owners complaining about streering and suspension problems.A few different owners have told me.
I don’t know what happened, but I was referring to the Focus. Not the Hyundai. If your friends care to check what’s happened recently in the US, I think they’ll find their cars have been recalled for those very reasons.
Just finished reading the carsguide section out of the weekend paper. They have a section where people write in and whinge about their cars.
This week someone was whinging about their 2010 Hyundai Sante Fe – apparently the clutch pedal is jammed and even though the car is still under warranty, Hyundai is refusing to fix it unless the owner pays for the gearbox to be removed.
I can believe a dealership doing that, after my own experiences with a Holden dealer. But seriously, they can’t legally do it.
Hyundai was claiming the failure was likely due to “general wear and tear” which was not covered by warranty so they wouldn’t pay for the gearbox removal even though the car only had 40K on it. The letter went on to say that Hyundai would cover further repairs if certain parts were found to have failed (or something along those lines, I’ve since throw n the paper out).
There was also someone last month writing in about their Veloster painwork, apparently it was flaking off almost the moment they drove out of the dealer. The dealer initially agreed the paint was terrible but they later changed their mind after being told by head office they would not be reimbursed for the cost. After various exchanges of communication and paint inspections, apparently Hyundai head office wrote to them and said something along the lines of: “the quality of the paint on their particular car was in line with a mass produced car built to a budget”
I also remember in recent editions several Elantra complaints, apparently central locking failure is common and some other problem with a rattling engine.
Fghj , Kia is no better , was looking over the huge sunroof on the optima my neighbour bought , the rubber around the glass is all cracked .
That car is very stylish but the inside is so tight , no head room and that A pillar so close to your scone .
Yep same as my mates Sate Fe and his incredibly noisy motor at 80,000km , not interested .
“Volkswagen’s Australian boss has acknowledged customer concerns surrounding vehicle quality and servicing costs.The managing director of Volkswagen Australia, Anke Koeckler, admits being concerned by customer feedback and a study that ranked Volkswagen last in a study of Australian car buyers last year.”
I’m betting your mate’s Santefe is a diesel and he doesn’t know it
And the mk7 golf will trounce them all , cant wait , magic write up in Car Magazine , the bar has been raised again .
What about price.The Rolf will be more expensive than these 4 Asian made cars.Where back to square one again.
Clearly you haven’t read about the sharp upcoming Golf pricing. Paired with amazing 4 cylinder turbo technology and improved build quality; they could be onto another winner. Not to mention the capped price servicing due to be announced.
That said, amazing review by CA (with fantastic photography!)… and a clear indicator of why the Mazda3 has performed so well recently.
If it can make it to the end of the review…
The flog doesnt get a spot in this review because its unreliable, boring and doesnt sell like these four top feeders. Bottom feeders need to up their game.
Yep – can’t wait to see what the cheap suspension setup does for your precious’ reviews……..
It will most likely trounce on them all on a tow truck, as it will probably be the first of the bunch to need it.
Well lets hope its more reliable then the last, I bought a new GTI in 2008…..my first Eurpean car, and also the first I have had in numerous times for warranty. Oh well, at least it hasnt left me on the side of the road….yet….
The Golf is not a stable car, in the terms of mechanical issues. There has been many issues with the DSG, and the 1.4 litre twin charge engine. What VW need to do, is allow the 1.4 in the upcoming Golf range, to run on ULP, without the need of PULP – many people put in the ULP, and this is where the issues arise.
I can’t wait for Goofmother and Donkey to accuse me of making that one up!
Great review CA, fantastic win to the mazda 3! is the oldest car here but still the best, shows how good a car it is, in neo spec its very hard to beat, had one the other day as a courtesy car when my mazda 6 was being serviced and was impressed by the steering, handling and engine even in the base model, the sp20 is even better though with the new skyactiv engine and tranny. i 30 is still way behind rivals in steering and handling, even behind the corrola now! as a trend the focus would come second in my opinion
Learn to read spaccy, “Ironically, considering it’s the nation’s favourite car, the Mazda3 is a car more for the driving enthusiast minority than the majority of motorists. You’d actually expect the quieter, calmer-riding Hyundai i30 to be more appealing to the masses.” They are primarily family runabouts, not race cars. People want reliability, comfort, economy and features. Kind of rules out lemon veeduds entirely.
only over 75′s would like the i30′s rolly polly ride as quoted from article “the 3 wins this group test because it offers a high-quality cabin and the best drivetrain here.” you learn to read robin that your beloved korean junk is worse to drive than something that is 4 years old!
Its not worse to drive at all tool it suits the majority of buyers. If you bothered to read the review it also says the i30 has the highest quality interior of the bunch. They are all good cars and leave your beloved veedud for dead when it comes to reliability.
if you want a car that is fun to drive for base models in this class the 3 outshines the i30 easily with steering that is actually connected to the road and much better ride/handling compromise
You and your mate flogmother really are a blight on the stereotypical veedud fanboi. Cant read, cant spell, few stubbies short of a six pack.
Zaccy thinks because his TV is “assembled” in Malaysia that they make the panels there too. So getting him to understand the context of the review is futile! He takes what is written literally and doesn’t understand the underlying message but here goes anyway.
The objective of all mainstream manufacturers is to try to get their vehicles to appeal to the masses. This review states that the Hyundai does that best Zaccy!
My neighbour had a mazda 3 and traded it on a Lancer because she got tired of the road noise No issues with reliability ,handling etc but the drone from the rear got too much. Australia’s course chip roads are not made for a car that skimps on sound deadener. It would be last on my last of the four but then I don’t chase bends like I once did. I read one review on the new mazda 6 where they claimed it too is a disappointment in the road noise area. Though it excels in many others.
As for the interiors the one in the corolla is awful imo. No wonder they were able to cut the price .Talk about boring. It belongs in the 80′s. The Mazda’s isn’t a whole lot better though. That massive expense of dash top needs a rethink. The ford and Hyundai look the goods for my taste.
At the end of the day I’ll take a punt that corolla (it’s the Jones’ car here) will topple the mazda this year with mazda second ,Hyundai third and the focus a distant fourth. It will be interesting to see how the arrival of a wagon helps the Hyundai also.
I agree Corolla interior is rubbish.
Cutting weight means no sound deadening. Those cars echo like tin drums. TS Astra was the same.
Drove a new 6 wagon and while it has a lot of good stuff I just couldn’t live with both the road and engine (diesel) noise. Mazda add 50kg of sound deadening and then you have a very good car.
Hundi is very average , wobbly handling , built down to a price .
Just like the new Golf and it’s new torsion beam suspension. VW cutting even more corners to get sales. Watch the resale plummet!
Torsion beam is cheap and will never ride as nicely as a fully independent suspension.
Yeah a torsion beam can handle or ride well at all can it…..
Um, the Corolla is semi-independant torsion beam.
Did quite well in the review above. It’ll still sell in spades.
Modern Man, point taken – though hardly relevant in the context of comparing a $20 odd grand, entry level car’s torsion suspension with that of a $45K RS265
The RS265 handles nicely, but ride is horrible. I’d much rather go for the ST.
The new Golf will only have the torsion beam suspension in the bas modles, with the upper modles having the muilt suspension set up !
And that is why it is a valid point. These are entry level spec, small cars.
Only the cheapest entry level model will have torsion beam.
Torsion only on models with less than 120bhp , get you facts right orphan boy , read o/s reports better than ever handling , silence is at another level ,will blow this lot away .
Yeap, and become great friends with the dealership workshop staff.
VeeDUD are one of the most problematic brands on the market
You’re right David. They are actually the worst in Australia and that’s according to their own president.
I own a VW GTI and manage a rental fleet and i can tell you the Hyundai is more reliable then my Vee Dub. Spoken like a true brand snob who isnt quite ‘with it’ when it comes to the latest cars out there. Hyundai is fantastic and getting better each model.
Dreamer get real hundi/kia built down to a price , wont go the distance , yes i read you little piece on your mk5 , i never had any of those issues , bit like a fairy tale .
Hyundai – no.1 in reliability for the past 2 years according to AutoBild, which does the most comprehensive analysis of reliability in the industry.
And despite the “home field’ advantage, VW still lags towards the bottom.
And speaking about being built down to a price – the USDM Jetta and Passat.
Ausbloke even VW’s own Aussie boss agrees with you.
meanwhile from another auto site. Feel free to cut and paste it in google for the source Goofmouther.
VW built up to a price that badge snobs will be stupid enough to pay and all the while with dodgy quality. ROFL.
I must be the only person on earth who has a golf R that hasnt gone POP yet. Perhaps that means its rare and now a collectors item?
You probably service it and drive it properly.
…and you’ll be called a troll for saying so Ted.
We have a new candidate for troll of the year!! Sumpy!
Donkey and Goofmother wanted evidence after claiming my posts regarding VW issues were rubbish. Now they are getting it. Straight from VW’s own Australian president.
People who lived in glass houses Zaccy. You do a pretty good job of mouthing off about all things Korean but clearly don’t like it when it flies back in your face.
See, told ya! I’m a troll for posting the evidence Goofmongrel and Mon Quay demanded. Go figure.
That is not evidence sumpy evidence in my book is first hand experience, supposedly my polo according to all you troll vw haters would have blown up by now but I have not had a single problem and and marvelling still in what a great little car it is, my friend who has a 2008 pasat 125tdi dsg wagon has not had a problem my neighbour has not had a problem with her blue motion golf and
My uncle who has two vw’s a ten year old bora and 2 year old jetta has had zero problems as well, because of this it makes your trolling very hard to believe sumpy
Deny away Zaccy. You’ve already demonstrated on countless occasions that you’re not exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. That is their own president acknowledging CUSTOMER concerns.
The cars have been plagued with issues and she is reflecting the sentiment of the CUSTOMERS. Just I as I have spoken to their CUSTOMERS and had the exact same feedback.
Although you won’t be able to say that I am copying her comments this time as I have been speaking to their CUSTOMERS for quite some time. Long before this article was run regarding feedback from her company’s CUSTOMERS.
Do you really think a woman in her position is simply responding to comments made second or third hand in a CA blog? If so you really are an idiot.
google this sumpy, ‘jd power survey uk 2012 and you will see vw is 8th in top manufactures!!!!!
As opposed to being built up to a poor standard.
“Volkswagen’s Australian boss has acknowledged customer concerns surrounding vehicle quality and servicing costs.The managing director of Volkswagen Australia, Anke Koeckler, admits being concerned by customer feedback and a study that ranked Volkswagen last in a study of Australian car buyers last year.”
Meanwhile it has been announced by VW aust that 2012 sales were up by 22% on 2011 .
Wow with all those engine failures they managed to get an increase , amazing .
Yeah they’ve done a good job of selling the vehicles to the gullible. You have to pay them that.
…and 4000 people bought a new corolla last month so what’s your point?
So what is your point ?
I have actually seen some other motoring sources claim that the i30 is a better drive than the Corolla which is interesting.
I agree, I think the Focus’s 1.6 is far too uncompetitive here and screams base model. Save a little more and step up to the Trend 2.0L.
Pretty much all the Euro rags consider the i30 the better drive than the Toyota (not that that is saying much).
Anyone else notice the i30 lost its left wing mirror in the first photo?
How in the world did you spot that lol
Great review, but a few mistakes as well;
“But the 3 is now three years old”
The current shape Mazda3 was launched in 2009, make that 4 years.
“The Ford is the only model to lack cruise control, but singularly gets voice control.”
Not quite correct. Both the Mazda3 (in its current spec from about August ’12 onwards) and the Corolla feature voice control, but only for phone functionality in the 3, and audio/phone control in the Corolla. Not sure about the Hyundai…
“For an engine that debuted more than a decade ago, in 2001, the Toyota 1.8-litre ”
Wrong. The 1.8 litre engine in the ZZE-122R (2001-2007) was a 1ZZ-FE (VVT on the intake cam only). The 1.8 litre engine in this new shape Corolla (ZRE-182R) is the 2ZR-FE (Dual VVT), which was also in the ZRE-152R Corolla (2007-2012) albeit ACIS induction.
see – as per article how I read it and yes this is fairly simple and basic
Mazda – small
size but alloys 1pt
larger size but steel 1pt each
cruise but voice control +1pt, -1pt
Others – 1pt
Mazda – 0pts
Others – 1pt
Hyundai – 1pt
i30 – 1pt
Mazda and i30
– 1pt each
Mazda – 1pt
Mazda – 4points
I30 – 7 points
So how does the
Mazda rate better than the i30
biased to any of these cars – all good in their own right
I think you’re taking the article too literally. When DD refers to the pros and cons of each car, I think they’re merely observations and not a points tally.
I thank Adelaide John has a good point. From my reading of the review I was expecting them to give it to the I30 followed by the 3 for the same reasons he mentioned.
If I were in the market for a cheap, BOTTOM spec hatchback I’d have zero interest in the type of wheels it uses, or whether it has voice control. I’m sure there must be others who feel the same way considering there are plenty of base model cars driving around without voice control and with small, steel/hubcapped wheels.
I agree; I only inlcuded it in my comparison becuase it was part of the article
the rear of the i30 and Corolla look very similar to me !
Yep, both ugly.
Should have thrown the Chery J1 in here to trump them all!
If the hipster cut hair all over we would get better headroom pics hehe
Yeah – they have heads built for radio – ever hear of razors guys?
And by the way, Reebok made Pumps.
My German built 2012 Focus Sport Powershift automatic is a great car except for the transmission.
It grinds and rattles between gears, it shudders, it stays in higher gears instead of changing down causing the engine to labour and rattle and when coasting into a roundabout you put your foot down and it wont change down and you get caught in the middle of the roundabout. In stop start traffic it jerks back and forth into different gears. This is my 3rd Focus and it will be my last and never will buy Ford again.
This isn’t good enough for a car in this modern era when the dealer says its just the way they are.
Unfortunalty it is how they are programmed from europe/thailand and a dealership cannot alter it.
They do this (and so do other manufacturers) to achieve great fuel consumption for a sticker so people buy them.
But the grinding noise when changing gears is unacceptable
This is true, still a lot to be said for a real automatic, for driving, but still better would be to get a manual. Those gear boxes probably operate OK in Europe where the program is written, but I haven’tread a good thing about them from ANY manufacturer.
Great article Daniel… funny, this is the stuff Wheels should do more of!
A good story about four popular cars, but still a hard decision in what to buy. A sham that Toyota did not do a better job on the Corolla …
In what regards? This is an improvement on it’s predecessor which was a hugely popular model going on registrations. I realize many called it “whitegoods on wheels” but if Toyota have proven anything, the corolla had what most people want and were willing to pay for. At the end of the day, that is what matters most to any car manufacturer.
I personally think Mazda was the let down. Had they improved the interior quality and noise reduction, spent a little more on better tyres and reduced their servicing cost it would have been a clear winner. I guess the reality is you can’t have everything for around $22000.
Yes the Toyota is’white goods on wheels’ and thats why there are no auto light, wipers or A/C, unless you buy the top of the range – ZR that RRP of some 34K (it can be bought for 30k after discount) which is a lot of $$$ for a car with the same engine size / gearbox as the entry model.
Sadly some of the comments here are just plain silly and I disregard the comments of anyone who can’t spell !
People who want to “press on through the twisty bits” or similar nonsense, generally don’t buy cars like these for that purpose and don’t give a toss about handling or torsion beam suspension.
True, but those people who don’t buy cars for handling, also won’t bother to read reviews & leave comments. So your mainly left with with the people who do care about handling & will leave comments.
“Hyundai and Ford offer fixed-price check-ups, too, though the i30 and Focus have annual/15,000km intervals, totalling $960 and $657 over three years. A win for the Koreans,…………..” Really ?A good article CA, but I think you’ve got the prices around the wrong way !
Good review CA. For the i30 to score a close second shows just how far the Korean manufacturers have come compared to their Japanese rivals.
Where does it say the i30 came a close second? It clearly says the 3 wins and “Choosing between the Corolla and i30 for the silver is difficult” (so I presume Focus comes last) but doesn’t seem to say which one actually gets second.
It also doesn’t imply anywhere that the 2nd place was a “close second” (which normally means it was close to 1st). It actually implies by typical understanding that 2nd was close between second and THIRD spot.
I think you’re missing my point.
Indeed he has.
The point being that the new i30 is on par with a Corolla? So the last gen i30 was far worse than a Corolla and this new model moves i30 forward? My memory of comparisons involving the previous model i30 seems to put the i30 in similar rankings to this new one.
my hyundai I30 diesel (manual) is three months old, there is usually only ever myself in the car quite nice to drive the steering is good but not great, i travel on average 1000kms a week and love the fuel economy for the money i have no complaints hyundai really has lifted its game, quite an interesting review
Congratulations, Car Advice, I think this is your best and most comprehensive review ever. It’s been years since WHEELS and company gave us clear, no-nonsense pics of tawdry things such as boot space, full dashboard shots, boot space and of how human beings actually fit into cars. All that’s missing now is a specs sheet and performance table. Do you include those things in your ipad app?
$2,200 for 3 years of servicing the 3…this can’t be right, surely! No wonder Mazda don’t want to cap servicing or change to ever 12 months.
This is a major reason why I would not buy the Mazda. Service intervals every 6 months in this day and age is ridiculous. The only reason you would buy the Mazda is if it was light years ahead(which it isn’t ) as the the cost of ownership is much higher than the rest.
95% of people who are buying a new car don’t ask how much the service costs are, they just worry if it has bluetooth etc.
Maybe they should also put on that windscreen sticker which has the fuel economy figure the cost of servicing over 3 years. If they did I bet they do not sell as many Mazdas.
Averages out to around $370 a service, sounds about right. From what I’ve heard, Honda & Subaru are a similar cost.
I think you’re missing the point, just because it averages out to $370 doesn’t make it good or acceptable value. The Toyota is every 6 months and they’re are charging a far more acceptable amount for what is essentially an oil change!
This $2,200 is only the recommended amount as well, Mazda get an extra 3 times more over 3 years than the Ford or Hyundai service guys to ram some extra costs into you. Service departments are huge money spinners for dealerships and the Mazda service charges are the case in point.
What I really like about the i30 and the i45 is that when you drive them they feel smaller than they are..
The i45 is a massive car, yet parking it is so easy! Others like the Honda Accord kind of feel like trucks.
I purchased the ford focus (trend) at the end of last year.. I really disagree with comments about the interior. I picked it over the mazda 3 which I was originally planning to by due to the interior and drive. The mazda 3 I tested had no voice control, no Bluetooth. The dash and interior was full of hard plastics and very bland in the Mazda. It felt really dated inside compared to the ford. NB my trend has same interior as test one.
Nathan, spot on mate. When it was time for me to purchase our car last year it came down to the Focus and the 3 – and guess what… the interior of the Focus has much less hard plastic, more features plus its got a real cockpit feel to it.
But most importantly was how it handled… I still find that important and although the 3 was pretty good, the Focus felt more solid.
So we bought the Focus and have enjoyed the car very much so far…. the Voice control is great!
Why no-one has mentioned the Civic hatch is strange to me….
I Agree, it’s a better car and would outshine this group..
+ 2 …. Way better than any of these !
Oh I hope you be trollin.
The Golf is not a stable car, in the terms of mechanical issues. There has been many issues with the DSG, and the 1.4 litre twin charge engine. What VW need to do, is allow the 1.4 in the upcoming Golf range, to run on ULP, without the need of PULP - many people put in the ULP, and this is where the issues arise.
How many times do you need to post this same comment?
As many as I like Tex – are you a moron !
HE cant read poor Ted , only idiots would put ULP in their PULP car , dealers explain this clearly at purchase time , then again bogans looking to upgrade to euro might not listen and try and save a few bucks for more ciggies and beer .
Poor Ted can read…, can you GolfMOUTH !
The “Moron’s’ would be those that put normal ULP into vehicles clearly marked as “Premium Unleaded Fuel Only”. It’s NOT hard…. Why should VW change their fuel for Aus?? 91 ULP is not even an option in Europe. Do European manufacturers change the fuel required to run on in the US, even though 91 and even lower is available there?
91 is considered hi octane in the US. So they might. ULP won’t cause damage if its not used continuously and it’s not 10%. in fact it shouldn’t cause any damage at all other than a drop in performance.
The American Octane Rating (AKI) system is quite different to Australia:
US 87 octane = AUS 91 regular unleaded
US 91 octane = AUS 95 premium
US 93 octane = AUS 98 hi-premium (i.e. V-power, Ultimate etc)
Europe and Australia advertise the RON rating, while the US advertise the AKI rating. Most VWs require RON 95 premium, and some require RON 98.
Incidentally, I’ve found that a lot of 91 octane fuel sold in Australia is probably less than RON 90 though…. Not good for any VW unless you like pistons to be full of holes.
OK, fair enough – so where my manual says 91, I should use 95? At least, that’s what it sounds like.
So the Mazda 3 (basic model) Wins again! and it did not have the 2.0 Skyactiv Engine) and it is one of the oldest cars here, due for all new model 3 later this year….
No wonder the Mazda and Mazda 3 is where it is in sales and growth, Mazda Australia has been quietly building up a fabulous Dealer Network, Mazda does not crow or brag, they just get on with the job…the new Mazda 6 is just Brilliant.
Yes, the Koreans are getting better but are still way behind in dynamics, all show and no feel.
“show” is a bit of an exaggeration.
It’s a shame that “fabulous dealer network” can’t be extended overseas where Mazda are struggling in most markets and in financial strife as a company. Perhaps that’s why they skimp on sound deadening?
That’s part of Sky active, keep the weight down and have a tin drum for a car.
I bought a dealer used 2011 Mazda 3 (Maxx Sport) mid last year, and it has served our needs very well as a daily h’way commuter. I’ve driven all of the cars except the Corolla in this review, but it was hard to beat the 3 as an all round package. We’ve averaged 7.3 l/100 since purchase too which is unbelievable. I looked at a Polo and Golf as well, and while they were both fantastic to drive, I couldn’t justify the extra servicing costs and premium fuel for a daily commuter. We nearly got a Focus, but the strangely designed interior and premium fuel put me off. The Mazda had GPS, bluetooth, dual zone cc, cruise, fog lights too which sweetened the deal. Very satisfied with the Mazda thus far.
Did anyone wee the Today Tonight FUEL Test last week?, using I think i30′s?
Anyway all 5 cars were new and exactly the same…apart from the Diesel Engine.
E10, 91,95,98 and Diesel.
Have a guess which gave the best performance and higher MPG/ LP100K/Tank distance.
The 98 bettered every fuel except Diesel and it was not that far behind it.
Yes 98 is a lot more expensive, however testers achieved 200 KMS MORE distance out of a tank when compared to E10 or was it 91?..
Anyway as they said you only get what you paid for, the higher the octane the better the MPG.
Turns out it was cheaper to use 98 than the bottom grade fuels over a 12 month period.
I only use 98 fuel (95 if I have to, if 98 is sold out), I won’t put anything else in my cars.
That’s kind of old news now ASH. That test has been done many times in the past.
The higher octane stuff is kinder to your injectors too.
Good review but until I can find a car in this class that has 115kw and 220nm like my Lancer, I wont be changing anytime soon.
I doubt any other manufacturer would bring a 2.4L engine into the small car segment. Although in the US, Corolla did at one stage come with a 2.4L engine (XRS) and certain Civic variants over there do (Si). You may want to consider getting another Lancer next time. Now comes with 125kw/226 Nm for the 2.4. Lancer is often overlooked but still is a popular car.
Couple of things, it’s NOT small car, it’s medium or as the US call it compact. That’s where the Falcon started life. Also from the US, just about all their compacts come with at least a 2.4 option. In Australia, manufacturers are pushing to follow the Euro way of bugger all capacity and for this country, it is a MISTAKE!! (ARE YOU LISTENING MANUFACTURERS AND IMPORTERS) The same as BIG BIG cars.
Medium size or medium SUV ( I think you’ll find) space and efficiency. Medium encompasses all the cars tested here. Or if you want to use US terms compact cars. Small cars are the Barinas and Fiestas etc.
The 2.0 FSI petrol Focus has 125kW & 202Nm. Goes alright too. I think the Golf Mk6 petrol was similar. I like the Lancers, especially the styling of the recent ones, but they’ve grown to be almost too big to be called a small car!
The lancer is sold as a compact or medium car in the US, coincidentally, coincidentally, the Lancers dimensions are almost exactly the same as all these cars.
i30 is ugly. Ugly interior and ugly exterior This is why the “masses” don’t like it. Most new cars are quiet enough. Any quieter and it wouldn’t be called “driving a car”. Also how does Hyundai measure it’s boot capacity because I could swear that looks a lot smaller than 378 litres. It would be interesting to see if a 3rd party could measure the space to see the real figure. I’d bet it would be closer to 290-300 litres.
People who comment on these websites always hate the Mazda 3, but the world has spoken and it is one of the best selling cars world wide right now and has been for some time. It has basically saved Mazda from a dreadful death.
So far I’ve driven 2 of the 4 mentioned – the mazda 3 as a loan car will my 2 has been serviced and the new corolla due to getting some at work for company cars. However in saying that the new toyota is quite nice to drive, I find it a little difficult to reverse park but I think that’s because it seem to have a big posterior, the 3 is nice but outdated and needs to be redone however I can see how it is such a great selling car, the only issue I have with the 3 is the base model neo’s sound system is quite horrendous, even on my 2 when you change the bass and treble it significantly changes the sound quality however on the 3 it is very tingy and not clear, would be great if they could upgarde the sound system for this.
You can buy aftermarket audio fascias on the 3 (and most other cars) to enable you to add an aftermarket stereo of your choice.
Being in the trade and an expert on hatches, i know that its the korean cars that break down the most, rarely do i pick up a toyota, volkwagen or mazda, with the cruze having such poor build quality and the hyundai and kia providing cars with uncertain reliability im not sure theyll go the distance, its also really bad with the ford falcon g6e, shocking its getting worse and worse .
You wrote an almost identical comment on that ‘Kia Breaking the Budget,’ and it’s clear that you’re full of it mate.
Hyundai for me followed by the Mazda
Interesting comparison . May I ask the most basic safety aspect of a car is independent rear suspension. Being that we are now in the year of 2013 this feature should be mandatory! I know the Focus has it, any of the others have this set up?
love the new corolla, if i could afford a new one i would buy it with my eyes closed knowing how good the reputation has been in the past for excellent reliability economy comfort and performance
I am getting a 2013 Hyundai 1.6 litre turbo Diesel 6 speed manual Active.. Anyone want to advise me or say anything.. I live in the country and my father had a Holden Dealership for many years.. My last car was a Commodore Omega 2011..I will say I had a test drive of the i30 and it was nice..
Hyundai, KIA 2014 Model is winner……. I love new Hyundai Santa fe……..
All are good buys but my choice If I was to win the lottery tomorrow would be the Ford Focus and it would be for my brother.I would even let him trade the Family Mercedes for it and Mom and I can have a Japanese Car.