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  • anthony

    Where was the Golf ???

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      As quoted top of page…

      “This comparison puts the four small diesel hatches available under $30,000 in Australia up against each other. (Keen observers of the market will note the Volkswagen Golf 77TDI is not included. This is because Volkswagen Australia no longer offers the five-speed manual variant as of the 2011 Model Year, meaning the most inexpensive diesel-powered Golf now comes with the seven-speed DSG transmission and a $31,190 pricetag, blowing this comparison’s $30k cap”

      Beissmann, T. Car Advice, 10.01.2011. Diesel Comparison.

      • Brodie

        I was suprised to not see the Holden Cruze diesel in this comparison, I would have thought that the Cruze would be the logical choice/competitor to these cars – even more so than the pug.

        • http://CarAdvice Mrs. Kool Cruiser

          FAIL!!!!! ABOVE COMMENT

  • Damian

    It’s funny how the mainstream motoring publications have not done a comparison like this. Thumbs up, CarAdvice.

  • Golfschwein

    The new comparison summaries are good, but you guys are the motoring journos who test and drive the cars, so it would be good to see you nominate a winner also.

    • Bob

      I agree. It ends up being a bit limp-wristed, If we don’t get the testers views. But then again this will keep the car companies happy, if it’s not to critical…….

      • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

        The issue is, there is no such thing as a bad car anymore, so each car works for a certain buyer. We can pick a winner all we like, but even in the office we all have our own favourites for certain reasons. So it’s only fair to list the pros and cons of each car and let the buyer decide.

        • Baddass

          Saying there is no such thing as a bad car anymore so there is no chosen winner is a bit soft. Obviously some cars are better suited to some things than others, but logically, a winner should be chosen from the car that can do the most things the best. This can be done objectively: it doesn’t have to include ‘office favourites’.
          Other motoing publications have been doing it car comparos could be made.

          By the way, who would’ve thought the 308 would have been 50kg lighter than the i30? It looks like a much bigger car.

          • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

            If it makes you feel better Badass,
            My choice is the Peugeot 308 as its the best handling in its class and arguably the best looker.

          • HSRboy

            not to mention the most fuel efficient!

        • Lang Chye

          Agree. Buyers have different needs, as much as cars have different target markets. So, it’s more useful for reviews to specify which horse for which course.

    • Andrew M

      Were the cars even test driven??

      Looks to me like the log books have been pulled out and the stats compared.

      No comments on suspension, drive trains, ergonomics etc etc

      You cant have a winner if they arent even tested

  • delux

    wheres the cruze and where is the winner?

    • Linksy

      again small diesel hatches…

      • delux

        Bogus! You know as well as I do that a person looking for a small diesel wouldnt dismiss the Cruze because it is a sedan.

    • ST

      Why do we need a winner?? The winner is the one that fits your requirements in the categories above.

      I’m so sick of this my car is better than your’s mentality and get into non-biased rating so that the reader can decide which car suits you best.

      • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

        Here, here. Every customer has different buying motives. How could one size fit all?

      • Hooda

        Better abolish car awards then eh? No more “Car of the year”.

        • ST

          Do you really think they mean much at all??

        • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

          COTY awards are based on categories such as, fit and finish, standard specs v price, ride and handling, ect. I’m pretty sure its not based on one persons opinion. A majority vote from a panel of ‘experts’ is required.

  • filippo

    It’s a pity VW have ditched the manual Golf TDi. In my experience, the automatic/DSG hesitates and seems to exaggerate the diesel’s turbo-lag.

  • john

    Very good read but why is everyone “deserting the ford focas?” Are they just waiting on the new model to come out?

    • Yonny

      My guess is that people know the Focus has build quality issues – and Ford, while it has gone some way to improving build quality of the South African built cars, hasn’t gone far enough and are happy to sell average to sub-standard cars to a public that is rapidly becoming used to cars with good to excellent build quality.

      Sure, the Focus is a good drive – but when it comes to paying their own money for a car people are voting with their wallets and giving the Focus a miss. Compare a Focus to a Mazda 3 side by side, and you’ll see why.

      This may change with the new model, to be built in Thailand – but I’d be waiting a good few years (before I bought one) to see if it does change for the better.

  • laurie

    And the BMW 5 Series 520D comes in at 5L/100Km! before I get blasted I know it costs much more, but its the consumption that the big car can do where these cars can just match it why is that?

    • RickyC

      The reason the BMW can do 5.2L is because it has an 8-speed automatic. It’s far more fuel efficient than any of the transmissions of these cars. The previous BMW 520d (with the 6-speed auto) did 6.1L, which is worse than all the cars here.

      • MF

        CVT would be the most efficient.

        • Billionaire Bot

          A CVT wouldn’t get far before exploding in a car the size of a 5 series.

        • Devil’s Advocate

          I am sure with BMW’s “Efficient Dynamics” push they would be using a CVT transmission if it was more efficient at the moment than the best of the conventional torque converter automatics. Plus there is also the issue where most of the CVTs available can only handle a limited amount of torque ie less than what most of the new breed of 2L+ diesels produce.

  • Staggers

    Its true, there is no such thing as a bad car anymore. But there are clearly cars out there that are better then the rest, like the Mazda 3 in this test.

  • MattW

    At least you could have said something along the lines of “my suggestion would be the [insert name here] for [insert reasons here]”. This article indeed sounds like you have some brochures in front of you and no driving of the cars in question has been done.

  • Carmaniac

    Very disappointed with caradvice, my favourite aussie auto site. Where is the drive review of these cars??? Real world handling, fuel economy, etc?? Whats wrong with the team?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au Tim Beissmann

      Carmaniac and others,

      Perhaps I needed to more clearly state the purpose of the article. This is not a review. It is what we call an on-paper comparison. The idea is to sort through the specifications brochures and cut through all the PR (and trust me, there’s plenty of it) so prospective buyers don’t have to. Then, based on all of the data before you, you can make an informed decision on which vehicles you would like to test drive.

      Of course a drive review is an important part of the process, but that is what the reviews section of our site is for. Comparisons like this give you somewhere to start, and from there you can make your own decisions based on your needs and personal preferences.

      Tim Beissmann

  • Al Juraj

    You forgot to say that the Focus is the car for you if:

    * You want an automatic that isn’t a four-speed.

    I think this car is better than the Hyundai in every way except price. It’s a shame it’s only racked up so many buyers. If only it were not being replaced soon, it would have been on my list. The 9.4-second 0-100 is just about the same as a Lancer 2.0 petrol CVT, but the Ford obviously uses a lot less fuel. Perhaps the upcoming model is worth considering for my next ride (unless I can’t resist the ST bogan-six slayer).

    It’s a wake-up call to Japanese makers who haven’t brought in their oilers, and for those who have, offer a freaking auto or dual clutch option.

  • Save It for the track

    How good is that Peugeot gearbox when it uses a litre less per 100 than it’s manual equivalent? Also, I know a few years ago Ford made some TDCi sedans. Now with 510L of boot space and sub 6.0L per 100 economy those should have sold well. Ford marketing not in action again.
    I’m still interested to know where the prices CarAdvice get come from. Because as an example the Mazda website has the diesel hatch and sedan both starting at $32,856. With the sedan having 430L of boot space, I’d go the Mazda 3 diesel sedan over the others.
    I can’t find these quoted prices anywhere. With most being over $30,000 and I can only find the Hyundai quoted close.

    • Thomas

      I think you will find that CA use the RRP before on-roads.

  • Shak

    CA, i know this was a hatch test, but if given the opportunity would you guys have pitched in the Cruze Sedan as well to see how well it could have fared?

    • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

      Why not test it against a truck as well???? Just to see how well it will have fared…..

  • TonyB

    I’m sorry, but I really do agree with some of the comments here that this “comparison” is rather pointless without some sort of on-the-road drive component. And a fundamental decision that most people are going to make right at the beginning of any such excercise is whether or not they want an auto or manual transmission. As such including the manual-only Mazda is meaningless. Particularly when the writer goes on to say the reason the Golf is not included is that it no longer has a manual option and that the auto (CVT) version is over the nominal $30,000 limit. Well I mean, IF the Mazda did have an auto option wouldn’t it also be over $30,000?

  • Fiz

    This is acually a rather welcome overview of cars in this segment and I for one don’t need someone else to decide for me which is the best as I have my own needs and desires. Thanks.

    Peugeot 308 EGC is actually a 6-speed manual/auto/tiptronic/paddle-shifter so it is an Automatic or Manual to drive as you desire.

    To correct and error in Service Schedule the 308 is 12 months / 20,000km which makes it once a year for most people.

    The Stereo and Cruise/Speed Limiter controls on the steering column makes them safer to use than on the driving surface (wheel) itself and unless you are a stick in the mud you learn them in about 5 mins flat.


  • Ovr40

    I reckon CA would be doing the consumer a favour if you threw in a slightly overpriced option in these comparisons that does the job well. Something that makes Joe Punter say hey – what if I did shell out an extra 5 or 10K, then I could have something really good. Comparing cheap stuff with more cheap stuff is never going to reveal the risk in buying cheap stuff.

    • nickdl

      First of all none of the cars are cheap. All of them are well equipped, safe and good quality choices for the money. Secondly that would be very irresponsible advising people to go well over budget and spend money they don’t have – exactly what got America into the GFC.

  • Octavian

    If one can live with a late 20th century interior maybe? Peugeot’s interiors don’t match their far more flamboyant exteriors, and that’s a shame.

  • Peter

    The service intervals for Peugeot’s in Australia is 12 months or 20,000km and timing belt replacement at 10 years or 190,000km.
    Bleutooth is a factory option for under $500.00

  • delux

    CA, do you know if the 2.2 MZR engine has the same issues as the 2.0 MZR from the previous 3? From memory it was something to do with the way the engine dealt with burning off the particulates caught in the filter.

    • http://juicedpixels.com Juiced

      That was just an engine software upgrade that was needed. All modern diesels with particulate filters need to burn off at some stage when there is enough built up.
      I have a 2.0 MZR-CD 2008 Mazda 3 hatch and it hasn’t skipped a beat.

  • Save It for the track

    An interesting addition would be a Skoda Octavia 77TDI, frugal, with dsg, and according to the figures on CA under the $30k mark. It’s also larger than the hatches in this comparo. So, larger car, with more cargo space (560L), just as frugal as some in the comparo, and DSG, for the same or less cash? As long as you didn’t want it to be quick, it’s probably a good choice. The motor certainly wouldn’t overpower the chassis.

    • Lee

      Just checked the pricing on Skoda website:-

      Octavia Wagon 77TDI (5sp manual)
      $34,842.00* estimated driveaway price in NSW.

      Minus on-road costs, about 3grand. I don’t see how it can fall under 30,000 bucks.