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CarAdvice

Light Cars Under $25k

Volkswagen Polo
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  • Impressive powertrain; confidence-inspiring dynamics; comfortable interior; modern infotainment system; value of driving comfort package

  • Expensive servicing; sports package affects ride comfort; engine requires premium unleaded petrol

Suzuki Swift
  • Familiar agile dynamics; radar cruise for less than $20k; optional turbo engine has character; good value, with one notable exception

  • No touchscreen on base GL manual; GLX Turbo is auto-only; AEB not on lower grade versions; cabin trims still cheap in places

Mazda 2
  • AEB across the range; standout exterior and interior design; one of the more agile and fun-to-drive little offerings out there; no price increase

  • Not very spacious in the rear, even by class standards; no Apple CarPlay/Android Auto; Neo still lacks rear-view camera

Honda Jazz
  • Most versatile and spacious cabin in class; safety; good value at entry level

  • Outdated media system; too expensive in higher trim; not as enjoyable to drive as class leaders

Kia Rio
  • Active safety systems fitted as standard; Excellent and safe handling; Will fit child seats in the back with relative ease

  • Noisy cabin; Wireless Apple CarPlay is buggy; Lacks second-row space

Light Cars Over $25k

MINI 3-Door Hatch
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  • A rare and collectable model for the Mini 'superfan' that wont break the bank; Looks comically amazing; Explosive power and brilliant cornering grip; Bonkers done right

  • Try to power out of a corner and wooh-wooh, all aboard the torque-steer express!; Auto only - and its not the greatest 'box; Good luck getting one...

Citroen C3
  • Charming, willing turbocharged three-cylinder engine; Great ride and handling characteristics for the ’burbs; Great-looking seats with lots of comfort for the driver

  • Not as safe as others in the segment; Nor is it as good value as other options; Interior could use more storage

Audi A1
  • Gorgeous design inside and out; Digital widescreen dash display; Agile handling; Easy to park

  • Not everyone will enjoy the three-cylinder thrum or the at times jerky twin-clutch auto; Expensive

Renault Zoe
  • Compact and easy to drive in and around the city; Well-sorted ride on poor-quality roads; Range of charging rates available

  • Feels quite cheap in and around the cabin; High price tag given the package; Lack of basic safety technology; Soon to be outpriced by a number of competitors