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Car Advice

Light Cars Under $25k

Volkswagen Polo
1
  • 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  • Outdated media system; too expensive in higher trim; not as enjoyable to drive as class leaders

ŠKODA FABIA
  • Packaging; dynamics; good steering and engine; customisation options; AEB; infotainment

  • Hesitant dual-clutch gearbox; lots of customisation options; small dealer network

Light Cars Over $25k

MINI Cooper
1
  • Standard Apple CarPlay; More kit than before; New DCT is smooth and snappy; High-quality cabin; Fun-to-drive factor;

  • Still expensive; Active safety tech optional; Extensive options list; Intrusive tyre roar on the highway; Convertible's scuttle shake; 4-star ANCAP rating

Citroen C3
  • Unique styling; Roomy cabin; Smooth ride; Clever built-in dash cam

  • Expensive options; Auto transmission is hard to live with; No AEB; Four-star safety rating

Audi A1
  • Improved drivability from the 1.4 S tronic power train; spirited performance; cabin presentation; improved value; fuel efficiency

  • Lacks proper premium equipment levels; sat-nav optional; no reverse-view camera available; ride can be terse

Peugeot 208
  • Big performance; Exclusivity; Beefy looks; Practical boot; Interior add-ons look the goods; Lots of character; Five-year warranty

  • Harsh ride will be too firm for some; i-Cockpit will polarise; Tight back seat; Expensive servicing; There are only 20 of them

Audi A1
  • Improved drivability from the 1.4 S tronic power train; spirited performance; cabin presentation; improved value; fuel efficiency

  • Lacks proper premium equipment levels; sat-nav optional; no reverse-view camera available; ride can be terse