Loading indicator
News & Reviews
Last 7 Days

Small Cars Under $40k

Volkswagen Golf
  • Value for money; Fantastic ride/handling balance; Three-door body looks ace; Still practical despite fewer doors; All-round ability; Engine punches higher than outputs suggest

  • Driver Assist pack should be standard; No navigation despite $40K price tag; Compromised entry into second row; Some interior trims feel cheap

Hyundai i30
  • Good looks - inside and out; plenty of kit; stylish cabin; excellent ride; decent handling; boot space with full-size spare; above average audio system; easy-to-use infotainment system

  • Entry-level engine a little lacklustre compared to higher-spec options; No AEB, and Traction control can be quite intrusive during spirited driving or harder acceleration; No rear air-vents or USB port

Honda Civic
  • Still a frenetic revver, yet this time with greater driveability; Highly satisfying gearshift and clutch operation; Great steering, handling, brakes; Relative ride comfort; Spot-on driving position and seat support; Looks like a five-door Touring Car

  • Relatively expensive for a front-drive hot hatch; More low-down torque would still be welcome; Styling won’t be to everyone’s tastes; Some buzzes and rattles in our test car; Tyre roar on coarsest surfaces

Holden Astra
  • Upper-percentile ride/handling balance; Refined and muscular base turbo engine; Some absolute bargains can be found

  • Cabin lacks Golf's polish, i30's infotainment or Civic's space; Bring back the seven-year warranty...

Subaru Impreza
  • All-wheel drive; Loads of tech; Quality suspension tune

  • Lacklustre powertrain; Expensive; Looks leave us wanting more

Small Cars Over $40k

Audi A3
  • Audi build quality; Interior fit and finish; Engine and transmission combination; Sophisticated exterior and interior design; Usable backseats for short drives

  • Noticeable scuttle shake; Super firm ride; Drivetrain can be laggy; Infotainment buggy with Apple's iOS 10

BMW 1 Series
  • The iDrive 6 infotainment is excellent, likewise the dials; Engine and gearbox make a great combo; Cabin ambience feels more premium than the price

  • Slight hesitation in the driveline at low speed; Cabin isn't as clever as it could be in terms of storage

Mercedes-Benz A250
  • All-wheel-drive system adds assuredness through corners at speed; adaptive dampers transform the ride; drive mode select system changes character of the car; more equipment; revvy engine

  • Some low-speed gremlins from drivetrain; ride still a little terse; rear-seat and boot not massive by class standards


BMW i3

BMW i3
  • It's got more grunt, so it's quicker, and handling is much improved; Range is decent for a pure EV; More kit; Interior uses eco materials and looks cool; Price has barely increased; Good space

  • Drive it hard and its range drops fast; Quirky looks won't impress everyone; Boot space isn't great

Volvo V40
  • Polestar Performance pack boosts grunt usability and adds those stunning 19-inch wheels; interior quality and fit-out is excellent; love those Thor's Hammer LED headlights

  • Not up to the task in terms of dynamics; engine can be gruff at idle; expensive when equipped with all the stuff you'd want