AN EYE TO SPORTINESS
I’m looking at getting a compact sporty car for not more than $60,000. The three that I’ve narrowed it down to are the Audi S3 sedan, VW Golf GTI Performance and the Mercedes A250. I currently have a Mk V, which I love. I saw couple of years back that A3 sedan got voted World Car Year. put off by the tiny boot of A250. I have a family to carr y and we also go on lots weekend trips, including snow with snowboards, skis etc so space
comfort are important. Konstantinos Minopoulos There was a time when the only choice for quick compact was between Subaru WRX and the Mitsubishi Lancer Evo. But
Evo is dead is not being renewed until next year. The turbo Golf GTI has always set standard for hot hatches but now the big European luxury brands, Audi, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, are producing impressive compact contenders. Volkswagen will have a GTI Performance Edition of its updated Golf in August but it could be a stretch for you — even with 180kW — because it’s only going to be a three-door. The same goes for the Renault Megane RS, which is a great little pocket rocket but
has two doors and no space for family or weekend escape equipment.
Volkswagen Golf GTI, from $42,340 Still the car to beat with 162kW and great dynamics and quality, so no reason not go again if you’re happy your GTI. If you want more power, the updated Golf R is available from August with 213kW and allwheel drive. There’s also a limited edition Wolfsburg Golf
wagon offering more practicality for $59,990.
Mercedes-Benz A250, from $54,800 Flawed in the boot but still a sweet package with 160 useful kilowatts and driving experience that’s not as extreme (ie, jarring) fullon A45 sibling. It’s also well equipped built, the benefit of a three-pointed star on the bonnet.
Audi A3, from $41,500 You’re looking at the A3 sedan but pick for your needs is Sportback, which is a generous wagon-style hatch. The turbo 2.0-litre (140kW/320Nm) is built overtaking, the cabin lovely but beware extra-cost options.
Mini Clubman, from $35,800 It’s a practical wagon but has the cutesy Mini styling to disguise big box in the back. The JCW model with 170kW packs lots of sporty gear for greater driving enjoyment.
You only need to update your Golf GTI. It’s still the benchmark in category, combining class and quality with genuine enjoyment for the driver. If you really have to blow budget, the imminent Golf R raises go-faster stakes without hurting basics.