My mother wants a new car. The current car is a 2013 Mazda3 with 40,000km on the clock. She wants a SUV for the higher driving position but I’m not 100 per cent sure what to look for. We have listed the Mazda CX-3, Ford Kuga, Hyundai Tucson, Holden Trax and Mitsubishi Outlander. Jason Anderson She wants what most people aspire to these days — a compact SUV. They’re easy on the back and older drivers especially find them more userfriendly because of the broader outward vision afforded by the high seating. They’re generally not as dynamic to drive but we might assume that’s unlikely to worry her.
Mazda CX-3 Neo auto, from $21,990
Cute but not, as you might expect, a jacked-up version of the Mazda3. It’s based on the smaller Mazda2 so check it out for size first. The Neo has steel wheels and misses out on a reverse camera. Produces 109kW and uses 6.1L/100km. Warranty is three years/ 100,000km. Servicing costs $1667 for three years/50,000km.
Ford Kuga Ambiente auto, from $29,250
Despite its power and high level of specification Kuga has not been the roaring success Ford hoped for. It will soon be replaced by Escape and for this reason alone is probably best avoided. Standard eight-inch touchscreen with satnav. Puts out a decent 134kW and thirst is 7.4L/100km. Warranty is three years/ 100,000km. Servicing costs $915 for three years/45,000km.
Hyundai Tucson Active auto, from $31,090
One of the stars of the mid-sized SUV segment. Has a seven-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, so screen can show Google Maps from your phone. Delivers 114kW of power and claims 7.9L/100km. Warranty is 5 years/unlimited kilometres. Servicing will cost you $807 for three years/45,000km.
Holden Trax LS auto, from $26,190
Another tiddler but perhaps not too small. Performance is a bit lacklustre but it’s pretty good value for money. Seven-inch touchscreen with MyLink infotainment requires paid app for navigation. Produces just 103kW and uses 7.6L/100km. Services cost $687 for three years/45,000km.
WILDCARD Mitsubishi Outlander LS auto, from $30,500
Takes the prize for biggest and is also one of the better value for money propositions. Quiet, comfortable and economical. Comes with Apple CarPlay/ Android Auto. They’ve always got a deal so you should be able to pick up an auto for about $28K drive-away. Good for 110kW and uses just 6.7L/100km. Warranty is five years/100,000km. Servicing is $1065 for three years/45,000km.
Go with the Outlander. It’s large and comfortable. It’s also the best value for money and comes with everything you need, apart from satnav — but you can use your phone.
FORD KUGA HOLDEN TRAX