Higher ter­rain

Herald Sun - Cars Guide - - WHICH CAR? -

THE QUES­TION

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.

VER­DICT

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.

MIT­SUBISHI OUT­LANDER

FORD KUGA HOLDEN TRAX

HYUNDAI TUC­SON

MAZDA CX-3

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