Fun to the four

Sports cars come in all shapes these days and none of those we com­pare here will send you broke

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Cover Story -

most noise, even though the BRZ is the car I’d choose for its nicer styling, bet­ter sus­pen­sion,and the full-sized spare that Toy­ota is about to re­move from the tail of the 86.

VALUE

It’s crazy that the small­est and old­est of the comparo crew, the MX-5 Road­ster Coupe Sports, is also the most ex­pen­sive. Not just that, but at $49,805 it also misses stuff such as Blue­tooth that even bar­gain-base­ment buy­ers ex­pect to­day.

Still, it does have a thump­ing Bose sound sys­tem, won­der­fully sup­port­ive Re­caro seats and good-look­ing BBS al­loys and ben­e­fits from his­tor­i­cally high re­sale value.

The Veloster SR Turbo is cheap­est at $31,990 yet still has a seven-inch touch screen with sat­nav, panoramic sun­roof, leather-leatherette seat trim, rear park­ing cam­era and Blue­tooth with stream­ing.

Its turbo engine cuts ser­vice in­ter­vals to six months/ 7500km but the new capped­price ser­vice plan means the to­tal cost over three years to ser­vice the car is $1164. It also has Hyundai’s five-year war­ranty but that’s off­set by the low­est re­sale value.

The Toy­ota 86 is the fully loaded GTS, with big­ger brakes and wheels, sat­nav, auto air­con, LED run­ning lamps and more. It has a capped-price ser­vic­ing and Toy­ota ex­pects a very strong re­sale value.

We con­sid­ered the costlier Volk­swa­gen Scirocco coupe for the com­par­i­son, but the price check went in favour of the three-door GTI pocket rocket even though it’s still over $40,000.

It comes with dual-zone air, Blue­tooth and rain-sens­ing wipers but lacks some fea­tures that are stan­dard in the Toy­ota and Hyundai.

TECH­NOL­OGY

All four cars have four-cylin­der en­gines, rang­ing from the Subaru boxer in the 86 to the tur­bos in theVWand Hyundai.

Power is im­por­tant for en­joy­able driv­ing and the tur­bos are nat­u­rally on top, with the GTI tak­ing the prize with 5kW more than the Veloster, al­though the Korean is light­est on fuel at 6.8L/100km.

While the 86’s engine is thirsty with 7.8L/100km, and takes pre­mium un­leaded, the MX-5 ac­tu­ally tails on ef­fi­ciency at 8.1L.

TheVWhas a dou­ble-clutch au­to­matic and the rest are driver-first six-speed man­u­als, while each has all-wheel disc brakes and sports sus­pen­sion set­tings.

DE­SIGN

The 86 has clas­sic sports car pro­por­tions, just like the clas­sic drop­top MX-5. But the Toy­ota has a mod­ern cabin and rea­son­able space where the Mazda is cramped and oldfashioned.

There’s noth­ing old-school about the Veloster, from its gap­ing mouth to a body with two hatch­back doors on one side and a sin­gle coupe door on the other. The GTI has the right hot hatch trig­gers de­spite a cabin that’s now show­ing its age (the all-new Golf is just a month away).

SAFETY

The MX-5’s age is re­flected in a four-star ANCAP safety rat­ing. The rest get the full five.

The Veloster comes with six airbags while the Toy­ota and GTI add a knee airbag, but the Hyundai is the only one with a stan­dard re­view-view cam­era in a field where rear vi­sion of­ten yields to fash­ion.

The 86 loses its spare in Septem­ber for punc­ture-re­pair kit. The Mazda also has a re­pair kit for space rea­sons and the Veloster and GTI have tem­po­rary spares.

DRIV­ING

Driven on their own, each one of these cars is fun. Well, unt you try and cram the weekly gro­ceries into the MX-5 or 86

The Mazda is sharp and re­spon­sive, even if the engine a bit dowdy by to­day’s stan­dards. It’s a small car tha

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