OTHERS TO CONSIDER
FROM $16,990 THE LOWDOWN It’s been around for almost four years. VW got the basics spot-on and that allows the Polo to continue at the top — thanks also to a sharp starting price. Our Car of the Year winner for 2010 is robust, good to drive (especially in winning 1.2-litre turbo form), economical and safe. Others come and go, rise and fall, but the Polo is still the target.
FROM $16,790 THE LOWDOWN A low-key arrival but a standout success in a big field of newcomers in 2013. The Clio looks chic in a typically French way but the way it drives — cushy and relaxing — makes it a favourite. The hatchback closure is rubbish and we wonder about the lack of rear airbags but the RenaultSport model is a hoot.
PRICE From $16,290 (five-door) THE LOWDOWN A Korean car that’s better in almost every way than Japanese standards including the Honda Jazz and Mazda2. It’s a sensible car that’s built into an attractive package, thanks to local suspension tuning, five-year warranty and capped-price servicing. It’s the car I recommend to non-car people.