New Jazz quin­tet

Herald Sun - Motoring - - WHICH CAR? - CRAIG DUFF KICKS THE TYRES FOR A READER WANT AD­VICE ON BUY­ING A CAR? WRITE TO CARSGUIDE AT PO BOX 2808, GPO SYD­NEY, NSW, 2001 OR EMAIL PAUL.GOVER@NEWS.COM.AU

THE QUES­TION

We would like to up­date my wife’s 2006 Honda Jazz, prob­a­bly in the run-out sales. The Jazz has been such a great car and those magic seats are ab­so­lutely bril­liant. How­ever I have never been a fan of the CVT and at the mo­ment it re­ally shud­ders on take­off which makes me even less of a fan. Now she re­ally has her heart set on a new Jazz VTi-L with all the bells and whis­tles which we could prob­a­bly get for $24K-$25K. I would like her to keep her op­tions open and look around at other hatches in this price range. What other makes and mod­els would you sug­gest? Have CVTs got bet­ter in the past 10 years? Should we just bite the bul­let and stick with the Jazz? Robert Danek Carsguide isn’t a mas­sive fan of CVTs but they get the job done and ap­pear no less re­li­able than a con­ven­tional au­to­matic. As far as the Jazz goes, the new ver­sion is mid-pack in terms of dy­nam­ics but comes with im­pres­sive lev­els of equip­ment, es­pe­cially in VTi-L trim. The rear “magic seats” still flip and fold into 18 con­fig­u­ra­tions, mak­ing it one of the more ver­sa­tile city cars.

CHOICES

Suzuki Baleno GLX Turbo $21,990 Worth a look for its space and stan­dard six-speed auto. The three-cylin­der turbo (88kW/ 160Nm) makes it a match for the Honda in per­for­mance and there’s no short­age of boot or rear seat space. Niceties such as sat­nav, disc brakes all-round (the Honda has rear drums) and re­vers­ing cam­era are stan­dard and the Suzuki claims 5.2L/100km. It’s not as pretty in­side as the Jazz, largely as a re­sult of the less-than classlead­ing plas­tics but, as with all Suzukis, it feels solid and se­cure. Skoda Fabia 81TSI $20,290 A seven-speed dual-clutch auto is matched to a 1.2-litre four­cylin­der turbo (81kW/175Nm), de­liv­er­ing a de­cent drive and claim­ing 4.8L/100km. The Fabia (Monte Carlo vari­ant pic­tured) is solid value, with a 6.5-inch touch­screen us­ing SmartLink to pro­vide Ap­ple CarPlay/An­droid Auto con­nec­tiv­ity. On Skoda’s rea­son­ing, you use the mo­bile’s apps for nav­i­ga­tion rather than spend $950 on sat­nav. The big news here is the stan­dard cityspeed au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing; the down­side is sen­sors are the only re­vers­ing aid. The spare is full-size. Kia Rio SLi $22,990

A new Rio, due soon, will pre­sum­ably come with more kit and a steeper price but deal­ers will still have stock of the cur­rent car and should be look­ing to do deals. In SLi guise the Kia uses a 1.6-litre four­cylin­der (103kW/167Nm) driv­ing the front wheels via a six-speed auto. Claimed thirst is 6.1L/100km. The SLi’s fitout shows its age. There’s Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity but monochrome dis­play only — and a re­vers­ing cam­era and sat­nav aren’t even op­tions. In­te­rior space is good and there’s the re­as­sur­ance of the seven-year war­ranty and capped price ser­vic­ing.

WILD­CARD

Mazda CX-3 Neo Safety auto $23,020 We’ve added the six-speed auto and safety pack to the high­rid­ing Mazda and it is a real al­ter­na­tive to the ver­sa­tile Jazz, though with a big­ger body. The 2.0-litre (109kW/192Nm) out­mus­cles the light cars yet still matches the Kia’s claimed thirst. Stan­dard gear on the base CX-3 (Maxx pic­tured) won’t chal­lenge the top-spec Jazz but in­cludes cruise con­trol and Blue­tooth con­nec­tiv­ity. Safety pack adds city au­tonomous emer­gency brak­ing, blind-spot mon­i­tor and rear cross-traf­fic alert.

VER­DICT

I’d go for the big­ger CX-3 but you may have trou­ble shift­ing your wife out of a new Jazz once she drives one. She won’t be dis­ap­pointed. Of the oth­ers, par­tic­u­larly drive the Skoda.

MAZDA CX-3

KIA RIO

SUZUKI BALENO

SKODA FABIA

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