SMART BUYS

THREE CITY HATCHES LOADED WITH TECH

Herald Sun - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE - JOSHUA DOWL­ING

City hatch­backs now have ad­vanced tech­nol­ogy once ex­clu­sive to lux­ury cars. Priced from $23,000 to $25,000 drive-away these par­tic­u­lar ex­am­ples aren’t cheap — that’s the start­ing price of cars the next size up.

But more buy­ers are opt­ing for the dearer ver­sions of smaller cars now that they have the lat­est safety aids.

In the past few months the Toy­ota Yaris has re­ceived a facelift, the Mazda2 has had a makeover and a new Suzuki Swift has ar­rived. Each has cho­sen a dif­fer­ent path when it comes to tech­nol­ogy. Here’s how they com­pare.

MAZDA2

The Mazda2 Genki is the dear­est among this trio at $24,890 drive-away.

How­ever, with the ex­cep­tion of one colour, “soul red”, Mazda doesn’t charge for metal­lic paint, which adds $450 to $500 to the oth­ers.

Stan­dard equip­ment in­cludes city-speed au­to­matic emer­gency brak­ing (AEB), which will slam on the brakes at up to 30km/h if it senses an im­mi­nent ac­ci­dent.

Uniquely among this trio the Genki has AEB while re­vers­ing, rear cross-traf­fic alert, rear park­ing sen­sors, blind zone warn­ing and a re­tractable “heads-up” screen on the top of the dash that shows the car’s speed and the speed limit.

Faux car­bon-fi­bre trim, soft-touch dash ma­te­rial and a tablet-style touch­screen help give the Mazda2 an up­mar­ket ap­pear­ance.

A clus­ter of but­tons and di­als in the cen­tre con­sole — to op­er­ate the au­dio and nav­i­ga­tion

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