Loy­alty has its re­wards

The Advertiser - Motoring - - FRONT PAGE -

Chris­tine Ablett, email free reg­is­tra­tion, com­pul­sory third party in­sur­ance and stamp duty. It has sharper styling than the Toy­ota and of­fi­cially uses around a litre less fuel ev­ery 100km/h. The base Neo model doesn’t have a lot of stan­dard gear, though a $1500 safety pack adds adds blind- spot mon­i­tor­ing, rear crosstraf­fic alert and city speed (30km/h) au­ton­o­mous emer­gency brak­ing. A ver­sa­tile cargo area and de­cent drive are the high points of Honda’s small­est SUV. It’s built to a price and that shows in some of the cabin fit­tings more than in its ri­vals but it does have a roomy in­te­rior and five-year capped price ser­vic­ing. The 1.8-litre isn’t hugely thirsty, with an of­fi­cial use of 6.6L/100km. If you’re not wed­ded to a sedan and plan­ning to buy soon, then the i30 is well worth a look. It’s well equipped, with re­vers­ing cam­era and Ap­ple CarPlay and it has a five-year war­ranty.

VER­DICT

If the bud­get is a ma­jor con­sid­er­a­tion, the Hyundai is hard to beat. If you’re look­ing for some­thing a lit­tle spe­cial, drive the Mazda. But given your many years of happy Toy­ota own­er­ship, the Corolla is prob­a­bly the right car for you.

There is plenty to be said for stick­ing with the brand you know but there are some great al­ter­na­tives in this end of the mar­ket. The Corolla and Mazda are pop­u­lar for a rea­son, while the Kia Cer­ato and Hyundai i30 have longer war­ranties.

Step­ping up to the baby SUVs will bring a higher driv­ing po­si­tion and may make it eas­ier to get in/out of the ve­hi­cle if the hips and knees aren’t as flex­i­ble as they were. The trade-off is a rel­a­tively small boot and slightly in­flated price.

That many car rental com­pa­nies can’t be wrong. The Corolla is a fleet favourite be­cause it’s rel­a­tively cheap, well pack­aged, has a rep­u­ta­tion for re­li­a­bil­ity and is easy to drive — the same qual­i­ties that should en­dear it to pri­vate buy­ers. Right now an As­cent with con­tin­u­ously vari­able trans­mis­sion can be had for $23,990 on the road.

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