Hot hatch to city SUV
because it was designed on an all-new platform, whereas other compact SUV bodies are stretched over smaller city hatchback underpinnings. The quality is a step above the others, as is the standard equipment list, which includes radar cruise control (a class first) and auto emergency braking. The downside: supply is limited for the next year so dealers are charging top dollar. Don’t be surprised if the discount is slim — or non-existent. Holden Trax LTZ, $33,490 drive-away (auto) The Trax range had a recent facelift. All come with the 1.4litre turbo (103kW/200Nm). It’s more perky than the C-HR but it’s still not a hot hatch. The topof-the-range LTZ is auto-only. The Carsguide office is divided on the Trax. It has a cheaplooking interior compared to newer rivals. But it’s spacious and practical and feels surefooted on a winding road. In the city, it’s small enough to fit in the tightest spots. Don’t pay top dollar, wait for discounts. The LTZ previously limboed to about $28,000 drive-away. Mitsubishi ASX, $25,000 drive-away The outputs of the 2.0-litre nonturbo (110kW/197Nm) are still pretty impressive and similar to turbocharged rivals. Better still, save $5000-$8000 compared to the others here. The ASX has just been updated — wait a month or so and it will return to $25K drive-away with auto.
Suzuki Vitara S Turbo, $30,490 drive-away (auto) It has tidy handling and it’s the right size for a city SUV, with plenty of usable space. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are handy features. Best of all it has a peppy 1.4-litre turbo (103kW/ 220Nm) that aces the rest. Better priced than the other turbos.
The Vitara Turbo, the closest among this quartet to a hot hatch, is my favourite.