Con­ven­tional wis­dom

The Weekend Post - Motoring - - WHICH CAR? -


I drive a 2006 Honda Civic Sports and have been very happy with it. My hus­band’s car is a 2011 Subaru Out­back and that’s also been a great car. My hus­band died sud­denly last year but he had al­ways re­searched which cars were re­li­able, ef­fi­cient, com­fort­able etc and then gave me a few choices. I am look­ing for a new car and in par­tic­u­lar the new Honda Civic or Subaru XV, both dif­fer­ent cars but I would like to know in terms of re­li­a­bil­ity, ef­fi­ciency etc is one bet­ter than the other? Also, is there an­other car I should also be con­sid­er­ing? I test drove Maz­das but was not im­pressed. He­len, email Your sit­u­a­tion can­not be easy and it’s also com­pli­cated by go­ing from two cars down to one, with­out your hus­band’s in­put in the process. The Civic and XV both fit into the com­pact class but could not be more dif­fer­ent cars, one a slightly flam­boy­ant lit­tle SUV and the other a sen­si­ble four-seater fam­ily car. On the price front, you’re go­ing to pay some­where be­tween $25,000 and $30,000 by the time the on-road costs are added to the deal, but en­sure you don’t get talked into ex­tras like paint and fab­ric pro­tec­tion, which are a nice lit­tle profit maker for deal­er­ships.


Honda Civic, from $22,150 This is the right time to be look­ing at a new Civic, be­cause the lat­est model is a wel­come re­turn to form by Honda. It fin­ished in the top three of our Car of the Year judg­ing in 2016 thanks to top-notch qual­ity, a roomy cabin and styling that’s edge on the out­side and a lit­tle bit space-age in the dash. Still, the price hurts in the su­per­com­pet­i­tive small-car class where there are good cars un­der $20,000, and you need to up­grade to the VTiL to get more safety and the es­sen­tial turbo en­gine. Subaru XV, from $26,740 A nice look­ing lit­tle car that’s quiet and com­fort­able, but it’s quite costly. Also, the per­for­mance is lack­lus­tre be­cause of its CVT trans­mis­sion even though it has a 2.0-litre en­gine. Like all the tid­dler SUVs it is also cramped in the back and the boot is not par­tic­u­larly roomy. A new one is com­ing later this year if you can wait. Kia Cer­ato, from $19,990 drive­away The Cer­ato is a classy lit­tle car that’s ex­tremely well priced and also comes with a seven-year war­ranty for peace-of-mind. Don’t be put off by the South Korean badge be­cause the car has sus­pen­sion that’s tuned for Aus­tralian roads and the pric­ing is as sharp as it gets if you can avoid be­ing talked into things you don’t need.


Skoda Yeti, from $24,690 It’s a prac­ti­cal cross­over that comes with Volk­swa­gen­group qual­ity and a body that can han­dle al­most any job. It’s also quiet and nice to drive, with a fru­gal 1.2-litre turbo en­gine. The Skoda name is not well known in Aus­tralia, but the Czech brand does good cars that pick from the Volk­swa­gen parts bin but add ex­tra flair.


If you’re buy­ing on a tight bud­get, the Kia makes the most sense and will not let you down. But if you want some­thing to spoil your­self then you should test drive the Civic and Yeti for the one that makes you smile. Based on our COTY test­ing you’re prob­a­bly go­ing to find your­self in a Honda Civic.

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