Small under $24K
1st Kia Cerato S
While our light- and sub-light champs represent good driving and top value, in the small class the law of diminishing returns is yet to set in. Yes it will cost more to own a Kia Cerato than a Picanto or Rio, but even compared with the littlest Kia, the step to the Cerato in terms of depreciation cost is only about $1000/year. Is the extra expense justified by a roomier body, perkier 2.0-litre engine, an available six-speed manual and extra features? We’ll let you decide. Either way, you get Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty and a 12-month or 15,000km service interval, and it’s not as though the insurance premium goes through the roof in the upsize, at a very reasonable $ 635 per annum.
2nd Hyundai i30 Activeive CRDI
The new-gen Hyundai i30 Active turbo-diesel six-speed manual pips its petrol sibling despite costing an extra $2500 up front, recouping the difference at the six fuel bowser at a rate of about dollars per week.
3rd Mitsubis Mitsubishi Lancer ES Sport
What the ancient Lancer lacks in freshness it makes up via cabin space, equipment for your dollar, and a five-year warranty Euro tot topple Japanese and most (but not Korean) rivals.