Top of the ladder
Direction and My Kitchen Rules. Purists argue that biggest doesn’t necessarily mean best.
In the car industry popularity equals success. SUVs may be theth latest craze but the humble
is the new car market. Last month,month,
country’s three top-psellingg cars were small hatches.
the we pitted enduring favourites the Toyota Corolla and Mazda3 against the Hyundai i30, which last month toppled bothbot in the sales race thanks to an unbeatable A new Mazda3 was launched to
but the Corolla and i30 have had upgrades in recent months. sold on price alone. That all changed with the i30, the first Hyundai thatthat was a decent drive, well put together and capable of selling on substance alone. For the
there was a five-yeary warranty. But it still sells best when there’ss unbeatable deal on the table. Last month it was $19,990 drive- away with for the cheapest model. This month, it’s $21,990 for
X adds leather, alloy ggoodies. That’s roughly $6000 off.
The April update added a bigger screen, retuned suspension and standard reversing camera across the range. Styling tweaks brought the front end look into line with
Inside, the i30 is showing its age. The centre screen is smaller than the other two here and the
doesn’t still easy to use and well laid-out — and now connects to the Pandora pizzazz. there’sthere’s evidence of cost-cutting in the rear, with no middle armrest and plasticpla instead of cloth seat backs.
the road, it’s
the is the noisiest under hard acceleration and the
The for local conditions, is pretty well sorted, feels comfortable and
but doesn’t as sporty as the others through the corners. The nose will push wide
and the steering
isn’t the cheapest. At $1900 more than the Neo, the Maxx is the punters’ pick. Unlike the Neo,Neo, it gets a standard reversingg camera, and a $1500 safety pack includes blind
monitoring, rear cross traffic alert and auto braking.
Other goodies include satnav, fog lamps, seven-inch screen and internet radio apps. To seal the
and handbrake handle
leatherwrapped. It’s easy to see how buyers get talked up to a Maxx. The cabin is the mostmost attractive the three — in the front.
day. The Corolla and i30 get padded armrests, the Mazda’s are hard plastic. It also gegets onlyy one seat back pocket.
The Mazda’s engine wins back points — it’sit’s moremore sophisticated, more powerful, quieter and more economical, thanks to stop-start technology that shuts down the engine at lights. The push-button
on the dash makes the car feel more modern too. the road, the Mazda is the although the margin of victory is much tighter than it once was. It feels the most relaxed on
freeway, roads it delivers a firm, controlledco but
is lighter and, whilee the feel of the Corolla, is still precise. The Mazda sits flat
corners and isn’t upset quick changes of direction. It’s also quieter than previous generations, although the tyres still roarroa on coarser road surfaces.
through Toyota head office and you’ll come across ththe term Kaizen, or continuous