HONDA CIVIC VTi
PRICE $24,990 drive-away WARRANTY 3 years/100,000km CAPPED SERVICING $1397 over 3 years SERVICE INTERVAL 12 months/10,000km SAFETY 5 stars, 6 airbags ENGINE 1.8-litre 4-cyl, 104kW/174Nm TRANSMISSION CVT; FWD THIRST 6.4L/100km DIMENSIONS 4515mm (L), 1799mm (W), 1421mm (H), 2700mm (WB) WEIGHT 1289kg SPARE Space-saver
Cabin design is clean and functional. Instruments (including a digital speedo) are easy to read and the controls are well placed and intuitive.
The door pockets and glovebox are huge but rear seat space and boot capacity are the smallest of the trio.
Where the i30 starts to shine, though, is under the bonnet. The 2.0-litre four is the most powerful among this trio and it’s the lightest car here.
Combined with a six-speed auto, it gives the i30 a head start in the 0-100km/h dash. The i30 is the zippiest here, with a transmission that’s more intuitive than the others’ CVTs, but it uses the most fuel.
The steering is light and precise and provides good feedback. The suspension is taut yet comfortable over bumps.
However, the Hyundai’s tyres had the least amount of grip on our test loop. It didn’t feel as sure footed as the Honda.
Further, the brake pedal felt “soft” relative to the others, requiring a little more effort to pull up.
Hyundai’s ace is not on the car itself. Its routine service pricing costs a little more than half that of the Honda and Subaru over three years, plus you have the peace of mind of a fiveyear, unlimited kilometre warranty.