Take direct route
Hold your horses. A new-look Cerato will be in dealers by the end of the month. It’s only a facelift but importantly for you it’s unlikely to have the direct injection engine that you want. We hear it will make way for a less powerful old-school 2.0litre with multi-point injection and better fuel economy. It’s always a difficult decision whether to wait or jump when a new model is on the way. You need to weigh up the sharp runout deal on the current model against the benefits that come with a new model. Here are the current alternatives. This car has come of age. The runout S is a steal at just $19,990 drive-away, with an auto and $1000 gift card. But the Si has the engine you want — the powerful 129kW direct injection unit. The only question is whether it’s worth the extra $9000. Si adds leather, 16-inch alloys and satnav. It’s surprisingly sporty and has six airbags, rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors. Fuel use is 7.5L/100km and it will cost you $982 to service over three years. Touring is the value model with a 114kW 2.0-litre engine and six-speed auto. Looks a million bucks, goes extremely well and uses hardly any fuel. Five-star safety with six airbags, rearview camera and rear sensors. It’s more economical than the Cerato, using just 5.8L/100km, while services cost $918 over three years. One of the top sellers in the segment and deservedly so. With a six-speed auto and gets the same 2.0-litre direct injection engine as Cerato but tuned to 124kW. Impressive allround package, with excellent performance and superior ride and handling. Five-star safety with seven airbags, rear view camera and rear parking sensors. It is slightly thirstier, using 7.7L/100km but servicing is $747 over three years. A 1.4-litre engine putting out 92kW sounds a bit pedestrian but trust us it goes. Uses hardly any fuel too, if that’s a consideration. The price includes a seven-speed DSG auto. The Golf sets the benchmark for ride and handling but the brand carries some baggage on reliability and the emissions scandal. Five-star safety with seven airbags, rear-view camera and front and rear parking sensors. Fuel use is an impressive 5.4L/100km but servicing is more expensive at $1052 over three years. For mine the i30 is the standout. Good warranty, similar performance from the direct-injection engine, cheap to service and the interior design and finish is better than Cerato.