Cars of 2017: Top 5 small cars

By Jez Spinks, 03 Jan 2017 Car Advice

Cars of 2017: Top 5 small cars

WhichCar guides you through five of the most notable new cars heading for showrooms in 2017.

Some of Australia’s best-selling small cars – and a few that want a bigger slice of the small-car pie – are due for significant upgrades in 2017. Here’s WhichCar’s pick of them.

CITROEN C3

The French brand’s latest-generation city car is unlikely to set the sales charts ablaze but it will certainly be one of the more interesting propositions if confirmed for Australia. Styling – particularly the ‘Airbump’ side protection panels – is inspired by Citroen’s quirky Cactus hatch. A leaf is also taken out of the Mini book on customisation, with 36 different roof/body colour combinations possible. The Facebook generation will also appreciate an HD camera that can record journey photos and video for social media posts.


HYUNDAI i30

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The car that has done more than any other to change perceptions of the Hyundai brand moves onto generation number three in April. There’s a further maturing of the Euro-style five-door’s styling, with a more upmarket interior – complete with prominent infotainment display – to match. Hyundai is promising more responsive handling from a car that is 30mm longer than before but lighter and stiffer. Regular i30s locally will take the current SR trim grade’s unassisted 2.0-litre four-cylinder, while the new SR will switch to a 1.6-litre turbo four borrowed from the Hyundai Tucson SUV and Veloster hatch.

KIA RIO

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South Korea releases another important new-generation small car next year – the fourth version of the Kia Rio due in quarter one. The Euro-centric styling will be a five-door-only affair, with the previous three-door variant dropped. A more upmarket interior is claimed to feature class-leading cabin space, and the boot is a good size for the segment – 325 litres. The range of petrol and diesel engines grows with a new 1.0-litre three-cylinder turbo engine entering the fray, offered with either 73kW or 88kW of power. A sportier GT model is also in the pipeline.

SUZUKI SWIFT

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Suzuki’s most popular car in Australia will emerge in fourth-generation form next year. Curves look set to be replaced by angles for the design, judging by spy images – though the Swift’s characteristic wraparound glass/floating roof effect will be retained. Components are shared with Suzuki’s other light car, the Suzuki Baleno, including platform and a 1.0-litre turbocharged three-cylinder. The faster Sport variant is tipped to gain the Vitara SUV’s 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder. We’re also hoping rumours of a return of a Swift GTi hot-hatch are true.

VOLKSWAGEN GOLF

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The German hatchback is already considered the classiest in its field, yet a major 2017 update is set to further raise its levels of sophistication – especially inside the cabin. Bigger and more advanced infotainment display systems will include the availability of a digital instrument cluster and a segment-first ‘swipe’ action gesture control. Driver aid options will include Traffic Jam Assist, giving the Golf autonomous driving capability in low-speed commuting. A couple of new 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engines join the line-up, while the famous GTI hot hatch will gain more power.

2017 Top 5 Small Cars

Citroen C3 $ TBC
Hyundai i30 $21,450+
Kia Rio $15,990+
Suzuki Swift $15,990+
Volkswagen Golf $22,840+