QUESTION – BROOK (question asked on 11/8/2016):
My budget is $15,000 and I can't decide which car is best for me; Honda Jazz, Suzuki celerio, Nissan Micra, or Mitsubishi Mirage. I live on the Atherton tablelands and work in real estate so I'm looking for fuel efficiency at 80-100ks as well as around town, cheap servicing costs, looks that will last (it needs to not look cheap) and will last a good 10 years, pleasure to drive and good quality phone connectivity for calls while driving.
ANSWER – Anna Kantilaftas:
You’re in luck - $15,000 can get you a long way in the urban runabout market these days so you’re certainly not limited for choice. Of your four options, the Suzuki Celerio seems to tick your boxes.
It falls well below your budget as one of the cheapest cars on the market, and its 1.0-litre three-cylinder petrol engine uses 4.8L/100km which is bettered only by the Mitsubishi Mirage but not by much.
The Celerio is attractive, more spacious than you’d expect of most micro cars and it’s fun to drive. For its price, it’s pretty good. The major downside I found in the Celerio is it doesn’t come with cruise control which might be annoying if you use it a lot on long drive.
If you just can’t live without the cruise control, you might want to consider the Honda Jazz. It uses more fuel than the Celerio, but at 5.8L/100km, it’s no guzzler. The Jazz does have one-up on the Celerio though - it’s better looking and it might be the most expensive of the bunch, but you get features like cruise control, colour touchscreen, HDMI and USB sockets and reversing camera. But the catch here is it might cost you a bit above your $15k budget unless you’re okay picking the base model manual VTi (which uses 6.2L/100km).
As for the other two: Nissan is set to pull the Micra which could mean excellent run-out deals and while the Mirage may offer the best price and fuel efficiency figures, neither of these would be my top pick in terms of drivability and comfort, especially if you’re spending a lot of time on the road.
In terms of servicing, the service pricing for Suzuki and Honda are different but not by a lot, with Honda costing slightly more per service. Suzuki and Honda both offer capped
servicing for five years or up to 100,000km - but ensure you ask for servicing details when visiting your local dealer to see what they’re offering at the time as this may vary.