Light $17K - $25K: Australia’s Best Value Cars 2017

‘Compact’ doesn’t necessarily have to feel ‘cheap’. Spend a few more dollars and you can get a city car that’s a little more posh.

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‘Compact’ doesn’t necessarily have to feel ‘cheap’. Spend a few more dollars and you can get a city car that’s a little more posh.

1st: Mazda 2 Maxx

Mazda’s well-established brand appeal is reflected in its 55 percent Glass’s resale figure, which is superior to any rival within cooee.

From this cracking start, the mid-spec Mazda 2 hatch – which gets a negligible 2kW and 2Nm boost over the Neo – powers on with good economy on regular unleaded, a generous 12-month or 10,000km service interval, and cheap-as-chips annual insurance at $701.

The Kia Rio S gave the Mazda a good run on the strength of its warranty, though didn’t quite have the overall mix of value credentials to topple the Japanese hatch.

2nd: Suzuki Swift GL Navigator

The Suzuki Swift’s long-held value credentials are stronger than ever in the new model – only the hybrid Toyota Prius C officially uses less fuel than the Swift in this company, however the Toyota couldn’t overcome its purchase price premium to climb onto the podium. 

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3rd: Kia Rio S

Higher fuel consumption and price, and a lower three-year resale, left the Rio with work to do, but none here can match Kia’s seven-year warranty, and 12 months between service intervals matches the Mazda, while easily topping the Suzuki’s six months. 

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