The most popular models in the small car segment exist in this price bracket. So, what’s the best choice among the popular crowd?
1st: Kia Cerato S
While our light- and sub-light champs represent good driving and top value, in the small class the law of diminishing returns is yet to set in.
Yes it will cost more to own a Kia Cerato than a Picanto or Rio, but even compared with the littlest Kia, the step to the Cerato in terms of depreciation cost is only about $1000/year. Is the extra expense justified by a roomier body, perkier 2.0-litre engine, an available six-speed manual and extra features? We’ll let you decide.
Either way, you get Kia’s excellent seven-year warranty and a 12-month or 15,000km service interval, and it’s not as though the insurance premium goes through the roof in the upsize, at a very reasonable $635 per annum.
2nd: Hyundai i30 Active CRDi
The new-gen Hyundai i30 Active turbo-diesel six-speed manual pips its petrol sibling despite costing an extra $2500 up front, recouping the difference at the fuel bowser at a rate of about six dollars per week.
3rd: Mitsubishi Lancer ES Sport
What the ancient Lancer lacks in freshness it makes up via cabin space, equipment for your dollar, and a five-year warranty to topple Japanese and most Euro (but not Korean) rivals.
View all 2017 Best Value Cars