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

By James Whitbourn, 11 Nov 2016 Best Value Cars

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

Mid-range light cars come with creature comforts that initially cost more but help retain value. Introducing the Mazda 2 Maxx, Suzuki Swift and Kia Rio

Mid-range light cars come with creature comforts that initially cost more but help retain value.

Mazda 2 Maxx

2016-Mazda 2-Maxx 2-best -value -light -car -frontLittle cars are not as basic as they used to be, but it still makes sense to choose a mid-spec machine over a bare-bones base model. You’ll enjoy the car more with a few niceties, and it will make a more appealing second-hand proposition when it comes time to sell.

The Mazda 2, like its podium mates, sticks closely to the lower limit of the category at $17,690, and one of the things the extra $2700 buys is a slightly more powerful version of the 1.5-litre four-cylinder engine that actually makes the 2 slightly more economical.

A 52 percent Glass’s three-year retained value figure supports our theory that a specced-up hatch will be easier to move for a good price than a boggo special, at a percentage point better than the Mazda 2 Neo in the sub-$17K Light category.

So the Mazda 2 Maxx matches its less-costly sibling on many counts, uses less fuel, and counters its higher price with marginally superior resale – and you’ll enjoy it more along the way. Sounds like a winner to us.

Suzuki Swift GL Navigator

2016-Suzuki -Swift -GL-light -car -frontSuzi’s sat-nav-equipped baby is certified Gold Star buying. The need for a bi-annual trip to the mechanic is more of a hassle than cause for extra expense, and of the podium players its 55 percent resale is as good as it gets.

Kia Rio S Premium

2016-Kia -Rio -S-premium -light -car -sideThis is not the first time and – spoiler-alert – neither is it the last that Kia’s seven-year warranty helps it to the silverware. Full marks to the Rio S Premium for being cost-effective to insure, at a paltry $576.01.


What if someone could expose the hidden costs, crunch the numbers, present the data, and draw conclusions about how to best spend your hard-earned on a brand new car? Enter Wheels’ annual Gold Star Value Awards.
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