Powered by
  • WheelsWheels
  • 4X4 Australia4X4 Australia
  • Street MachineStreet Machine
  • Trade Unique CarsTrade Unique Cars

Light Cars under $17K: Gold Star Value Awards 2015

By James Whitbourn, 16 Sep 2015 Best Value Cars

Light Cars under $17K: Gold Star Value Awards 2015

For the best value in motoring, look no further

For the best value in motoring, look no further.

Mazda 2 Neo

Mazda -2-NeoMEET the car that’s not just the value pick of the light-car class, but the entire field. 

The Mazda 2 Neo is Australia's least expensive car to run in terms of three-year depreciation and fuel costs. Its 79 percent retained value and the $14,990 entry price do most of the work, while the efficient 1.5-litre four-cylinder uses just 5.4 litres of 91 octane per 100km to contain annual fuel cost. Of the top picks in the class, only the VW Polo 66TSI uses less fuel, at 4.8L/100km, though the second-placed Swift goes close to the Mazda’s figure.

The miserly Mazda’s 12-month service interval counts for points in terms of convenience and should contribute to a cost saving as well, though in the day of five- and seven-year warranties the Mazda’s three years is acceptable rather than outstanding.

So there you have it; if you want to save money, buy a base Mazda 2. And it’s pleasing that, if you want to enjoy your driving in a light car, you should also buy a 2.

Honda Jazz VTi

Honda -Jazz -VTIHONDA’S smallest car hits a high note courtesy of its reasonable cost of entry and stout three-year retained value. The Gold Star Value Awards spreadsheet knows nothing of qualities such as a neat interior, excellent standard infotainment system and enviable cabin flexibility, yet they make the Jazz good buying too.

Ford Fiesta Ambiente

Ford -Fiesta -AmbienteIT’S nice to know that such a stellar steerer also delivers Gold Star value. In the Fiesta, superb driving dynamics co-exist happily with good economy on 91 octane, a long service interval, reasonable retained value and affordable insurance.


Light Cars under $17K Mazda 2 Neo man Honda Jazz VTi man Ford Fiesta Ambiente man
Purchase Price $14,990 $14,990 $15,825
Combined cycle fuel (L/100km) 5.4 6.2 5.8
Fuel RON (min. rec.) 91 91 91
Three-year fuel cost $3082 $3539 $3311
Redbook resale (%) 79.0 69.2 64.5
Three-year depreciation $3148 $4617 $5618
AAMI insurance premium $641 $641 $709
Service interval (months) 12 6 12
Warranty (years) 3 3 3