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Medium cars under $45K: Australia’s Best Value Cars

By James Whitbourn, 13 Nov 2016 Best Value Cars

Medium cars under $45K: Australia’s Best Value Cars

This segment shows how sensible choices need not be boring. Introducing the Subaru Liberty, Toyota Camry and Mazda 6

This segment shows how sensible choices need not be boring. 

Subaru Liberty 2.5i

Sometimes all the figures tell you that a car will be economical to own while experience suggests the opposite, but that’s certainly not the case with the Subaru Liberty 2.5i. Armed with road-test experience, we’d guess that a Liberty would be a sound long-term proposition, if you value dependability and affordability. Plug its vitals into a spreadsheet and the hard data agrees.

The Subaru sedan is among the least expensive in its class, yet it gets more gear than most rivals, including all-wheel drive. The Liberty’s reputation translates into a rock-solid 55 percent three-year resale figure that’s much better than most and enough to give it the gong by a good margin, which is handy because it’s not the thriftiest in its class, and uses premium unleaded. Add to that six-month service intervals, meaning more frequent trips to the workshop than most.

Toyota Camry Altise

2016-toyota -camry -medium -car -sideIf the Liberty was a likely place-getter, the Camry was a sure shot. Its $26,490 ticket price in entry-level Altise spec makes it a bargain up front, and down the track. But the Hybrid version (sixth) couldn’t overcome its $4K premium, despite superior economy.

Mazda 6

2016-mazda -6-medium -car -sideStrong retained value reflects the current Mazda 6’s cool factor and the model’s enduring appeal. A 55 percent retained value means just $14,621 lost in three years. It’s not the cheapest to buy but it’s very economical at 6.6L/100km, and on 91 RON.


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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