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Small cars over $24K: Australia’s Best Value Cars

By James Whitbourn, 12 Nov 2016 Best Value Cars

Small cars over $24K: Australia’s Best Value Cars

Diesel engines in small cars are not popular in Australia, but they are effective at keeping overall costs down. Introducing the Hyundai i30, Kia Cerato and Honda Civic.

Diesel engines in small cars are not popular in Australia, but they are effective at keeping overall costs down.

Hyundai i30 Active CRDI

The i30 CRDi’s 1.6-litre turbo-diesel engine is the Gold Star equivalent of bringing a sawn-off to a knife fight – its 4.9L/100km economy gives it the upper hand against the petrol Cerato (7.1L/100km) but it’s actually fair game as there’s no oil-burning alternative in the Kia showroom.

You’re paying a premium for the oiler in the base Active’s $26,350 price, while the extra on the upper-spec Cerato S Premium all goes into extra equipment. So what will it be, niceties or frugality? Given a substantial early lead on the fuel-saving front, this category was the Hyundai i30’s to lose. But the brand’s five-year warranty keeps it in the hunt with Kia, while smashing the Civic’s three-year cover. Similarly, the 12-month service interval is equal best. The i30’s annual insurance bill is within $4 of the category-cheapest Cerato, and it does well to equal the Honda’s 56 percent three-year resale to carry its lead over the line.

Kia Cerato S Premium

2016-Kia -Cerato -S-Premium -small -car -frontThe Cerato out-specs the i30 and offers a six-speed auto rather than a manual for less money, then offsets its slightly greater fuel use with an industry-beating seven-year warranty and class-cheapest $657 annual comprehensive insurance premium.

Honda Civic VTi-S

2016-Honda -Civic -VTi -S-small -car -frontHonda has its groove back with the tenth-gen Civic and it stacks up as good buying. A sticker price just $490 north of the category’s lower limit works with best-in-class 56 percent resale to minimise money shed in the initial years.

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