Kia tops hard-fought podium.
Kia Cerato S
NOTHING can beat a Kia warranty – seven years and unlimited kilometres – which brings enviable peace of mind, even in something you’d expect little trouble from, such as our category champ, the Cerato S.
Here, however, it’s not just a long warranty that seals the deal. The Kia is among the least expensive to buy of the entry-level small car set, which helps offset its retained value forecast of only 57 percent.
Fuel consumption is good at 6.6L/100km; some rivals do better, but they demand 95 octane while the Cerato happily sips regular 91. Top it off with inexpensive insurance ($730) and you have a sure-fire cash-saver.
Mazda 3 Neo
PODIUM finishes must be a familiar feeling for Mazda’s venerable small car, which often tops the sales charts. The Mazda kicks off with 64 percent retained value and follows up with frugality (5.8L/100km) and a long service interval (12 months).
Skoda Rapid Spaceback Ambition
TAKING a light car platform and expanding on it is the Rapid's winning recipe. The hatch's interior is larger than its VW Polo-based cousin, and at $18,990 the practical wagon-like body is an even better buy.
|Small Cars under $25K||Kia Cerato S man||Mazda 3 Neo man||Skoda Rapid Spaceback Ambition man|
|Combined cycle fuel (L/100km)||6.6||5.8||5.4|
|Fuel RON (min. rec.)||91||91||95|
|Three-year fuel cost||$3767||$3311||$3282|
|Redbook resale (%)||57.0||63.7||59.5|
|AAMI insurance premium||$730||$804||$731|
|Service interval (months)||12||12||12|