Small Car Under $25K: Gold Star Value Awards 2014

Mazda's top-selling 3 is also a top value pick

Mazda3 Neo Sedan

Mazda's top-selling 3 is also a top value pick

1. Mazda 3 Neo sedan
WHY the 3 sedan? It’s better looking. Okay, that's not particularly pragmatic; both the hatch and its booted brother offer the blend of cash-saving qualities that see the Mazda 3 dust off a 15-strong sub-$25K small car field.

Happily, the third-gen 3 adds economy to its list of high points. However, it’s solid showings across the board that help the Mazda to a well-deserved gong. The 3 is
happy on a low-octane fuel (91), strong on resale (77 percent), with an annual insurance premium on the cheap side at $934. And it conveniently only needs a 12-monthly appointment with the spannerman.

The Mazda’s only downfall is its three-year unlimited-kilometre warranty – not exactly stingy, but well short of industry-best.

2. Holden Cruze Equipe
TWO best-sellers figuring at the pointy end here speaks loudly about how switched-on Aussie buyers are. Cruze comes second, with strong resale and class-cheapest insurance.

3. Kia Cerato S sedan
A FIVE-YEAR* warranty sees to it that Kia – and Korea – is always in the hunt for a Gold Star gong. No prizes for aesthetics, but if there were, the Peter Schreyer-styled Rio would fare well.

*STOP PRESS: Since pubication of this article, Kia has increased its warranty to seven years/unlimited kilometres

Small <$25k Purchase Price Comb. Fuel (L/100km) Fuel RON (min. rec.) 3-year fuel cost Redbook resale (%) 3-year deprec. AAMI insurance prem. Service interval (months) Warranty (years)
Mazda 3 Neo sedan $20,490 5.8 91 $3310 77 $4712 $933.96 12 3
Holden Cruze Equipe 1.8 $19,890 7.0 91 $3995 72 $5569 $872.71 9 3
Kia Cerato S sedan manual $19,990 6.6 91 $3767 64 $7196 $950.13 12 5

Notable classmates: Hyundai i30 CRDi Active, Golf 90 TSI / Number of cars crunched: 15


How are you finding our new site design? Tell us in the comments below or send us your thoughts at


Subscribe to Wheels magazine

Subscribe to Wheels Magazine and save up to 44%
Get your monthly fix of news, reviews and stories on the greatest cars and minds in the automotive world.




2021 BMW 2 Series Coupe

New BMW 2 Series Coupé features confirmed ahead of rumoured mid-year unveiling

Munich’s new two-door sportscar heralded as bigger, faster, and better handling

7 hours ago
James Robinson

We recommend

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.