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Drive Life : May 7th 2010
1HERSA1 F011 $42,990 Drive Away White, Sat Nav, Mats, 1,080kms. BNS01K Luxury Sedan Auto $35,555 Drive Away Galaxy Grey, Bluetooth, Mats, 655kms. BNI01W Classic Wagon Auto $29,990 Drive Away Sunlight Silver, Mats, 7,826kms. BLN06J Classic Sedan Auto $43,555 Drive Away Galaxy Grey, Sat Nav, Mats, 2,655kms. BNE68N Luxury Sports Auto $34,222 Drive Away Sunlight Silver, Mats, 2,055kms. BMU71H Classic Hatch Auto www.amrmazda.com.au Ph: 1300 669 249 370 Parramatta Road, Petersham Offer ends 5pm Sunday 9th May 2010. DL397. McKenzie21206A. Phil lip St PARRAMATTA ROAD C atheri ne St Cryst alSt Nor ton St MAZDA MASTER DEALER OF THE YEAR 2009 COMPANY VEHICLE CLEARANCE DRIVEAWA YNOMORETOPA Y! RUNOUT LIMITED STOCK DONT MISS OUT! END of financial year deals! A T • FREE $750 GENUINE MAZDA ACCESSORIES • FREE 4th year warranty • FREE 3 YEARS Standard road assistance • Driveaway prices 4x2 TURBO DIESEL CAB CHASSIS MANUAL • ALLOY TRAY • ALLOY WHEELS • POWER WINDOWS AND MIRRORS fr$22,990 DRIVE AW AY Ask us about our special Tradesman fnance package The Sydney Morning Herald May 7, 2010 Drive Life 11 Engaging drive Not the most fuel-efficient Stylish looks Quality build Drive recommends WHAT CAR SHOULD I BUY? CAMERON McGAVIN If you covered a lot of highway or drove regularly on unsealed roads, the Impreza's comfort and all-wheel- drive security might be worth the premium. However, the Hyundai's value and the sheer appeal of the Mazda are likely to prove more persuasive to buyers. Which one should Kate go for? Well, the Hyundai's lower price, five- year warranty and affordable diesel option are going to be pretty enticing. If you just want to get from A to B, it's an undeniably good buy. Ultimately, though, the Mazda looks more contemporary, is more up-market inside, performs better and is much nicer to drive, yet doesn't cost that much more. For a car you can love, the premium might be worth paying. THE DILEMMA Kate has a 1995 Ford Festiva and is looking to upgrade to a new small hatch. She has sampled a Ford Focus LX and Subaru Impreza R, both of which she enjoyed driving. Kate is also tempted by the Mazda3, even if she isn't so keen on its interior. Her new car must be affordable to run and maintain, as well as boast a five- star NCAP safety rating. The budget is less than $25,000. THE SHORTLIST The Focus and 3 share a lot under the skin but the Mazda is newer, better presented, better equipped and more refined. If Kate really liked the Ford, she could do a lot worse but its Japanese cousin is the one to chase. The Impreza? It's not quite a match for the Mazda when you add all the points but it does have some assets worth seeking. That still leaves space for one more contender, though. Ideally, that would be VW's class-leading Golf but that would also mean exceeding Kate's budget. So we'll go for something more affordable. Hyundai i30 SX, from $20,390 Like all Hyundais, the i30 makes a lot of sense on paper. It's cheaper than a 3 or Impreza yet is competitively equipped with toys and safety gear (all models have six airbags, stability control and a five-star NCAP rating). It also gets a five-year warranty. The i30, too, can be had in super-thrifty diesel form without breaking the budget. Or in wagon form, which is good if you want more boot space and flexibility than a hatch offers. Disappointments include a petrol engine that's nothing special, road manners that lack a final sheen of finesse and dowdy styling. But the gap between it and the best is much tighter than with Hyundais of yore. Mazda3 Neo, from $21,330 The base 3 can't quite compete with the Hyundai's on-paper pitch. However, a recent upgrade to the base Neo, headed by the addition of cruise control and side and curtain airbags (and thus a five-star NCAP rating), means it's now within striking distance. It's mighty hard to fault as a package, too, boasting the style, quality, performance and driving nous to see off every small car bar the more expensive Golf. Slightly less impressive is the 3's economy, refinement and back-seat space but only next to the jewel-like VW. Against equivalently priced small cars, the Mazda is about as good as it gets. Subaru Impreza R, from $23,990 The R is the costliest contender here yet has little to show for its premium. Indeed, you can get a mid-range i30 SLX for similar money or, for a few hundred more, a 3 Maxx, both of which are much better equipped. You wouldn't pay extra for the Subaru's somewhat awkward styling or the plasticky cabin ambience, either, while performance is really only middling thanks to its mediocre low-rev punch. Still, while the Impreza doesn't win over the heart or the wallet, it's an immensely solid package with a roomy cabin, well-damped ride and five-star NCAP rating. Its all-wheel- drive chassis delivers impressively secure handling in slippery conditions.
May 14th 2010
April 30th 2010